Sibelius 8.5.1 update available


update-downloadIn conjunction with the first day of the 2017 NAMM show, Avid today released Sibelius 8.5.1, a solid maintenance update to the recent Sibelius 8.5 update.

Sibelius 8.5 brought with it the ability to have different staff sizes for any instrument on a per-system basis, and also introduced the beginnings of a re-designed Inspector. It fixed a few bugs in the areas of MIDI input and key signatures with unpitched instrument changes, but also introduced a couple of new problems, like a crash upon appending scores and unresponsive tempo line settings in the Inspector.

Happily, those bugs have been fixed in the 8.5.1 update, and several other improvements have been made.

I’m particularly pleased that a new Relative Size column has been added to the Staff sizes list in Appearance > Engraving Rules > Staves > Staff Design. It’s fully editable, so now you can change your custom staff sizes either by actual size or percentage relative to 100%.

It’s interesting that there is plenty of space in the box for more staff sizes. Right now Sibelius limits the user to the four pre-set sizes, although under-the-hood Sibelius can support many more (i.e., if a document is imported from a MusicXML file containing more than four staff sizes). Maybe, in time, the Sibelius developers will open this up further and trust the occasional user who wants to make use of these!

Here’s a rundown of all of the changes.


  • It’s now easier to type in the number you need in the Inspector
  • When using Versions, controls in the Inspector are disabled
  • View > Panels > Hide All now hides all the panels rather than switching them off
  • Inspector now respects the Translucent setting in Preferences
  • Font and size of text can now be changed from the Inspector
  • Spin boxes in Notes section of the Inspector are now vertically aligned
  • Rit. and Accel. controls in the Inspector are working once more
  • All controls are now highlighted when tabbing through the Inspector with the keyboard (Mac only)
  • Each section in the Inspector is now closed by default and now remembers their open or closed state (they are open by default)

Staff Size

  • A new % column has been added to the Staff sizes list in Engraving Rules
  • Key signatures no longer collide with clefs and time signatures when changing from an Extra small staff size to Normal staff size
  • Making staff size changes in Add or Remove Instrument dialog no longer removes custom staff changes you may have made for that instrument
  • Changing staff size on a system with only one bar no longer removes changes in the next system
  • The dots of repeat bars are now positioned correctly when changing staff size
  • Staff Size on the Layout tab has been renamed Normal Staff Size


  • File > Append Score no longer causes a crash
  • When entering Expression text, Command-Option-Shift-Z now works once more on macOS Sierra
  • Improvements when changing from unpitched to pitched instruments

Sibelius 8.5.1 also comes with the latest version of Avid Application Manager, v. 2.5.12.

The update is free for all Sibelius users with active subscriptions and upgrade plans. The updated installers are available from Avid Application Manager or through users’ Avid Accounts.

If you’re visiting the NAMM 2017 show and want to see Sibelius in action, you’ll find it at Avid’s booth 6400 in Hall A (location 2 on the diagram below).


  1. Teemu


    I really enjoy your blog, and I look it nearly every day. I was just wondering, that do you know if group and staff names are introduced to Sibelius in near future. This is the only thing that really bothers me in my scores. It is weird to see the same instrument written for example, four times. I would just like to write ONE group name (like Horns) and then number staves. I know about the workaround, but it is extremely tedious to do.
    Well, thanks!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Teemu, I agree, it would be a nice feature, but I’m not aware of it happening yet.

  2. Jean-Pierre Bouchard

    Hi, I have suscribed to your blog and appreciate it very much. I am a monthly suscriber to Sibelius too. In version 8.5.1, I encountered a problem that I am not able to solve : D.S al Fine to a segno which is placed on a first repeat section that replays 3 times. The repeated section works normally when it comes from the beginning of the piece but when it is repayed from the segno, it plays only 2 times like a normal repeat. I tried many ways to solve the problem. Nothing happens. In the time line, it is very welle indicated : section plas 3 times first then 2 times from the segno. Bug? Or something I don’t understand? Thank you for your answer or following-up to someone that can help.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Jean-Pierre, it is probably best if you ask this question at the Sibelius chat forum.

  3. madyson

    I am currently on the newest version of sibelius and I am still having the problem of the application crashing on start up.

    1. Sam Butler

      Hi Madyson,

      Best to create a case at or Tweet the support team (if you’re on Twitter) @AvidSupport and they’ll get you up and running.


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