2014: The plug-in year in review


zawalichThis blog post is written by Bob Zawalich, composer, guitarist, software designer, and creator of hundreds of useful plug-ins for Sibelius. In this post, Bob reflects on the past year of plug-in development.

Inspired by Philip Rothman’s year-end roundup of Sibelius Blog posts, I thought I would mention what happened in 2014 in the tiny plug-in writers’ universe.

This year, 32 plug-ins were published to the plug-in download page, available for free download. These were written by Ed Hirschman, Kenneth Gaw, and me.

Speaking only for me, pretty much all my plug-ins were small tools for specific cases. Since 2012, I have not actually written plug-ins for Avid, but I had some that were written for my own use, for the use of friends, or in some cases, in response to problems I thought were interesting.

SONY DSCThe ones I am probably most pleased with were the ones I wrote for sight-impaired users. It was rather fascinating to have to figure out how you could access features in Sibelius without sight (though with a screen reader). Thanks to Kevin Gibbs, who worked with me on those plug-ins.

I usually try to write plug-ins that use features newly available to the ManuScript plug-in language. The only actual new feature for plug-ins in Sibelius 7.5 was the ability to see and edit the Gap Before Bar property, and so I wrote the Gap Before Bar plug-in to take advantage of it.

There are now over 500 user-provided plug-ins on the download page, though not all of them will work in the latest versions or in some cases in earlier versions. I typically write plug-ins that require at least Sibelius 6 (and in some cases Sibelius 7) because those versions of Sibelius provided very useful new features to enable plug-in writing.

(I maintain an alphabetical list of user plug-ins. It is a bit out-of-date at the moment, but provides a somewhat easier way to find plug-ins as long as you know the plug-in name. Some of us have been discussing setting up a tagged search to make it easier to find plug-ins, but nothing has really happened with that yet.)

Here is a list of the plug-ins that were published this year, their categories, and a link to more information on this blog, if available. The list is sortable. All the best for the coming year!

Plug-in NameAuthorCategoryMore info
Add Chord Notes Below MelodyKenneth GawNotes and Rests
Add Pickup Bar With Deleted RestsBob ZawalichComposing Tools
Add Turbo CommentEd HirschmanCommentsMore info
Adjust Stem LengthsBob ZawalichNotes and Rests
Align NotesBob ZawalichDevelopers' Tools
BreaksBob ZawalichSight-impaired
Cresc Dim Lines as TextBob ZawalichText
Dangling Ties To SlursBob ZawalichNotes and RestsMore info
Delete Leading Empty BarsBob ZawalichLayoutMore info
Disguise ScoreBob ZawalichComposing ToolsMore info
Export MIDI or Audio with Standardized SettingsKenneth GawBatch Processing
Filter Slurred Notes - SimpleBob ZawalichFilter and Find
Filter Stem DirectionBob ZawalichFilter and Find
Filter TextBob ZawalichFilter and Find
Find System ObjectsBob ZawalichSight-impairedMore info
Flip Tie SymbolsBob ZawalichEngravers' Tools
Format Tempo and Metronome Mark TextEd HirschmanTextMore info
Gap Before BarBob ZawalichLayoutMore info
Go to StaffBob ZawalichSight-impairedMore info
Go to Staff and BarBob ZawalichNavigation
Hide ArticulationsBob ZawalichNotes and RestsMore info
Hide Staves and MusicBob ZawalichLayout
Import and Export Mixer SettingsKenneth GawComposing ToolsMore info
Initial Key Signatures and ClefsBob ZawalichSight-impairedMore info
Map PagesBob ZawalichLayout
Negative Bar Number ChangeBob ZawalichText
Paste Rhythm to PitchesKenneth GawNotes and RestsMore info
Plug-in SetBob ZawalichSight-impaired
Position Rehearsal MarksBob ZawalichTextMore info
Swap or Replace Text StylesBob ZawalichTextMore info
There It Is!Bob ZawalichSight-impaired
Tidy ScoreKenneth GawLayout


  1. Simon Hale

    Thanks Bob. I just want to say a massive thank you to you and the other plug-in authors for all that you do. The plug-ins you write save many hours of time and for me make ‘simple’ tasks exactly what they should be.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Dave Metzger

    I wholeheartedly agree with Simon – thanks to all of you (and personally to Bob) for all of the incredible plug-ins that you’ve created. They’ve made my life immensely easier!

  3. Bob Zawalich

    Thanks Philip, for letting me publish on your blog, and for tidying up my chart, alphabetizing it, and providing all the links. It is much nicer now!

    I have updated my alphabetical list of downloadable plugins to cover plugin published up until today. You can find it at:


  4. Tiago

    My two favorite in this list are Position Rehearsal Marks and Paste Rhythm to pitches. Tremendous time-savers ! Thanks a lot guys.

  5. Dr. Dave Walker

    Thank you so much Bob, Ed, and Kenneth as well as anyone else who has written or will write such great plug-ins! Extending the usefulness of Sibelius is a great service to all of us who use it, and your generosity of spirit is an inspiration to all of us living in an over-corporatized world. And thank you to Philip for a consistently interesting and valuable blog that many of us have come to rely on.

    Best wishes for 2015 and beyond!

  6. Dr Al Bertrand

    Thanks so much Bob,Ed and Kenneth.
    You guys are geniuses!! Sibelius wouldn’t be near of what it is today without your contributions.
    Philip, a million thanks to you too. We totally rely on this great blog.
    Al the best for this new 2015!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Dr. Al: So glad you enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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