Sibelius plug-ins to help with proof-reading


While no substitute for a thorough review of your score and parts, here are a few plug-ins that can find and resolve some common errors particular to scores prepared in Sibelius.

1. The Find Irregular and Misfilled Bars plug-in by Bob Zawalich will locate instances where, for example, the time signature is 3/4 but there are 4 beats in the bar (this can happen if you delete a time signature without re-writing the bars). It will also locate misfilled (or, as I think of them, “misfit” bars) where rests have been completely deleted, leaving a gap in the bar where there should not be one.

2. Check Redundancies by Roman Molino Dunn ships with Sibelius and is located by default at Review > Plug-ins > Proof-reading. I always run it right after running Find Irregular and Misfilled Bars, because it will find any instance where there is an unnecessary time signature. Once in a rehearsal I heard a conductor ask to “start at the 4/4 bar … uh, that is, the second 4/4 bar” and, sure enough, it was a piece prepared in Sibelius. This happens especially when copying entire systems. The plug-in will also locate redundant clefs, key signatures, instrument changes, and rehearsal marks.

Check Redundancies

3. Check Pizzicatos is also included with Sibelius, located in the same place as Check Redundancies. It will write a warning in the score where an “arco” or “pizz.” marking appears to be redundant or missing. You still have to go through the score and decide whether each individual item needs to be corrected.

4. Replace Rests With Bar Rests by Bob Zawalich will find all instances where a bar may have no notes in it, but still has lingering rests (possible if there was an incomplete deletion of a bar, or if someone used a whole note rest as an ill-advised substitute for a bar rest). Options include leaving alone bars of small duration (for example, if you want to show a dotted quarter rest in a 3/8 bar). More on related plug-ins in an earlier post on this blog.

5. Finally, Roman Molino Dunn’s handy Locate Slurs Ending On Ties is a must-have when you have to work on a score where the slurs do not extend all the way to the end of a tied note. Roman charges $13 for this plug-in (it’s also available bundled with other plug-ins), and it’s well worth it if you often work with scores sent to you from other people. Look at this screen capture from a recent project we did. 701 slurs found and corrected!

Locate Slurs Ending On Ties

What are your favorite proof-reading plug-ins or techniques?


  1. Ed Hirschman

    Just used “Find Irregular and Misfilled Bars” for the first time. Thanks Bob for making this, big time saver!

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