A matter of status


Occupying a sliver of space at the bottom of your Sibelius window is the status bar. If you’ve never noticed it or have accorded it a (ahem) lowly status, it’s worth taking a look at what it can tell you. It’s quite useful.

A series of information readouts tells you some document-wide information such as the total number of pages and bars in a score. How many times have you scrolled to the end of a long document to find out those tidbits, when you could have just looked down?

If music is selected, the status bar gives you the location, range and timecode of the selection; useful if View > Invisibles > Bar Numbers is switched off and View > Panels > Transport isn’t showing.

Need to do some quick chord analysis? Just select a chord and Sibelius will analyze its harmony for you, via the status bar.

The status bar also gives you a description of the current operation (such as Edit Passage or Edit Text) and whether you’re in Transposing Score or not.


If you’re working with text, look to the status bar for a quick read on whether Layout > Magnetic Layout is on or off for the item you’ve selected, and to tell you the font and size of the text.


Ever wonder what notehead is being used for a particular note? The status bar tells you that too; helpful in a situation like this to figure out why no sound was coming from this staff (silent noteheads).


Over on the right-hand side, you’ll see a few options for quickly switching between various page views, Panorama, and zoom levels.



If you’re loading sounds from Sibelius’s own library or from another one, the status bar will give you a readout of Sibelius’s progress.


Now that you know about it, it’s time to confer a new status on this little-heralded Sibelius feature.


  1. Paolo

    Thank you for this overview, Phil. A question I would ask to the developers is: what if you do not need these information? Can you hide the status bar, and save space for one more staff?


    1. Philip Rothman

      I don’t think it’s possible to hide the status bar. It’s a good idea.

  2. Bob Zawalich

    Wow, I never know about the chord analysis stuff. I like it. I have often used the status bar to tell me the octave (and sometimes even the name) or notes with lots of ledger lines, but being able to name notes and give it a chord name on the fly is really very cool.

    The status bar will also tell you if Focus On Staves is on.

  3. Bob Zawalich

    It will tell you if a selected chord symbol is legacy or not as well, showing Edit Chord Symbol for Chord Symbol Objects and Edit Text for legacy chord symbols, which are Text objects.


    HI Bob, is there a Status Bar in Sibelius 6? I cannot seem to locate it.

    Many thanks Jeff

  5. David MacDonald

    I use this all the time to get a rough sense of the formal proportions of a piece I’m writing or that a student is showing me. Often, the amount of space on the page that a section takes up has nothing to do with how much clock time it takes, so being able to quickly find out where we are in time (even if it’s only loosely correlated to the time in a live performance) is invaluable.

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