Adding extra lines of lyrics

Think of your singers before you decide to do this!

Continuing a series of posts about lyrics in Sibelius, today we’re going to talk about adding extra lines of lyrics. Each line of lyrics uses its own text style. This has lots of advantages, such as allowing you to change the font or point size in one operation, making it easy to select all the lyrics in a particular line by filtering for that text style, and so on. But there are only text styles for five lines of lyrics set up by default.

In most situations, if you have more than five lines of lyrics, you should probably consider putting the lyrics at the end of the score in a separate block rather than putting them under the notes, but if you’re determined to give your singers eye-strain, you can of course add extra lines of lyrics, like this:

  • Choose House StyleEdit Text Styles
  • Select Lyrics line 5 from the list of text styles, and click New
  • When asked if you’re sure you want to create a new text style on this, click Yes
  • In the dialog that appears, on the General page, change the name to Lyrics line 6 and click OK, then Close
  • Now choose House StyleDefault Positions
  • With the Text styles radio button selected at the top left of the dialog, choose the new Lyrics line 6 text style from the list on the left-hand side.
  • In the Creating with keyboard group of options, change Vertical position relative to staff from 14 spaces to 16.5 spaces. (Each line of lyrics should be 2.5 spaces below the last by default.)
  • Click OK.

Now you can create your sixth line of lyrics by choosing Create > Text LyricsLyrics line 6.

But do consider whether you really need more than five lines of lyrics under the notes. There’s normally a better, easier to read way to present the music and lyrics.

One final tip: if you want to add nicely-aligned verse numbers to the start of each verse of lyrics in a single step, use Plug-ins > Text > Add Verse Numbers.


  1. Jorge Pires

    Good morning.
    I’m trying to do the same thing in Sibelius 7 but I’m not getting there.
    What are the procedures to do the same thing in sibelius 7?
    Thank you for your attention.

    1. Philip Rothman

      In Sibelius 7, go to Text > Styles and click the little downwards right-pointing arrow. This will open up the Edit Text Styles dialog. Follow the instructions from there.

      Be aware:

      • System Object Positions is now in the Appearance tab.
      • Once you have created this new style, to input into your 6th line of lyrics, go to Text > Lyrics > Lyrics and choose that new style from drop-down.
  2. Jorge Pires

    Got it.

    Thank you.

  3. Corey

    THANK YOU!!! Great advice. Worked like a charm!

  4. Gayle@Dickie

    Great information. The chorus is the part of the song that repeats without changing: both the lyrics and melody are unchanged or nearly unchanged. This is usually where you try to fit the catchiest part of your song (usually called the hook).

  5. Jo Anna Gogl

    When I go to Text – Styles there is no place for me to click to get to edit text styles; there is no little downward/right facing arrow to click on. This is in Sibelius 7 and I checked to make sure my version is updated. What am I missing?

  6. joi

    In Sibelius 7, I can only write 5 lines of lyrics- how do I add a 6th lyric line?

  7. David Crofts

    Is there a way to stop Sibelius having lyrics colliding with barlines? It seems to happen regularly and is very annoying!

  8. Wim

    When I try to adjust the ‘Vertical Alignment’, this is not possible. All radio-buttons are grayed out same as the fields right of it. Nothing changes when I check/uncheck the ‘Specify vertical alignment’.

    (PS I think the redirect of the old sibeliusblog website is not working, it redirects to itself, getting on this page from the helpcenter, was not straightforward)

    1. Wim

      The align to staff option seems to be missing

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