How to enlarge symbols in Sibelius


If you need to make a symbol larger without affecting the size of the rest of the music, how do you do it? The answer lies in the House Style > Edit Symbols dialog. In the picture above, the comma symbol often used as a breath mark is shown in four sizes. Here’s how to do it.

First, choose House Style > Edit Symbols and find the symbol you want to enlarge. The comma is on the third row labeled Articulation, about a fifth of the way down the list:

Select it and click Edit. In the Edit Symbol dialog that appears, check what it says under both Music font and Number:

Music font doesn’t in fact refer directly to a font, but rather to a text style which defines the font from which the symbol is taken. Number refers to the character number of the glyph in question from the font defined by the text style. Click Cancel or OK to close this dialog.

In order to make the symbol larger, you must define a new text style with the necessary font set to a larger point size. Click the Music Fonts button, and select the text style upon which you want to base your new text style: in the case of the comma symbol, it’s Common symbols. Click New.

Choose a new name – in the picture above I’ve gone for Common symbols (larger) – and set the options under Size to a larger size, then click OK.

Now scroll to the bottom of the list of symbols, to the row of empty slots labeled User-defined. Select the first empty slot in the row and click Edit. In the dialog that appears, choose your new text style from the Music font drop-down, type the appropriate glyph number into the Number control, and if you like give your new symbol a name:

Finally, click OK to confirm these changes, and then Close to close the Edit Symbols dialog. Your new larger symbol is now available for creation in your score at the bottom of the Create > Symbol dialog, and you can take this symbol into other scores, either by exporting the house style from this score and importing it into others, or simply by copying and pasting the symbol from this score to another.


  1. John Hinchey

    Another tip for saving new symbols is to ‘capture’ the measure with the symbol as an idea and then save it to your main idea library. It will then be easy to find and copy and paste into any score you are working on. The symbol and custom music font will be automatically added to the score you working on.

  2. Bob Zawalich

    Thanks for this, Daniel. I’ve had to explain this procedure to people, and it will be good to be able to point them here to your clear explanation.

  3. Michael Keefe

    Another perspective on this – since the comma is text, one can go to text, edit text styles, scroll down to plain text, click on create new text style, adjust the font size to 20-22 (at 22, singers really tend to start noticing these), and save as Luft. It will appear in the general section of the text options. remember to save this as part of a House Style by going to Appearance, export House Style, then enter a name for the Style.

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