Here’s a quick tip that could speed up your use of Sibelius. The program provides a number of ways of moving objects in the score, including:
- Dragging them with the mouse
- Nudging them with the arrow keys
- Nudging them by changing the values of X and Y in the General panel of Properties.
Naturally, you can also change the default positions of all kinds of objects using the options in House Style > Default Positions, which will often help eliminate the need to move objects at all, and you can reset them to their default positions using Layout > Reset Position.
When you drag an object with the mouse, you can hold down a modifier key to change the behaviour of the object’s movement, as follows:
- Hold Alt to move the object without changing its attachment. This is useful when you want to position it unusually far from its normal position.
- Hold Shift to move the object while constraining its movement horizontally or vertically (depending on the direction in which you drag it). This is handy if you have got things nicely aligned, but need to move an object either horizontally or vertically without upsetting the alignment with other objects.
- Hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) to disable Magnetic Layout while the object moves. Doing this allows you to move an object with it following the mouse exactly, rather than it dodging out of the way of other, higher-priority objects as it moves.
If you’re moving the object with the mouse, be sure to click and start dragging before you add the modifier key (because each of the modifier keys is mapped to do something else when you’re not dragging an object).
These modifier keys only work in Sibelius 6, so if you’ve got an earlier version, now might be a good time to consider upgrading.