One of the hidden gems amongst the many hundreds of time-saving features in Sibelius is multicopy. Simply put, multicopy allows you to take any selection – whether it’s a passage of notes, or a dynamic mark, or a selection of chord symbols – and quickly copy it to many staves, either once or multiple times, vertically or horizontally.
Multicopy is really simple to use: in fact, it uses the normal keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste, so you already know how to use it! Read on for some examples.
In scores for large ensembles it can be time-consuming to add dynamics to multiple staves if you do it one by one. When you have a concerted entry with several instruments beginning a phrase at a new dynamics, for example, try this:
- Add the dynamic on one staff: e.g. choose Create > Text > Expression, then hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) and type m followed by f, for the correct bold italic mf dynamic), then hit Esc to stop editing text
- type Ctrl+C or Command–C to copy the dynamic to the clipboard
- Now select the range of staves on which you want the dynamic to appear, so that they are surrounded by a light blue box.
- Finally, type Ctrl+V or Command–V to paste the dynamic across all the selected staves
You can do this with a multiple selection of dynamics, too. For example, if you have a text dynamic followed by a hairpin, select both items using Ctrl+click or Command-click, or using the Edit > Filter > Dynamics quick filter, then copy to the clipboard, select the destination staves, and paste to create multiple copies.
You can also make multiple copies of passages of notes. For example, imagine you want to have four trumpet staves playing in unison for a few bars. Try this:
- Input the notes on one staff.
- Select the notes as a passage using Shift-click, so that the bars are surrounded by a light blue box
- Copy to the clipboard with Ctrl+C or Command–C.
- Select the first bar in the other three trumpet staves.
- Finally, type Ctrl+V or Command–V to paste the music to the other three staves.
Another cool trick to extend this is to select a longer passage of music. If, for example, you have an eight-bar phrase copied to the clipboard but you select a passage of e.g. 32 bars, and then use Ctrl+V or Command–V to paste, you’ll get four copies of the music, one after the other.
Multicopy also works with other kinds of text and other objects. Imagine you wanted to copy a set of chord symbols from one staff in your full score to a bunch of other staves such that they would appear in the parts, but not on those staves in the full score. With multicopy, it’s easy:
- Triple-click the staff with the source chord symbols on it, to select it throughout the score.
- Choose Edit > Filter > Chord Symbols to select only the chord symbols on that staff.
- Copy them to the clipboard with Ctrl+C or Command–C.
- Now select the first bar in the destination staves on which you want the chord symbols to appear.
- Type Ctrl+V or Command–V to paste the chord symbols to all of the destination staves in one operation.
- Without changing the selection, choose Edit > Hide or Show > Show in Parts, which will hide them in the full score and show them in the parts.
There are plenty of other uses for multicopy. Why not share any of your favourites in the comments?