New plug-in helps with cross-staff accidentals


Master plug-in developer Bob Zawalich has created another goodie to help with one of Sibelius’s nagging issues. It’s called Display Accidentals In Selected Notes and it may be downloaded directly through Sibelius 7 at File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins > Accidentals. Users may also install it manually in Sibelius 6 or 7 by visiting the plug-in download page and following the usual manual installation procedure.

If you ever work with cross-staff notation in Sibelius, like in piano music, you may have noticed that Sibelius behaves curiously when it comes to accidentals. Ordinarily in music like in this example, only accidentals on the first dyad in the left hand should show, but Sibelius stubbornly displays accidentals on each one instead.


If you try to make a multi-selection of accidentals by Command+clicking or Ctrl+clicking the accidentals and hiding them, the notes get hidden as well, so that’s no good. You can re-do the passage so that source music is in the bottom staff instead of the top staff, but you may have reasons why the source music needs to stay in the top staff (and you might have other problematic accidentals there as well).

The only other solution thus far has been to select each accidental one at a time and hide each one — a tedious process. But with Display Accidentals In Selected Notes, you can make a selection like this:


Then run the plugin with “Hide accidentals in selected notes” selected and “Change visible accidentals only (Sib 7 only)” unchecked:

cross-staff-3The result will look like this:


Of course, it would be better if Sibelius handled accidentals on cross-staff instruments correctly without the need for a plug-in, but until (or unless) this issue is addressed, we can be thankful that Bob has come up with another inventive solution!

Keep in mind that you can always see which plug-ins have been newly added or updated by looking at the right-hand column of every page of this blog under “Latest plug-in updates”.


  1. Peter Roos

    Cool – is it possible to respace the bar after this exercise? With most all flats gone it may look too wide.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Sibelius doesn’t appear to take the extraneous accidentals into account when calculating spacing, so re-spacing after hiding those accidentals doesn’t have any noticeable effect.

      1. Philip Rothman

        Bob has just updated the plug-in to re-space, and also fixed an issue that caused the plug-in to crash Sibelius under certain circumstances.

  2. oddy

    i already gave sibelius people my own numbered notation font, any chance bob will make numbered notation plugin ??

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *