Sibelius plug-in: Position Rehearsal Marks


Bob Zawalich has written a number of new plug-ins in the last couple of months, many of which he has chronicled in his developer’s notebook posted last week. Among his latest creations is Position Rehearsal Marks, which is designed to center rehearsal marks at the start of a system horizontally over the clef.

For example, look at the part displayed below. By default, Sibelius’s Magnetic Layout feature strangely positions the rehearsal marks way too far to the right (to avoid the chords). Even if that wasn’t happening, the best we could hope for would be a rehearsal mark that appeared after the clef and key signature:

A part, before running Position Rehearsal Marks
A part, before running Position Rehearsal Marks

In many editions, especially in jazz and commercial music, it is customary for the rehearsal mark to be aligned with the left barline. (This is something that is easily achieved in Finale, by setting an expression’s justification to “Center” and its horizontal alignment to “Left Barline.”) However, Sibelius doesn’t allow this, as Bob explains in this helpful document. However, his plug-in can approximate the effect. It’s worth reading his explanatory document should you need to tinker with the settings to fine-tune your results.

Still, even by simply running the plug-in with its default settings, much more desirable results are easily achieved:

A part, after running Position Rehearsal Marks
A part, after running Position Rehearsal Marks

Position Rehearsal Marks may be downloaded directly through Sibelius 7 or 7.5 at File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins > Text. Users may also install it manually in Sibelius 6, 7 or 7.5 by visiting the plug-in download page and following the usual manual installation procedure, or by using the Install New Plug-in plug-in.


  1. Kelly Fenton

    The positioning of rehearsal marks has long been a pet peeve of mine with Sibelius, especially when there are chords present as in your example. I will definitely be utilizing this plug-in! Thanks, Bob, for the plug-in and thanks Philip for letting us know about it!

  2. Derek Williams

    This is very useful, and a further example of a plugin being needed to fix a misfeature, or provide an essential feature that should in the mainline code of the application.

    Thank you Bob!

  3. Bob

    +1 re: both Kelly’s and Derek’s remarks

    Thanks, Bob!

  4. Charles

    Thank you, Bob! This will really help with my charts.

  5. carl barnett

    As somebody who used to do a lot of handcopying the inability to move RMs except individually was very frustrating. This will save a lot of time and look neater. Thanks

  6. Steve Aho

    Thank you for making this very useful plugin!

    It works great on rehearsal marks that were created using the command-R. However, the majority of album projects I work on need custom rehearsal marks (V1, Ch1, Bridge) rather than the default styles (A, B, C) that Sibelius offers. For that purpose I have created a text style based on rehearsal marks, but it does NOT seem to work (and be repositioned) with this plugin. Any tips?

    1. bob zawalich

      The plugin is designed to pick up Rehearsal Mark objects and also text objects that use the Rehearsal Marks text style, or any text style derived from Rehearsal Marks. It will only move text or Rm’s that are in the first bar in a system, and for text you should attach the text to the first beat in a bar before running the plugin.

      1. Steve Aho

        Thanks for the update!

  7. Pascal Hahn

    Hey Everyone!
    Since I have updatet to the latest Sibelius Version (Sibelius Ultimate 2022.12) I have troubles with the “Posittion Rehearsal Marks” Plugin. A message opens up and says:

    Text/PositionRehearsalMarks:::GetOffset:37:Score.NthStaff – Parameter out of range

    Does anyone has an advice or knows how to fix it?
    Thanks in advance


    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Pascal,

      I haven’t had this problem. I’ll write to you separately to see if you can send me a file that exhibits this problem.

    2. Pascal

      A little update to my problem: Luckily I could solve it with a reinstallation of Sibelius. Now it works as good as with the versions before.
      Thanks for your fast reply, Philip!

      1. JM

        I had this plugin working for a few days but then ran into the same error message as Pascal. Unfortunately in my case reinstalling Sibelius didn’t fix the problem, nor did reinstalling the plugin. I get four or five different error messages and then Sibelius crashes. Like Pascal I am on Ultimate 2022:12.

        Any ideas for a fix or workaround? I’m currently back to moving all my rehearsal marks manually, like th ebad old days.

        1. Pascal

          Hi JM,

          yes, I found out how to fix it (reinstalling actually wasn’t the answer)!.
          I guess it has something to do with the new feature to create many parts. I can’t explain you why (yet), but sibelius creates empty voices without me doing anything. Because they are empty the plugin doesn’t work correctly. The solution is to delete the empty voices.
          Therefore you go to:
          VOICES-Tab – DELETE – and then mark all the empty voices. This can be a little bit tricky because you sometimes don’t see them (when they are below the last instrument in your score).

          I hope this helps you. If you have further questions let me know!

          1. Philip Rothman

            Thank you for reporting this issue! Yes, I believe the developers are aware of this. Just to be clear – I think it may be the way it is translated – it’s not “voices” but “Parts” that Pascal is referring to.

          2. JM

            Thank you Pascal and Philip for your help and advice. Like Pascal I am getting empty parts, but not all the time. Deleting them helps but the plugin is still unpredictable on my system. It usually won’t work on the full score. It usually does work on individual parts, but even then I sometimes have to run it several times before anything moves. If I try it on the full score I invariably get an error message popping up, sometimes repeatedly, and sometimes leading to Sibelius crashing. I’ve re-installed the plugin several times, and also tried deleting my plugin folder and making a new one. Same result. Any other ideas about how to fix things would be most welcome.

          3. Philip Rothman

            I think the problems all stem from this bug in 2022.12 which left behind empty parts when deleting instruments, and not a problem with the Rehearsal Marks plug-in. Hopefully when the next update to Sibelius is released, this issue will be solved.

  8. JM

    Thanks for this much-needed plugin Mr Zawalich. I can get it to work in the standard way but I actually prefer to align the right edge of the RMs with the left edge of the stave in parts, so they’re “in the clear” – easier to see and less collision issues. I’ve tried adding offsets in the “extra spaces to shift left or right” but adding negative values moves the RMs to the right instead of the left. Adding positive values also moves them to the right. Am I missing something? I don’t get why Sibelius still doesn’t make RMs easily editable but if I can at least get close to what I want with your plugin it would save me hours. Thanks.

    1. Bob Zawalich

      For me, adding positive values moves objects to the right and negative values move to the left, just as the Inspector’s X values work. Be sure nothing is blocking the RM from moving as far as it wants to go. I see no evidence of the +/- values working incorrectly on my machine.

  9. Pascal Hahn

    Yes, thank you Philipp for clarifying. It was just a wrong translation in my head. I ment Parts!

  10. Bob Zawalich

    As of Sibelius Ultimate 2022.12, you can get empty parts if you have deleted any instruments in the score. Look at the + list of parts and if there are gaps the problem is present. You will notice that in such a case the parts are also out of order.

    If you run Position Rehearsal Marks with such a score, and use one of the options that processes parts, you will see this problem. The plugin was not expecting valid scores (for which it checks) to have empty parts.

    You can remove empty parts manually, using Parts>Delete. As of Feb 10th, there is a new installable plugin, Delete Empty Parts, which will will remove all the errant empty parts.

    After deleting the empty parts Position Rehearsal Marks (and problaby some other plugins) should run successfully.

    I will likely also publish an update to Position Rehearsal Marks that will ignore empty parts without crashing, but the real fix for this is to delete the empty parts.

    1. JM

      Thank you Mr Zawalich for your detailed comments. Much appreciated.

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