Open a new window


While working on your scores, especially on a laptop screen, it may seem like you’re walking a tightrope between available screen space and productivity. Sometimes, though, you might have the opposite problem if working on a large screen: too much space, or rather, wasted space.

Like most everyone on the block, you might assume you can only have one window per file open at a time. Here’s a slightly unconventional idea: open a new window for the same score. Never been tried before? Sibelius, Finale, and MuseScore all support it.

For instance, you might be doing fine editing in close-up view in one window, while keeping the other open to a full page view to see any edits applied in context. Or, you might want to copy and paste sections from one part of a score to another, or simply compare similar sections, without having to scroll back and forth in the same window.




Notice how in both Sibelius and Finale, the second window’s title has the suffix “2” to indicate that the second window belongs to the same score as the first window. Also notice how one window can be in scroll view (or “Panorama” in Sibelius) while the other one is in page view, and how the music can have different zoom levels in each.

MuseScore does things a little differently, opening a new view within the same application window, but the concept is the same (although you can’t view the same score in Page View in one view and Continuous View for the other — whichever view you select applies to both).

You’ll be smiling and dancing to a new rhythm when you use this feature to view the score and parts at the same time, in the case of files with Sibelius’s Dynamic Parts, Finale’s Linked Parts, or MuseScore’s dynamically linked parts.

Sibelius, Finale, and MuseScore all have features that allow for significant cosmetic differences between the score and a part while maintaining integrity in the music. Basically, positioning and layout can be different between a score and part, but if music or other items are added or deleted from one, the same is done in the other.

If the nuances of linked parts are bedeviling you, don’t worry — you’re not a dull fellow. Just open a new window and see the differences for yourself in real time.




In Sibelius

To open a new window in Sibelius 7 and higher, go to View > Window > New Window. This will open a duplicate of the existing window. If you have more than one tab open, this will open a duplicate window of the existing tab.

Speaking of tabs, in Sibelius 7, you also have the additional feature of having multiple tabs open within one window, just like any modern web browser. Just click on the + button near the right edge of the document tab bar to open the score or any part that isn’t already open in a new tab. You can also open a new window using this button as well, by selecting New Window at the end of the drop-down list that appears. If you find the + hard to aim for, don’t worry; you can access this same drop-down list by right-clicking (or Control-clicking on Mac) anywhere on the document tab bar.


What’s more, you can tear off any tab and make it into its own window. Simply click and hold on any tab and drag it a little ways up or down. You’ll see a Sibelius icon appear. Release the mouse to create the new window.


To tile the windows so that they fit side-by-side on a widescreen monitor, go to View > Window > Tile Vertically.


In Finale

Finale doesn’t have the tab feature, but most everything else works similarly. Opening a new window is done in Window > New Window. In any window, you can go to the Document menu and choose Edit Score or Edit Part to choose from the list of parts in your file.


Finale has a Tile Windows function in the Window menu, but it tiles the windows horizontally, which may not be want you want. To tile the windows vertically on a PC, you can use the Snap Assist feature. On Mac OS X El Capitan, you can use the new Split View feature, or on earlier OSs you can use a third party utility like Moom, which offers many options for re-sizing windows.


In MuseScore

As mentioned above, things are a little different in MuseScore, where it opens a new view within the same application window. This makes it less convenient if you have multiple monitors, but otherwise the concept is similar.

Just go to View > Documents Side by Side and MuseScore will open a second view of your document. This works for the same document and different documents. It also works for viewing the score and a part in the same file at the same time — just click the tab that corresponds to the score or part you wish to view.


Now that you can open a new window, go ahead and celebrate, but remember (with apologies to Mame), “there’s only one way to make the bubbles stay. Toast with a new vintage, and open a new window ev’ry day!”


  1. Douwe Eisenga

    Thanks Philip.
    I didn’t knew this, even after all these years with Sib. This is very, very usefull!
    Regards, Douwe

  2. Dave Walker

    Great tip! So useful. Thanks so much for sharing this one Philip!

  3. Bob Zawalich

    Excellent, Philip! I have used multiple windows before but it never really occurred to me to have the other window(s) be in a different zoom or orientation. It is quite useful to be able to have a place to copy from and copy to, but also being able to have a larger view so you get a more global sense while working in the details is very nice!

  4. Laurence Payne

    In Sibelius, at any rate, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover you can copy/paste user-created objects – Lines, Symbols, even an Instrument Change to a customised Instrument (copy the upright greyed-out rectangle that denotes the Instrument Change) between two open scores. This is much more specific than Exporting and Importing a House Style, and is, AFAIK, the only way of bringing several customised objects, from several source scores, into one target score.

    1. Nikola Kołodziejczyk

      Whoa Mr Payne, that is very, VERY important piece of advice, thank You for sharing!

  5. Philip Rothman

    Happy to hear everyone is finding this useful! I should have mentioned that I was using this feature when I wrote about Duet, which turns your iPad into a second computer display.

  6. Alberto Buffolano

    Very useful tip, Maestro. I do also use multiple windows and it really increases the speed of the workflow in the engraving phase of the job. That should be amazing on a 21:9 monitor! I suggest to have a look at “SizeUp” by Irradiated Software too, that is a light and well engineered software for windows managing.

  7. Jorge Grundman

    Don’t forget to press Ctrl+U to show the window in Full Screen without title bar. Usually this shortcut is unknown

  8. Jonathan Klizas

    Here is another way to view multiple windows in El Capitan (Mac OS X 10.11.3). You can have as many as 16 desktops, called Spaces, with El Capitan. You simply navigate from one to the next either by control + left or right arrow, or by invoking Mission Control by using control + up arrow (other shortcuts exist, too). I currently have three full screen views of a Sib 7.5 score in three different spaces on a 15″ MacBook Pro. I just started using this method after reading the above article since I was not aware of the new window feature. I am guessing I can have up to 16 views of the current score? Overkill, for sure, but useful if using a few windows. I find if you open another app in one of the occupied spaces, all the open Sib windows retreat to the original Space. These windows can very easily be dropped into different Spaces if needed. So far, I am liking this a lot. Playback is synched in all windows. Thanks for this great new window tip.

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