PDFwriter for Mac can make PDFs using Sibelius’s Print options


Update, April 2017: PDFWriter might not work on newer Mac operating systems. Instead, try RWTS-PDFwriter. RWTS-PDFwriter is closely based on Lisanet PDFwriter, but avoids the sandboxing restrictions on print drivers introduced in El Capitan, and also provides automatic configuration of the printer driver to simplify installation.

pdf-aAbout a year ago I posted a tutorial describing how to create 2-up PDFs in Sibelius 7 with the help of Create Booklet on a Mac. This was necessary because it is not possible to print to a PDF in Sibelius 7 or 7.5 using the OS dialog in the same way one was able to in earlier versions.

Last week, however, Minnesota-based composer and educator James DeCaro posted a comment that described a solution to this problem: PDFwriter for Mac, which can be downloaded for free from the SourceForge site.

As described, “PDFwriter is a printer driver for Mac OS X, which will let you generate PDF files by simply printing. PDFwriter is heavily based on CUPS-PDF. It doesn’t use ghostscript to generate PDF files, instead it uses the Mac OS X internal pdf capabilities.”

Installing PDFwriter is simple. After double-clicking the installer and installing PDFwriter, you can add it to the list of your available printers by opening System Preferences on your Mac, selecting Printers & Scanners, and clicking the + button. PDFwriter will appear in your list of available printers. Click Add, and henceforth PDFwriter will be available to you as a virtual printer.

printers2To make PDFs in Sibelius using PDFwriter, it’s as simple as selecting PDFwriter from the Printer list. You can then select “2 Pages Per Sheet” or whatever other custom options you like. As James rightly pointed out in his comment: “Another advantage to this method is that it retains the number of copies of each part, so if I combine all of the created PDFs into one file, I can simply print that one file and obtain a full set of parts.”


PDFwriter places its output in Macintosh HD/Users/Shared/PDFwriter, so if you plan on using this method a lot, you might consider making an alias of that folder and placing it somewhere on your desktop or another place where you can easily access it.

Again, you can download PDFwriter from SourceForge. Thanks, James, for this great tip!


  1. Ron Puente

    Thanks, Philip.


  2. Krista Seddon

    I just upgraded my Macbook to osx 10.9 and it is not recognizing my midi interface (for input from piano keyboard. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks

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