Reset text font to defaults while typing in Sibelius


Looking to take control of text fonts while inputting them in Sibelius? Here are a few pointers.

To add a dynamic while a note is selected is simple enough. Type Ctrl+E (PC) or Command-E (Mac), and then keep Ctrl or Command held down while you type the dynamic, e.g. mp:text1
If you want to add some expressive text to that marking, release Ctrl or Command and type your text, e.g. molto espr.:text2
That's all well and good. But say you've only typed mp and escaped out of the text editing mode, only to realize that you want to add that expressive text after all. You select your dynamic:text3
and hit Return to start typing (or just double-click the dynamic), only to wind up with some undesirable text:text4
That's because Sibelius isn't quite intelligent enough to reset the text font on its own, the same way it does when you type everything in one go. You might resign yourself to deleting the dynamic, and starting over, but that's not necessary.
Once you've got the cursor flashing:text1
Type the shortcut Ctrl+Alt-Space (PC) or Control-Option-Command-Space (Mac) to reset the text style's font to its default, and then type your expressive text. All will look normal:text2
One final tip. If you've already typed out the weird-looking text, that's OK. Simply highlight it while leaving the dynamic un-highlighted:text5
and go to Text > Format. Next to the lower-case "a" (the Character Style symbol), choose None from the drop-down menu (instead of Music text). That will reset your text nicely indeed:text6


  1. Neil Sands

    There’s a little gotcha in here, at least in Windows: if you want to type in something like ‘sfz’, then with the ctrl key down if you type in S then F then Z, you’ll produce a good s, a good f and then inadvertently undo them with the Z, because ctrl Z is undo. So for Z only, you need ctrl-alt-shift Z.

  2. Ron Puente

    Yet – more useful information!! Thanks for sharing. Any classes near NYC in the future?

  3. Dave P-B

    What a fantastic tip Philip. Oh the wasted hours…


    1. Philip Rothman

      Neil: Thanks! Yes, it’s similar on Mac: Command-Option-Shift-Z.

      Ron: Glad it was useful! No classes scheduled in NYC for now, unfortunately; too many other things going on. But if and when they resume, I’ll announce them here for sure.

      Dave: Don’t think of the hours as wasted, think of them as learning opportunities :-)

  4. vincent ollier

    Super astuce. Toutefois, le raccourci (Control-Option-Space) ouvre une fenêtre Spotlight sur OSX. Pour éviter ce désagrément il faut le désactiver dans les préférences système.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Vincent: Thanks for mentioning that. The shortcut to disable is “Toggle through all enabled input sources”.

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