Restore the link in File Info fields between score and parts in Sibelius

Tips

In Sibelius, when working in a file with a score and parts, you might find yourself in a situation which can cause a whale of a problem. You’re working on a project that uses wildcards for things like the title, subtitle, composer, and other global elements. (You are using wildcards, right?)

It’s late in the process and you’re nearly done formatting your parts. Let’s say you’re working on the viola part…

…and it’s using the \$TITLE\ wildcard…

…and you have the amazing idea at that very moment to change the title of your composition. So you dutifully head over to File > Info, and change it to something else:

Brilliant!

Of course, you think, because you’re using powerful wildcards, that change will be made everywhere else. Because who would want a different title for their viola part and not the rest of the parts and the score? Right? … Right?

Wrong.

The problem

It turns out that wildcard changes made in File > Info in a part only affect that part. If you wish to make a change to the wildcard for all the parts and the score, you need to do it while the full score is selected in File > Info.

OK, you think. Let’s go the full score. While you’re there you have the incredible idea to change the title again.

Yes, that’s it! And sure enough, you begin flipping through the parts, and everything looks good. Your change to the wildcard in the score has propagated nicely to the parts…

…until you get to the violas:

What?

It turns out that the change you made earlier to the wildcard in the viola part has broken the “link” between the part in the score.

If that seems wrong to you, you can think of it as the same idea that, if you change the position of a dynamic in a particular part, no amount of moving it in the score will change its position in that part. It may not seem entirely logical, but that’s the way it is.

The problem is — or at least it was until recently — that once you changed a wildcard in a part, the link was permanently broken. There was absolutely no way of restoring that link unless you deleted and re-created the entire part. This caused real problems especially if you used this file as a template and needed to remember to individually update the broken parts every time — precisely the opposite purpose of using a tool like a wildcard, which is intended to help automate your work.

The solution

Thankfully, in a little-heralded update to Sibelius 2020.6, this was finally improved. We devoted a paragraph to it in our review at the time, but you’d be forgiven if you missed it.

The solution, if you’re using that version of Sibelius or any later version, is to go into File > Info for the affected part, and completely delete the text in the wildcard field.

Whereas before Sibelius 2020.6 this would have left you with an empty field, now by doing this it will have the effect of restoring the link to whatever is entered in that field for the score. You can confirm this by switching out of the File tab and then back into it, to see the link restored.

There’s a plug-in for that

The above solution is surely helpful to know, and, until April 2024, was the only remedy to the problem.

But what if, like in this file, you have 30 parts, and you’ve somehow managed to unlink all the fields in every part? You would need to cycle through every part, and every field, performing potentially hundreds of deletions manually. Doing them one at a time would just be a drop in a huge ocean!

Our captain of the seas, Bob Zawalich, has come to the rescue and created a plug-in to right the ship. His latest creation, Relink Score Info In Dynamic Parts, can be found in File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins in the Text category, and downloaded straight to your computer to automate this tedious task.

Once you’ve installed it in the usual manner, simply fire up the plug-in (you can run it from Command Search):

As usual, Bob has thoughtfully given the user some helpful options. To relink all to the values to those in the Score, you’ll want to click All. In the event you want to keep certain fields unlinked, you can choose to reset only some of the fields by Ctrl- or Cmd-clicking them.

Further, if you’re viewing a particular part, you can click Relink current dynamic part only to operate only on that part; other parts will be unaffected. If you’re viewing the full score or a score subset, this option will be greyed out and all parts will be processed once you click OK.

Now that everything is going swimmingly again, you can get on with the business of finishing your composition knowing that the global information is fully and correctly intact. Safe at last!

Comments

  1. Bob Zawalich

    Great explanation, Philip! Thanks. I had forgotten about that feature too, but you showed exactly why it is a valuable fix.

    I wrote a Scoring Notes post a while ago talking about breaking links between score and parts. We should update that to include this information.

    1. Philip Rothman

      1. Tiago

        Deleting the part name in part’s info field doesn’t restore the link for me (2020.12). It does work for title and composers tho.

  2. Engela

    Thank you for bring my attention to this. BTW I just love your subtitle!!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Engela! :-)

  3. Jason Loffredo

    Ha! Just came across this EXACT problem today. Perfect solution. Thanks!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Happy to help!

  4. Laurent Levesque

    Thnaks for mentioning that Philip and a huge thanks to Bob for its valuable help, I was getting crazy about these problems that occurred while I was sending parts (!)

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