Swap the contents of two staves in Sibelius or Finale


Say you have music that you literally wish to swap between two different staves — a common task whether you use Sibelius or Finale. Sure, you could copy music from Staff 1 to the clipboard, select the music in Staff 2, option (alt)-click it into Staff 1, select Staff 2 again, and paste in the music from the clipboard.

But why not do it all in one step?

That’s where a plug-in comes in handy. Sibelius users should check out Bob Zawalich’s Exchange Staff Contents. It literally swaps the contents of two selected staves. If two staves are selected, they will be swapped. If more than two staves are selected, the top and bottom staves are swapped, like so:


Run Exchange Staff Contents:

exchange2And get this result:


Recently, Finale plug-in developer Jari Williamsson added the same feature to v.1.07 of his plug-in suite JW Staff Polyphony. It works the same way. Start with this:


Run JW Staff Polyphony and choose Swap:

exchange5And get this result:


Exchange Staff Contents for Sibelius may be downloaded directly through Sibelius 7 at File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins > Other. Users may also install it manually in Sibelius 6 or 7 by visiting the plug-in download page and following the usual manual installation procedure.

JW Staff Polyphony for Finale 2010 and later versions may be downloaded by visiting the Mac or Windows plug-in pages. These pages also contain instructions for installing the plug-in for use in Finale.

To see a video of Exchange Staff Contents in action, watch our tutorial.


  1. John Hinchey

    One of my favorite and often used Sibelius plugins! I have it on a keyboard short cut!

  2. Bob

    I “literally” wish? What if I want to figuratively swap it?

    Still, good info!

    1. Philip Rothman

      OK, I suppose “wish to literally swap” would have been more correct… for our next feature, we will cover figuratively bass chords.

  3. Ed Hirschman

    Bob’s Exchange Staff Contents plug-in is extremely useful!

  4. John Link

    How does one install the plugin? I clicked on the link above which took me to another page on which there was link to download ExchangeStaffContents.zip, but the the file downloaded was ExchangeStaffContents.plg.

  5. John Link

    To be clear, I’m interested in Bob Zawalich’s plugin for Sibelius.

    1. Philip Rothman

      John – downloading and installation instructions are in the post starting with “Exchange Staff Contents for Sibelius may be downloaded…” If you’re on Sibelius 6, follow the link that says “usual manual installation procedure.”

  6. John Link

    Thank you. Now on that page I see the link to the installation instructions.

  7. Jared Haschek

    Well, it’s 2022 and this post saved me some time this morning! Thanks guys. Of course, Dorico does it natively… ;-)

    1. Philip Rothman

      It’s never too late!

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