Video tutorial: Improved text and typography in Sibelius 7


Yesterday I shared a handy tutorial by Philip Rothman of NYC Music Services concerning the Inspector in Sibelius 7, and as a follow-up, here’s another excellent video that Philip has put together concerning the improvements in text and typography features in Sibelius 7.

In just ten minutes, Philip walks you through many of the improvements to text handling in Sibelius 7. The text system in the program was completely overhauled, with a brand new OpenType-compatible rendering engine that produces very accurate metrics for on-screen display and printing that is (for the first time) as consistent as possible between Windows and Mac, much improved support for extended font styles (such as Semibold, Condensed, Caption, etc.) on Mac, plus support for desktop publisher-style text frames with various kinds of justification, and fine control over typographical parameters such as character spacing (tracking), line spacing (leading), subscript/superscript display, and more.

Add to that a revamp of the text styles concept, with the introduction of true hierarchical styles (such that one text style can inherit some or all of its properties from a parent text style, making it quick to change properties of multiple text styles by editing their shared parent) and the addition of character styles (to provide fine control over formatting at the character or word level rather than over a whole text block), and Sibelius 7’s text and typography features represent a massive advance over what was possible in previous versions – and indeed what is possible today in any other notation software.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may want to consider attending Philip’s upcoming Sibelius training sessions in New York City. Thanks to Philip for this tutorial – keep up the great work!


  1. Hannu Ala


    When creating a text frame, it is currently impossible to select or move the text frame handle if it falls outside the page/paper. You guys should fix this, because it is a pain to move the text frame to the page in order to be able to resize it. And, by default the lyrics text frame that is created, is somewhat large. I always have to resize it smaller.

    1. Daniel Spreadbury

      You can control the default size of the ‘Block lyrics’ text frame by editing the ‘Block lyrics’ text style, of course.

  2. William Kay

    Concerning the quality of Sibelius’ typography, does Avid have any initial response to the new Retina display MacBook Pros? I can imagine an optimised version of Sibelius would be stunning on such a display. As I’m in the market for a new portable Mac, I’d be interested to know if a retina update is likely in the foreseeable future.

    1. Daniel Spreadbury

      We haven’t got our hands on one of the new Retina Display MacBook Pros yet, but once we’ve had a chance to test Sibelius on the new machine, we’ll provide some more information about how Sibelius performs.

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