Sibelius 4 Power Tools

These pages refer solely to the upgrade from Sibelius 1.x, 2.x and 3.x to Sibelius 4. All the improvements and many more are incorporated in the more recent upgrade to Sibelius 6.

Pasting into Microsoft Word

Copy & paste to Word

To get music into other programs such as Microsoft Word, you no longer have to save a graphics file – just copy the music in Sibelius, then paste it straight into your Word document. So adding music to worksheets, essays and books now takes barely a moment.

Watch movie (Flash, 902K)

Fonts & symbols

Sibelius 4 includes the new Helsinki music font, a traditional design with a plate-engraved appearance, as an elegant alternative to Opus.

The Helsinki music font

There are three additional fonts for writing Roman numerals with superscripts and subscripts (for harmonic analysis); comprehensive figured bass; and complex metronome marks and other rhythms.

Also included are automatically positioned buzz rolls (z on stems), enhanced chord symbols (e.g. with three stacked alterations), and many new percussion symbols.

Buzz roll

Roman numerals & chord symbols

Sibelius now comes with 20 different house styles, combining Opus, Inkpen2 and Helsinki with a choice of text fonts and other settings to give your music a distinctive look.

Optical ™ beams & ties

Yes, Sibelius 4 has sophisticated new algorithms for positioning beams and ties. Here's what William Holab, Director of Publishing at Schott Music, says about them:

“The new Optical ties are outstanding, better than any other program. They automatically position in a way that is clear and easy to read, and the new shapes closely match the design used by plate engravers. And Sibelius 4's Optical beams snap to clean positions as you work, even avoiding unsightly ‘wedges' between the staff line and the beam. No other program has anything like this.”

Untidy ties, and beams with 'wedges'


Optical ties and beams (with French beaming), perfectly positioned

Additionally, there are many new options and abilities, such as French beaming, beams across system and page breaks, extra-long ties (for tying from arpeggios), and individually or globally adjustable tie 'shoulders'.

Look & feel

Sibelius 4 has a cool new look, featuring extra toolbar buttons to switch windows such as the Keypad and Properties on and off.


Zoom now zooms in to the selected object, or you can drag round an area to zoom into it. Screen positioning is now very sophisticated, with custom options for how and when to move the screen during inputting & playback.

Reference & tutorials

Tutorial videoSibelius 4 includes over an hour of tutorial videos that teach you the main features in a clear and simple way.

You also get the entire Reference section of the manual on the screen, with clickable cross-references, glossary, index and bookmarks – as easy to use as the real thing. You can even search and print it. But you can also buy it as a printed book if you prefer.


There are 11 new plug-ins, including:

  • Copy Articulations and Slurs - copies patterns of articulations and/or slurs without copying the notes
  • Smarten Quotes – even deals with special cases like 'Twas
  • Add Simple Harmony – ingeniously harmonizes tunes for you!

The Copy Articulations and Slurs plug-in copies from the selected notes... all matching rhythmic figures

Keyboard shortcuts

Shortcuts save you time! So we've added many more, including Save As, Focus on Staves, Zoom to 100%, Fit to Page, move the screen up/down/left/right a small distance, move to start/end of selection – plus shortcuts for many new features. And it's now easy to assign your own shortcuts to text styles, lines, clefs, plug-ins, etc.

If you're really keen on shortcuts – or just want to learn Sibelius faster – why not get our new Sibelius Coloured Keyboard, which has colour-coded keys marked with shortcuts, or our new mouse mat with shortcuts on? (Only available in some countries)

Finale files

Finale files import into Sibelius 4 spectacularly well, thanks to new support for MusicXML format.

Print date & time

Your printouts can now include the date, time, filename, etc. – a life-saver for keeping track of different drafts of a piece.


The Preferences dialog now has no fewer than 11 pages of options for the power user. These include subtle options previously scattered around other menus, and various new options to control substitution of missing fonts, screen positioning, etc.


New versions of PhotoScore Lite & Professional are on the way, with many recognition improvements, including percussion staves, up to four voices, and improved results with text blocks and time signatures. If you buy Sibelius 4 you'll get a free upgrade to PhotoScore Lite 4 when it's released.

Mac OS X

Sibelius 4 now supports Quartz - producing crystal-clear screen graphics, and translucent tool windows (if you want them). Printing is much faster, and compatible with more printers. Subtler enhancements include improved text editing and Unicode support, and standardized use of the OS X Window menu and file extensions. And as you'd expect, Sibelius 4 is fully Tiger compatible.