Even more new features

These pages refer solely to the upgrade from Sibelius 1.x, 2.x, 3.x and 4.x to Sibelius 5. Please refer to the FAQ relating to the more recent upgrade to Sibelius 6.

Universal Binary

As usual, Sibelius 5 supports the very latest technologies. It’s now a Universal Binary application, so it runs at top speed on Intel-based Macs. You can use it on the new Leopard operating system (Mac OS X 10.5), and it also has improved tab, mouse and scroll wheel support.

Power tools

  • Clefs change where necessary if you switch between sounding pitch and transposing score
  • Transpose to specified key (rather than by interval)
  • Add blank pages up to next left/right-hand page (for page turns in complex parts)
  • Go To Bar steps through each occurrence of the bar number if it recurs in several movements or songs
  • Select & delete system/page breaks & other layout marks
  • Export graphics in PNG format, plus BMP on Mac too
  • Cue-sized graphics
  • Graphics scale on small staves
  • 400+ different instruments
  • Delete Bar menu item
  • Select passage by typing bar numbers


  • Make Piano Four Hands Layout splits the music between left- and right-hand pages
  • Add Capo Chord Symbols: for guitars with capos
  • Add Continuous Controller Changes: produce special MIDI effects for sample libraries
  • Groovy Music Mark-Up: for exporting music to Groovy Music educational software
  • Improvements to: Accidentals plug-ins, Calculate Statistics, Pitch Mapping, Scales & Arpeggios


  • Edit aperture of either end of hairpins individually
  • Hairpins no longer cross system breaks unnecessarily, and always point the right way after a system/page break
  • Hidden music no longer affects visible note stems and rest positions
  • Hide empty staves even if they have hidden objects (e.g. cues) on them
  • Accidentals now at correct size when normal and cue-sized voices coincide


  • Plain & boxed system text styles (for instructions to appear in score & parts)
  • Text styles for composer, title etc. on title pages
  • You can make text cue-sized
  • Correctly number bars split between two systems
  • Select all bar numbers on a system using Select More
  • Bar number changes automatically centered in the bar when bar numbers are
  • Various new & improved characters in various fonts
  • Align page-aligned text to margin of first page or current page
  • Filter bar numbers and page number changes

Look & Feel

  • Fit Page Height zoom level (useful with Panorama)
  • Extra tutorial videos covering main new features
  • On-screen Reference is now in PDF format – opens faster and easier to read
  • Improved dialogs, e.g. Edit Text Style, playback dictionary
  • Extra keyboard shortcuts
  • New desk textures
  • Use different textures when editing ideas
  • Texture preview

Playback & MIDI

  • Full marching percussion playback (rims, spocks, shots, etc.)
  • Show/hide empty staves when importing a MIDI file
  • Export Type 0 MIDI files
  • Set tick resolution (PPQ) of exported MIDI files
  • Choose which sound set to export a MIDI file for
  • Multiple input devices – no need to choose which one you’re using
  • Alternate pitched & unpitched percussion playback on same staff

Other improvements

  • Easier network installation using standard Windows Installer (.msi) package
  • Scorch now fully Firefox-compatible on Windows and Mac
  • Sibelius files much smaller – about 20K plus typically just 1K per page
  • Export in Sibelius 4 format
  • Various bugs fixed

« Previous: Power tools & undoable plug-ins | Next: Upgrade FAQ »

Sibelius 1, 2 and 3 users

If you have Sibelius 1, 2 or 3, you'll get all the features listed in these pages, plus all the improvements already included in Sibelius 4.

Dynamic parts

No more extracting parts – Sibelius creates them automatically, and updates them as you work on the score.

Copy to Word

Copy any selection to the clipboard, so you can paste it into Word and other programs.

Worksheet Creator

Over 1700 worksheets and resources for teachers, including projects, exercises, songs, instrumental pieces, lyrics, posters, reference material and other resources.


Publish lesson materials online for students to play, print and download, and share resources with other teachers.


Add a video file to your score and play it back in sync with your music. Add hit points in the score to mark important visual events, making it easy to write music to match the video.

Focus on staves

Show only the staves you’re working on – great when you’re writing large scores.

See full list of changes in Sibelius 4 »

What's new

Summary of what's new in Sibelius 5
Ideas Hub
Capture, use and re-use snippets
A new, clearer way of viewing music
Stunning new sounds & playback
150+ high-quality built-in sounds
VST & Audio Units
Mix and match from different libraries
Easy cues & instrument changes
Instrumental parts made even easier
Complete layout control
Flexible page layout and numbering
Power tools & undoable plug-ins
New fonts and plug-ins
More new features
Over forty other improvements
Upgrade FAQ
Questions about the upgrade