If you have taken the plunge and updated to Sibelius 7, the first thing that you will notice is a completely new visual interface.

If you are  familiar with the previous look of Sibelius up to version 6, here are some tips for you to get quickly up and running.

Use the Shortcuts

T for time signature, K for key signature, Q for clef, L for the lines menu and most other shortcuts are the same in Sibelius 7. There are a few minor adjustments to the shortcuts which you can view by going to Help > What’s New in Sibelius 7. The Shortcuts are listed at the bottom of the PDF file.

Contextual Menus

Like older versions of Sibelius, the contextual menus are the same.  If something is selected and you right-click the mouse (Mac laptops with a 1-button mouse: hold down Control and click the mouse button) you will get the same editing contextual menu.

The Inspector

The one new item in the Edit Contextual menu is the Inspector. The Inspector has most of the functions from the Properties Window, which has been removed from Sib 7. The Inspector is smart in that it will change according to what is highlighted in the score. If you highlight text and then choose the Inspector, it includes text editing information.

Inspector with text selected prior to opening it:

If you select notation or a blank bar, and choose the Inspector, it will display only the items particular to notation.

Inspector with notation or a bar selected prior to opening it:

The things that were in the Properties Window that have been removed from the Inspector window are now included in the various tabs listed in the new toolbar. For example, to change noteheads to X noteheads or slash notation, go to the Notation tab and select Noteheads > Type. And, the shortcuts are still the same. For example, Shift+Alt+1 = X notehead (Shift+option+1 on Mac).

Create Menu via the Contextual Menu

If you have used Sibelius 5 or 6, you are most likely quite familiar with the Create menu. Since the menus have been totally redesigned, the Create menu items are spread throughout the new task bar.

  1. Press Esc and nothing is selected, and you right-click the mouse, the Create menu appears as it looked in Sib. 6 and earlier versions.
  2. Choose the desired item from the contextual menu.
  3. Double-click the mouse in the location where you want to add the entry and then enter it as you would normally do.

The “Find in Ribbon”  box

The Find in Ribbon search box has been a life-saver to me in my transition to Sibelius 7. Just type in what you are looking for such as Make Layout Uniform, Make into a System or other Sibelius terms. Sibelius 7 will give you the various options where to find what you entered in the search box.

Do check out the what’s new in Sibelius 7 videos on the Sibelius website. Watching these helped me to get familiar with the new interface.