Release Notes

Dolet® 8 for Sibelius Release Notes

Version 8.3
January 2023


Dolet 8 for Sibelius only works with Sibelius Ultimate 2019.5 and later. To export MusicXML files from Sibelius 5.1 through Sibelius Ultimate 2019.4.1, you will need to use the Dolet 6 for Sibelius plug-in.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Dolet for Sibelius, we recommend that you uninstall the earlier version first to avoid confusion between different versions of the Dolet plug-in. On Windows, uninstall using the Control Panel. On the Mac, uninstall by removing the MusicXML folder from your Sibelius plug-ins folder. This is usually the Library/Application Support/Avid/Sibelius/Plugins folder within your home directory

To install on Windows, first quit Sibelius, then run the Dolet83Sibelius.msi installer program. The installation location is where this readme file and your software license are installed. The actual plug-ins are automatically installed in your folder for user copies of Sibelius plug-ins.

To install on Mac, first quit out of Sibelius. In the Dolet 8 for Sibelius Finder window, drag the Plugins folder into the Sibelius folder. When you do this, you might see a dialog appear in two different situations:

  • If you already have user-edited or user-installed plug-ins for Sibelius, the dialog will ask “A folder named ‘Plugins’ already exists in this location. Do you want to merge or replace it with the one you’re copying?” Click the Merge button to install the latest version of the Dolet for Sibelius plug-in and keep your other user-edited or user-installed plug-ins.
  • If you have already installed an earlier version of the Dolet plug-in, but no other user-edited or user-installed plugins, the dialog will ask “An older folder named ‘Plugins’ already exists in this location. Do you want to replace it with the newer one you’re copying?” Click the Replace button to install the latest version of the Dolet for Sibelius plug-in.

On some Mac systems, you might need to right-click on the Sibelius folder, choose “Show Original”, and then drag the Plugins folder into that original folder. Either way, you are copying the Plugins folder into the ~/Library/Application Support/Avid/Sibelius folder.

Using Dolet for Sibelius

Dolet® software serves as a translator between music programs. These translations are done using the MusicXML file format. Dolet 8 for Sibelius writes MusicXML files, allowing you to exchange music between Sibelius and other programs that can read MusicXML files such as Finale and SmartMusic. You can see a full list at Dolet 8 for Sibelius saves files in the MusicXML 4.0 format, which allows more notation information to be transferred between applications.

To save a Sibelius score as a MusicXML file, go to the Plug-ins menu and select the MusicXML submenu. Then select the “Export MusicXML” item. You will then see a standard save dialog box asking where to save the XML file. By default, this will be the same as your existing Sibelius file name, with “.musicxml” used instead of “.sib” for the file extension.

You may translate an entire folder of Sibelius files to MusicXML format. This batch routine will overwrite any MusicXML files with the same name that are currently in that folder. Use the “Translate Folder of Scores to MusicXML” menu item to save MusicXML files from your Sibelius files.

You may translate all the dynamic parts in a Sibelius file to MusicXML format. Use the “Export Parts to MusicXML” menu item to save MusicXML files for each dynamic part. This will export MusicXML part files into the same folder as the currently open score, including the part number and name in each file name. This will overwrite any MusicXML files with the same name that are currently in that folder.

Some applications that only support older versions of the MusicXML format may give you error messages about unrecognized elements or attributes when importing the MusicXML 4.0 file you have exported from Sibelius. You can ignore these messages and the file will continue to import correctly. However, the import will not include the new MusicXML 4.0 features listed below.

For best results, do the following before exporting a score:

  • If you are using magnetic layout, freeze the magnetic layout positions before exporting your score. Otherwise the score will export with the positions that objects would have if magnetic layout were turned off. To freeze the positions, first select everything in the score using Ctrl-A on Windows or Command-A on Mac. Then go to the Layout menu and click on the Freeze Magnetic Layout Positions item.

What’s New

Version 8.3 adds the following new features when used with Sibelius 2022.12 and later:

  • Dotted and thick barlines are now exported.
  • The “Wings on repeat barlines” engraving rule is now used while exporting repeats.

Version 8.2 is now released under the MIT open source license, rather than the more restrictive license used in previous versions. It also included the following new features and fixes:

  • Figured bass is now exported. However, figured bass that changes under a note and figured bass extensions are not yet exported.
  • Text tracking is now exported.
  • The percussion clef glyph is now exported.
  • The octave-down treble clef glyph is now exported if it differs from the commonly used treble clef with an 8 below.
  • Changes to octave-transposing clefs now take the instrument transposition into account when exported.
  • Exporting the end points of ties that start on tuplets has been improved.
  • Exporting the end points of cross-staff slurs and glissandos has been improved.
  • Exporting flat symbols in part names has been improved.
  • Exporting text that changes to a music text font midway through has been improved.
  • TAB clefs no longer export a line element.

Version 8.1 included the following new features and fixes:

  • Headers and footers are now exported. As with other page-aligned text, positions are based on common default house styles since plug-ins cannot access text style definitions.
  • The page number wildcard is now exported. (Regular Sibelius page numbers are still not exported due to ManuScript limitations.)
  • The year of composition wildcard is now exported.
  • The dynamic markings ffp, ffmp, fmp, fpp, msfz, and msfzp are now exported as dynamics.
  • Standalone symbols for notes, noteheads, rests, augmentation dots, bar repeats, barlines, clefs, flags, and octaves are now exported.
  • The Sibelius formatting string for turning off a music text font while retaining other aspects of string formatting is now exported.
  • Page-aligned text with a repeated mix of words and dynamic symbols no longer exports with invalid MusicXML that other applications cannot open.

Version 8.0 added MusicXML 4.0 support, including MusicXML 3.1 features that were not available in Dolet 6 for Sibelius. This includes the following new features:

  • Export and batch export use the .musicxml file extension instead of the .xml file extension.
  • Concert scores now export transposition information, including alternate clefs for transposed parts.
  • Many more standard symbols are now exported.
  • Musical symbols in a music text font that are mixed together with text are now exported.
  • The n, sfzp, and pf dynamics are now exported.
  • Repeated measure numbers are now exported correctly.
  • L.V. ties now export as MusicXML let-ring ties, whether entered as native Sibelius L.V. ties or using L.V. symbols.
  • Buzz rolls are now exported more accurately.
  • System directions exports with the system attribute, providing better results when creating parts from an imported score.
  • Flats in part name credits now export with a flat symbol rather than a lowercase b.

Version 8.0 added support for ManuScript changes made to Sibelius over the past five years. This includes the following new features:

  • Cross-staff notation is exported starting with Sibelius 2021.9.
  • Scores with annotation items are now exported correctly.
  • Batch export always exports the score, no matter what part was open when the file was last saved.
  • Batch export no longer prompts for saving after each file.
  • Files are now exported in sorted order during batch export on Mac.
  • Tied Into ties and tie line styles added in Sibelius 2020.1 are now exported.
  • Initial font families for text now export for text without font family changes.
  • Initial font sizes now export for text without font size changes.
  • The default words font is now exported more accurately.
  • The version number is exported correctly from the new numbering systems introduced in Sibelius 2018 and Sibelius 2020.

Version 8.0 also included the following features and fixes:

  • MusicXML files for each dynamic part can be exported all at once using the new Export Parts to MusicXML menu item.
  • Page-aligned text is now exported except for headers and footers. Positions are based on common default house styles, since plug-ins cannot access text style definitions.
  • Text that mixes dynamics with words now exports correctly.
  • Grace notes are now exported with correct beaming.
  • Hidden accidentals now export correctly.
  • Metronome marks with numeric ranges now export correctly.
  • Concert scores with octave-transposing parts such as guitar and piccolo now export correctly.
  • Expressions are now exported as italic text unless overridden in a specific case.
  • Text repeats are now exported as bold text unless overridden in a specific case.
  • Text repeats at the end of a bar are now exported as right-justified.
  • Font size changes within text are now exported.
  • The part name, opus number, and composer dates wildcards are now exported.
  • Plain system text, musical structure text, and timecode text are now exported.
  • Text on blank pages at the end of a score is now exported.
  • Direction placement is now exported for directions that are clearly above or below a staff.
  • The xml:space attribute is now exported for text that contains line breaks.
  • Text preceding metronome marks is now exported more accurately.
  • Metronome marks followed by text are now exported correctly.
  • Text repeats now export with playback in cases with simple repeat structures.
  • Fingerings on notes following grace notes are exported more accurately.
  • Multi-line fingerings are now exported as fingerings rather than text.
  • Hidden time signatures are now exported as hidden.
  • Additive time signatures are now exported.
  • Duplicate slurs starting on single notes are no longer exported.
  • Dynamics mfp and sffzpp are now exported as dynamics rather than text.
  • Dynamics in the Maestro font are now exported correctly.
  • More symbols are exported from Sibelius chord fonts, including the different ALT symbols.
  • Parts that have an ossia staff and octave-transposing clefs now export correctly.
  • Slurs on beamed grace notes at the end of a measure now export correctly.
  • Metronome tempo playback is now exported from ranges like 100-120, using the midpoint of the tempo range.
  • The MusicXML group is now exported, indicating whether a file is a score or a part.
  • Instruments defined with an A# transposition now export the key signature correctly.
  • Export no longer hangs in some rare cases with complex tuplets.

Translation Limits

Any type of translation has limits. Things expressed in one language sometimes cannot be expressed the same way in another language. Sometimes the translator does not yet understand all the idioms and vocabulary in both languages. Dolet and MusicXML provide much greater music notation accuracy than MIDI translations, but both types of limits apply to this software.

In particular, Dolet 8 for Sibelius is limited to the musical information provided in ManuScript. Dolet does not have access to custom articulations, user-defined lines and symbols, stem length, and most house style formatting information. Guitar bends are exported as slurs.

When Dolet 8 for Sibelius cannot export some notation accurately, it logs the problem in the MusicXML file using an XML processing instruction. These processing instructions start with “<?DoletSibelius”. You can search for these processing instructions in the MusicXML file after export to find known translation limits that were encountered while exporting your Sibelius file.

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