Learn more about Sibelius's floating panels, found in the View tab, with an emphasis on the Keypad, Navigator, and Timeline panels. Explore Screen Tips, the pop-up, informational windows that appear when you hover your mouse over a feature in the ribbon.
- [Instructor] The Panels group in the View tab contains a list of optional windows that you can open on your screen while working in Sibelius. Some of the panels can dock to the main score window, and all of the panels have the ability to float around above the score page. You can toggle panels on and off using the checkboxes next to their names in the Panels group. Panels also have thematic shortcut modifiers assigned to them, to make it easier for you to remember and use shortcuts to show and hide the panels on your screen.
If you hover your mouse pointer over one of the panel names in the ribbon, you'll see its screen tip, which contains its shortcut. In fact, you've probably noticed these tips popping up on your screen as you've been maneuvering through Sibelius' ribbon features. Screen tips provide a popup window on the screen that contains a description of the feature, and, if applicable, the feature's shortcut. What you should notice about the panels is that nearly all other shortcuts begin with the same two modifiers, Command + Option on Mac, and Control + Alt on Windows.
Sibelius has been designed this way to help you become more comfortable learning and using its shortcuts. Let's take a look at the Keypad panel. If it's not open on your screen, you can check the box next to its name in the View tab, or use the shortcut Command + Option + K on Mac or Control + Alt + K on Windows. You can move panels around on your screen by clicking on their title bars and dragging them. The Keypad panel is the most common and widely-used panel in Sibelius. It's used primarily for note input, as it contains all of the note durations, note head markings, and other notation-related symbols that you'll use when inputting music onto the staves.
Of course, you can hide the Keypad panel, but you'll likely want to have it floating around somewhere on your screen, at least until you've learned its shortcuts and developed some muscle memory for accessing its features without the mouse. We'll be spending a lot more time with the Keypad panel when we get to note input later in this course. Go ahead and close it for now. And you can close it with this little X on its interface, or by unchecking it in the Panels group. Next, let's open the Navigator panel. The Navigator panel does not have a shortcut automatically assigned to it, so you'll need to check its box up here in the Panels group.
The Navigator displays a mini-map of the pages in your score. How your pages are displayed within the Navigator depends on your score's zoom level. The further you zoom out, using Command or Control + minus, the more pages you'll see in the Navigator. The white boxed area within the Navigator panel highlights the portion of the score that you're viewing on the screen in your main score window behind it. The Navigator allows you to quickly maneuver around your score, either by dragging the little white box area, or by clicking somewhere else further away in the Navigator, and then your score will jump to that area.
Go ahead and close the Navigator panel. When Sibelius 7.5 was released, the Navigator panel was upstaged by its new, more complex big brother, the Timeline panel, which even took over the Navigator's old shortcut, Command + Option + N on Mac, or Control + Alt + N on Windows. When you open the timeline for the first time, it will be docked to the bottom of your score window. You can resize it by clicking and dragging with a crosshair tool that appears when you place your mouse cursor between the timeline's title bar and the bottom of the score page, below the horizontal scroll bar, if scroll bars are turned on.
The Timeline panel provides you with a very detailed, completely zoomed out map of your score from beginning to end, highlighting and color coding such important score landmarks as tempo markings, time signatures, key signatures, bar numbers, selections, text, and more. The timeline's graphic interface provides a vertical list of all of the staves in your score and a horizontal display of the bars in your score. If objects exist within a bar on a staff, its graphic square is colored dark gray in the timeline.
If a bar contains no objects, it's colored light gray. To navigate using the Timeline panel, simply click anywhere within the grid, and your main score page will update to that location. You can also click and drag on the yellow outline box within the Timeline grid, which provides a navigation similar to the Navigator panel. Any range selections that you make in the score will show up in the Timeline panel. By default, the timeline will open in Fit to View mode, showing your entire score from the beginning to end.
You can use the zoom buttons in the lower left-hand corner to zoom in and to zoom out. Important score objects are color coded and are displayed across the top of the timeline above the staves. If the timeline is displaying too much information for you, or if you'd like to adjust the color coding of the score objects, you can customize the timeline setting and preferences. You can access the Timeline page of Preferences quickly by clicking on the Timeline Options button at the bottom of the timeline. The first time you open the timeline, it will likely be docked to the bottom of your score page.
To undock the timeline, you can click the Undock Timeline button in the corner of its window, or even better, you can simply double-click on the timeline's title bar. The first time you undock the Timeline panel, it may appear to have disappeared from view. Look around for it. I'm certain it will be there. It actually likes to hide in the bottom right corner of your screen, in case that helps you find it. Once you find it, you can drag the timeline's title bar to move the panel around on the score. Double-clicking on the timeline's title bar is the quickest way to re-dock the timeline window after it's been undocked.
Now, if you're feeling lucky, you should be able to re-dock the timeline by dragging it up and releasing it at the top of the score page to dock it at the top of the score, or by dragging it to the bottom of the score page and releasing it, so it hopefully re-docks to the bottom of the score page. So if I drag it up here, and let go, it may or may not dock in there for you. There we go. And I can drag it down here to get it to dock back in. You may find the method of docking panels by dragging their title bars to be a bit hit and miss, so I much prefer the double-click method.
To close the timeline, you can use the Close Timeline button on its title bar, you can toggle it closed with its shortcut, or you can uncheck it at the View tab Panels group. Before we finish this discussion about panels, there are two preferences I'd like to point out. Let's go ahead and maneuver back to Preferences. Remember, that's in the File tab, Preferences. And we're going to go to the Files page. If you find that you're always closing the Timeline panel every time you open a particular score in Sibelius, then, from the Files page, and Preferences, you'll want to make sure that this button right here, Restore saved window sizes and positions, is selected.
With that selected, if I click OK, and if my timeline panel is hidden, and I save my score, then when I reopen my score, the Timeline panel should not reappear. Back to Preferences, Command or Control + comma, go to the Display page at the top, and from here, this is where you can adjust the translucency of what they call the tool windows, which are actually your panels. Now, I have mine set to zero, so you're not seeing through any of my popup panels, but you can adjust the translucency of them here, so that you can see through them and see score objects behind them, if you'd like to.
Now, remember that these preferences are global to the application on your system, so those settings will continue to affect every score you open within the copy of Sibelius you're currently using.
- Installing and launching Sibelius
- Opening and closing a score
- Navigating through the score
- Using important single-key shortcuts
- Marking and coloring a score
- Playing and replaying a score
- Editing selections and deleting staves
- Creating a new score and inputting score objects
- Editing during and after note input
- Editing pitches and rhythms
- Working with text styles
- Finishing and printing a score