The main focus of this maintenance update is to ensure compatibility with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and to provide as many stability improvements and fixes as possible, to leave the program in the best possible shape as the new development team ramps up to continue its development.
Perhaps the biggest improvement in Sibelius 7.1.3 is support for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display: if you’re lucky enough to have one of these amazing computers, you will benefit from the sharpest and most detailed on-screen score display possible. All of the graphics in the ribbon and the Backstage (behind the purple File tab) have also been redrawn at twice the resolution, so they too look beautiful on the new high-resolution display. Take a look at this image to see the difference (Retina Display on top, normal display below).
Other important improvements in this update include:
- Fixes for some common crashes, including when closing a score if Use virtual instruments and effects is switched off in Audio Engine Options, a crash that occur when editing lots of lyrics or chord symbols in the same session, a crash when exporting MusicXML files where a special “normal” barline is present in the score, and a crash when trying to print to some printers on Windows, among several others.
- Keyboard navigation in the Quick Start window has been improved, including making it possible to type Ctrl+F (Windows) or Command-F (Mac) to move the focus into the search box on the Recent and New Score pages. Once you’ve entered a search term, hit Tab to move the focus into the thumbnail area below, and hit Return to open the chosen score.
- Synchronization of attached audio and video files is now much improved on Mac. For optimal results, use uncompressed audio (e.g. AIFF or WAV rather than MP3) or video, since this allows the time position in the attached file to be returned and set with much greater accuracy.
- Audio files exported from Sibelius no longer include a beat’s silence at the start of the file.
- A number of issues with MusicXML export have been addressed.
- A subtle problem whereby lyric hyphens were always a little too far to the right relative to their expected position of being centered between two syllables has been fixed.
- The wildcards feature has been improved with the addition of a \$NumPages\ wildcard, which shows an estimate (correct more often than not!) of the total number of pages in the score, useful for creating text such as “Page x of y”. Because pagination of Sibelius scores is dynamic, the total number of pages in the score may appear to change from time to time as you work on your score. Don’t be alarmed: when you print your score, or export a PDF, the total page count will always be correct.
- A number of small improvements have been made to the built-in ManuScript scripting language, to improve support for accessibility, give greater access to repeats playback, and to hide and show empty staves.
If you want to find out more, a complete list of fixes and improvements is available at the Sibelius web site.
To download the update, go to File > Help within Sibelius and click Check For Updates, or alternatively click here.
If you haven’t yet taken the plunge and upgraded to Sibelius 7, now’s a good time: at the moment, you can save 25% on the price of the upgrade. You can try Sibelius 7 free for 30 days by downloading the trial version, which has also been updated to Sibelius 7.1.3.