One of the neat little things we added in Sibelius 6 is the ability to create sticky note comments in the score.
Creating a comment
To create a comment, simply choose Create > Comment (shortcut Shift+Alt+C on Windows or Shift-Opt-C on Mac) or click the little sticky note icon on the toolbar, which looks like the picture on the left. If you had a selection in the score when you clicked the button, then a comment will be created containing some default text, specifying the staff or staves you had selected, and in which bars. This is a great time-saver: if you want to leave a comment for yourself or, say, your editor or teacher about a particular range of bars, this saves you typing in anything about the bars in question. If you only had a note or another single object selected, an empty comment will be created, ready for you to type. And if you had nothing selected, then you get a loaded mouse pointer, ready for you to click into the score to create an empty comment.
Once you have finished typing your comment, simply click elsewhere on the screen or hit Esc. Your comment appears, and by default you’ll see your name and the date and time at which you created or last edited the comment in its little title bar (if the comment isn’t very wide, or your name is very long, you might see only your name or only the date).
To edit a comment, simply double-click the main part of the comment. You can also drag comments around, delete them, and copy and paste them like other objects. You can also double-click the little title bar on the comment to minimise the comment, shrinking it down to a little square with just your initials showing. To make it bigger again, simply double-click it once more. (If you want to maximise or minimise all of the comments in your score at once, there’s a plug-in for that, available for download from the Sibelius web site).
Caring and sharing
If you share your score with somebody else who also has Sibelius 6, they can leave comments of their own in your score. Comments added by another person are automatically set to a different colour, and show the name of the person who left the comment. This makes it really easy to have somebody review your work and leave comments in situ for you to work on.
You can also export all of the comments in your score as part of the log concerning the Versions in your score. To do this, choose File > Versions > Edit Versions, and choose Export Log. (If you want to export only the comments in your score, there’s a plug-in for that too).
If you want to hide the comments in your score temporarily, you can switch off View > Comments. If you want to print the comments out when you print your score, make sure View > Comments is switched on, and that any other options in the View menu that you don’t want to see on your printed page are switched off. Then choose File > Print and switch on the Print View menu options, and away you go.
Other fun with comments
You can change the name that appears in the comment, choose whether or not the date and time shows, and whether Sibelius should prefer to show the name or the date when there’s not enough room to show both, on the Other page of File > Preferences (in the Sibelius menu on Mac).
Lastly, there are a handful of other plug-ins that can do useful things with comments:
- Convert Text to Comments: takes text in a specified text style and automatically turns that text into sticky comments. This is useful if you have been adding comments yourself in earlier versions of Sibelius in an ad hoc manner using a particular text style.
- Filter Comments: allows you to select all the comments in your score in one operation, so that you can delete or recolour them.
- Find Comments: allows you to quickly select the next or previous comment in the score. Try assigning keyboard shortcuts to these plug-ins for extra efficiency!
- Go To Comment: shows you a list of all of the comments in the score, and allows you to navigate quickly to the location of the chosen comment.
- Highlights To Comment Color: lists the colours used for comments in the score, and allows you to set any highlights near those comments to the same colour as the nearby comments, making it easy to associate highlights and comments together by the user who added them.
What uses have you found for comments in Sibelius 6? Leave a, uh, comment.