Lyrical Panorama

This post is a tip about using the Sibelius score-writing package – a minority interest!

When writing lyrics into a Sibelius score, there are a whole variety of ways to get them misaligned.  If you write them one bar at a time, for example, Sibelius will off-set from the lowest note in the bar, so the lyrics in different bars will be off-set to different levels.  However you do it, you get a ragged effect, like this:- Misaligned lyrics
Correcting this line-by-line can be messy (and can lead to further corrections if you change the positions of line breaks after you’ve aligned the lyrics.)

These days, I tend to start with the Panorama view for correcting this.  Panorama displays the whole score as one continuous system.  The following guideline uses the menu commands to achieve all the goal; there are short-cuts for many of these commands – but since you can find them from the menus, the menus fit my  purpose here.

Let’s start by looking at the panorama: [View] [Panorama]
Now select the entire score: [Edit] [Select] [Select All]
Since we want to align just the lyrics, we filter the lyrics: [Edit] [Filter] [Lyrics]

Note of caution: you’ve just selected all the lyrics in the entire score.  If you have multiple verses below a single musical line, then aligning those will put them all on top of one another.  Not a good idea.  Instead, you need to use the Advanced Filter – [Edit] [Filter] [Advanced Filter] and use the text filter to select just the lyrics for line 1 (etc.)  Get to know the advanced filter; it’s worth your time.

Having selected the appropriate set of lyrics, [Layout] [Align in a row]

That gets all your lyrics aligned with each other.  You can then scroll across the panorama to check the spacing from the lowest note, and use the arrow keys to move all the lyrics up or down accordingly.

The result should look like this:-

Realigned Lyrics
You can, of course, use the same process to align and move other components.  Here I used

[View] [Panorama]
[Edit] [Select] [Select All]
[Edit] [Filter] [Chord Symbols]

to select and move the chord symbols closer to the stave:-
Chord symbols aligned and moved

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