Sibelius 3 to Dorico 3.5 - converting scores using Dolet plug-in

I (we) are hoping that there might be someone here that will be able to help us…
First things first I (with a reasonable amount of IT knowledge, but no music knowledge) am trying to help my music teacher wife who ‘shuts down’ at the thought of IT… as a result forgive me if the following sounds a bit ‘muddled’!
Hazel has used Sibelius 3 (supplied by her employer) for many years; she has now been told that Dorico 3.5 is the tool to use, and we need to work out how to transfer/convert the many Sibelius scores over to Dorico.
I believe that the only way to do this is to use the Dolet plug-in in Sibelius to create MusicXML files, which can then be imported into Dorico. It appeared that we had the answer, but when I get to the stage of importing I get the message “Invalid file format” and it fails.
There are no options when running the plug-in (just a warning about over-writing files), and no options when importing… so it would appear that I have the wrong tool combination, OR I need to do something else as well… OR in the worst case, someone will tell us that it is not possible!!
Sorry for the ramble…

The Dolet plugin for Sibelius 3 seem to export in Music XML 1.0 format. Maybe Dorico needs a later version. You could try importing to the free MuseScore app and if that works, export again from museScore. You could also run the latest Sibelius in demo mode for a month and export all the files from that.


Hi Jesele, are you suggesting that moving scores from a more up to date version of Sibelius is easier/better? Is the process more straightforward, or do you still need to use MusicXML?

It’s XML no matter what, but a more recent version of Sibelius might export more usable XML data.

OK, thanks, will have a look…

And from later Sibelius you don’t need the Dolet plugin.
You goto File tab->Export->Music XML.
But do try MuseScore first and see if that can import your file.


Also if you want, DM me one file and I can test it for you.


So you don’t have to install Sibelius/MuseScore in vain,

Thanks for the offer! I do like to try things out but this is testing my patience!!
How do you DM in here??

Press my name jesele and select message, You might need to zip the file
The Sibelius file that is.


Jesele, I think that I have sent you something!!

Ok, maybe try send the xml file also to see if MuseScore can open it.


You got mail (DM)


I’m curious: what number of scores are we talking about, and what type? If Hazel has been using Sib 3 all the time, it’s probably quite a few years of work. Is it educational material, or theatrical, choral, jazz band, orchestral, avant-garde? It all depends how difficult conversion can be, and whether one would need the Dolet plug-in or Sibelius’s own XML export facilities.
I still have a working Sib 7 at hand, including Dolet. If you need some more assistance, don’t hesitate to ask.

What a lovely bunch of people!! Thanks all!

The score I converted was a string trio, a few pages. It worked fine with the built in XML.
A month demo version of the latest Sibelius was my suggestion. Should be time enough. It’s rather fast to open a score and export.


also the xml from Sibelius 3 didn’t open in MuseScore or Finale.

I would also be happy to help. I’ve done this before for a number of long-time Sibelius users switching to Dorico. If you send me all of the Sibelius scores, I can export PDF, MIDI and MusicXML files (using a wonderful batch processing plug-ins provided by Sibelius plug-in maven Bob Zawalich) and send them back to me.

1 Like

Another consideration is whether the file being exported in a compressed format (.mxl) instead of a standard (.xml) format? Check the file extension needed by the receiving program.

Hello @dspreadbury,
I have many Sibelius files also to convert: do you mind sharing with us the name of the batch processing plugin name please?
If you have details on how you’re using it, it could be also helpfull :slight_smile:
Best regards,

There is one called: Export Folder of Scores In Multiple Formats
under Batch processing. In newer versions of Sibelius it can be installed directly
from Sibelius.
Otherwise, it’s here: Sibelius - the leading music composition and notation software
Also: Converting folders of Sibelius scores to different formats - Scoring Notes