Sibelius XML export, Dorico XML import and 12/2021 AVID permanent Sibelius license update offer

Currently there is an AVID offer to update to the current Sibelius version and keep the license permanent. I have 8.6.
I know it’s kind of bizarre trying to find out whether it’s worth to update Sibelius in this forum, but here’s why I’m posting this:

I currently have issues with importing XML files in Dorico. Bows e.g. are not recognized properly and stretch further than they should. I didn’t use the dolet plugin on export, though.
I wonder if anybody here is experienced in moving files over from Sibelius to Dorico and can share a ‘how-to’.

What MusicXML version does Dorico support on importing and exporting and will there be changes in version 4 so I better delay my transferring efforts until v4 is there?
I’d like to suggest to add the supported MusicXML version in the manual.

Thank you!

Edit: In short: Will updating Sibelius improve my imported results. That was missing :slight_smile:

I have Sib 7.1.3. If there really is a dramatic improvement in the MusicXML export, I would perhaps consider a modest upgrade cost as long as it’s to a permanent license. I can’t see anything like that on their website, though – perhaps you could post a link? There are a few issues with my version but the most important is repeated double accidentals within in a bar which are always wrong. Fortunately, they can be completely removed before export. Grace notes don’t work, a few articulations don’t seem to get exported, trills are unreliable. The dolet is certainly not the answer to al the issues. But it could be worse. Of course Dorico’s import could also do with a few refinements so perhaps a combo of Dorico 4 and Sib latest might help. But, like you, I’d first like to get feedback on whether Sib has improved at all over the past five years or so.

Hallo David,
Thanks for replying!
You will find information about the offer here:

or in German language here:

As to the dolet plugin, there is a new version of it in beta stage, see

Let’s see if anybody else is chiming in…

Edit: Oh wow, the links do display beautifully …

thanks for that --so, the improved version of the dolet will require a relatively new version of Sibelius to run. Still, I would only consider shelling out for anything Sibelius related at this stage if it is proved to considerably reduce the time to work on MusicXML files imported into Dorico. There’s no other reason as I don’t actively use Sibelius any more.

Same to me.
I use Sibelius to export old stuff only, whenever needed.

There will be some minor improvements in MusicXML export in Dorico 4, but nothing especially significant. It may well be that in the fullness of time Dolet 8 for Sibelius will improve the quality of MusicXML export from recent versions of Sibelius; so far the team at Avid have not chosen to dedicate a lot of time and effort to improving MusicXML support, so I imagine Dolet is the best hope for richer MusicXML export from Sibelius.

Are there plans for a stand-alone version of dolet?

I receive quite often sibelius files that have to be converted to musicXML (for import to dorico). I don’t own a license for sibelius, so I always need to ask someone else to do it for me… Stand-alone version would be great for this!


I think that’s a brilliant idea!
You should address your question to Michael Good from MakeMusic (Finale). He is the developer of both the MusicXML standard and the Dolet plugin – if I’m informed correctly.

Thanks for replying, Daniel!
:thinking: Did you indeed mean to say there are improvements on the export side?
Can you detail if there will be changes on importing XML files into Dorico between v3.5
and 4 ?

I imagine that Avid might not be keen for people to convert Sibelius files without paying for a copy of Sibelius.

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The Sibelius file format is proprietary, so potentially there’d be legal issues (in some but not all countries) with anyone reverse engineering it.

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There are minor improvements to both import and export, but nothing significant that is likely to greatly change your general MusicXML experience in Dorico.

No, there won’t be a standalone version of either the Dolet for Sibelius or Dolet for Finale plug-ins.

It’s not just a matter of the legal restrictions that Leo mentions. It’s that notation applications continue to compute more and more display information in the app rather than storing it in the file. For the most accurate export possible, you need to have the files open in the application.

We have several beta testers who are using this for transfers from Sibelius to Dorico. We are getting good results from the beta and hope to release Dolet 8 for Sibelius early in 2022.


I’d like to continue this topic, looks like it has been silent for over a year.:

I have been using PDFtoMusicPro for several years. Unfortunately, the XML files it produces do not work very successfully with Dorico 4. Therefore, I wondered if Dorico could work more actively with the PDFtoMusicPro developer, to make it work better? The developer claims that he tests his XML files with Finale, and claims that they work fine. I would love it if it could work better directly with Dorico.

Specific problems I have had: tuplets of any kind seem to completely stymie Dorico; chord symbols appear in the wrong place, or not at all, or attached to the wrong line of music.

Just to be clear, these are music files that PDFtoMusicPro opens, displays, and plays successfully in its own app; so I’d rather not get into a discussion about various legacy apps. Thank you!

Just to address one point: Chord Symbols in Dorico are system objects and display by default on “Rhythm Instruments” (Bass, Kbds, etc.). If the original music has them above the top staff or somewhere else, one would need to address that in Layout options or add the symbols explicitly to a given Player in Setup.

Tuplets are a known issue, since different programs (like Finale and Sibelius) use different algorithms to interpret them. Finale, having the closest association with MusicXML developer Michael Good, seems to have had historically the most forgiving implementation.

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Derrek, So, assuming I open the XML file and the chord symbols are not appearing correctly, is there an easy way to “direct them” to the correct location? In the one XML that I opened, the chords appeared under the staves, instead of above. (?) Sometimes I am just trying to do a “quick and dirty” transposition of a score for a performance, so I do not want to spend a lot of time on tweaking.

Can you check that these are real chord symbols showing up rather than text that looks like chord symbols? Some programs may export “chords” as text in their XML.

Thanks Derrek, I did check, and I found that indeed there is a setting in PDF2MusicPro that will read chord symbols separately from text. This did solve my problem, at least for chord symbols. Great! However, my next problem: for some reason, PDF2MusicPro is ignoring the quarter note rests. Therefore, when I open this file in Dorico, I find several bars that identify correctly as 3/4 bars, but they are missing one quarter note rest as the last beat. To be clear, Dorico “sees” these as 3/4 bars with 3 beats, even though the third beat (a rest) is missing. Now, I know if you folks use Dorico every day, there may be an obvious solution; but for me, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to add the extra quarter note rest at the end of that measure. Can you tell me how to do that, please? Every time I try to add the quarter rest, it pushes notes to the right, or does something else equally wierd…

Generally you should uncheck every option in the Dorico Preferences>MusicXML Import Options - that allows Dorico to interpret the XML files the best way it can.

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I am replying to my own thread here because I never got an answer on this issue: how do I add 1/4 note rest to the end of a bar in Dorico without having Dorico push all the rhythms to the right? In the above example I gave, Dorico recognizes my Measure as three-quarter time with three beats in the Measure, but the third beat is missing so perhaps Dorico is thinking that this is a pick up measure? I have read and reread the online manual, and I recall I did get it to work successfully one time, but now I cannot get it to work at all. Thank you!