I’m finding tuplets commands quite unclear…

I’ve followed the manual (Adding Tuplets) but I’ve never been able to insert the ratio! I wasn’t also unable to modify a written tuplet (automatically created messing a bit with the buttons…).


Hit ; (semicolon) to show the tuplet popover, into which you can type the ratio. This will also engage sticky tuplets; to switch off the stickiness type : (colon), which will end the tuplets after the end of the current tuplet.

I tried it but the command does’ work. I suppose the fault is the italian keyboard… (I’m on a macbook). I tried to modify the command key without luck, too.
I’ll insist!

Ah, you could try remapping it to a different key. There are certainly some problems with some of the keys on European keyboards that we are looking into at the moment.

As far as I can tell, it isn’t possible to create a shortcut for the ‘simplified’ tuplet function found on the left side panel. This would be really helpful!

The “simplified” tuplet function in the toolbox is simply to create a triplet. The plan there is that you will be able to click and hold on the button to see a menu (in a similar way to the tools in e.g. Photoshop, if you’re familiar with that application) that would allow you to choose between a handful of common ratios, though I don’t think that assigning a shortcut to each of those would save you more than a couple of keystrokes compared to using the popover in any case.

That is all very good thinking, reminds me of Cubase, where there are sometimes three or four different ways and places to get things done, makes for very personalized and fine-grained workflow possibilities!
Good stuff.


Daniel, your plan for the “simplified tuplet” in the toolbox sounds good. Typing “3:2” for a lot of non-continuous triplets does impede workflow.

You can just type “3” into the popover: that’s the one and only special case in the popover that doesn’t require both sides of the ratio to be supplied.

It would be great to have a few other “special defaults” that matched the most common tuplet use cases; for example, “5” for 5:4, “7” for 7:6, “4” for 4:3, you know. Those sorts of default shortcodes would save a lot of typing for the most common use cases, and it’s obviously still super easy to type in a more specific ratio.

They might save a couple of key strokes, but over the years there have been a steady stream of questions and complaints on the Sibelius forums about “4” (and sometimes “2”) not doing what users expect.

For example, whether the default for “4” should be “4:3” or “4:6” is a very open question. Not having a default at all is one way to dodge that bullet.

(And you could argue the case for defaulting “7” to either 7:4, 7:6 or 7:8 …)

Again, letting the user customize that would be the solution…

I agree some degree of customization is a Good Thing, but the other side of the problem is what happens when a user makes a lot of mutually incompatible customizations to a software product, and then asks the original software authors to sort out the mess for them as “free customer support”!

“This program is useless, nothing works properly, I just customized it so pressing 7 gives me a 7/6 tuplet and now I can’t enter half notes…” :wink:

I know (having long followed the Sibelius forum as well), but this seems a real cop-out to me. First, we’re not talking about “a couple” key strokes over the course of hundreds of hours of work, hundreds of pages of music, or thousands of tuplets. The colon in particular is a real pain to have to type when you’re also juggling the MIDI keyboard. (At least let us use a symbol that doesn’t require holding down the shift key.) More than anything, I think I reject the idea that saving “a couple of key strokes” isn’t a very important consideration. Having to type 5:4 every time I need to engrave a quintuplet is really annoying. In 99% of music, that’s what a “5” means. The other 1% of the type, I can type 5:6.

More than that, Dorico is a program that already exhibits a real “point-of-view” in its approach to engraving — it wants to make your music conform to “best practices” as the Dorico team has codified them. So it seems a relatively obvious approach that tuplets should also try to do that by default, with the option to “force” other ratios if the user really wants it. Elaine Gould codifies note values of tuplets using two different systems (pp. 203–204). Given the hundreds of engraving options already present in the program, if you’re worried about people not liking the defaults, there could be the option to use one of the two normalized systems (e.g., 7:4 or 7:8) by default.

I’m not “worried” about this whatever the outcome - and I don’t work for Steinberg so I’m not “copping out” of anything, just expressing my opinion!

I’m hoping that eventually, if I really want to create lots of 19:14 tuplets of double-dotted 32-notes, I’ll be able to write my own macro to do that and run it with a single keystroke - without being bothered whether it’s any use to the rest of the world :wink:

Sorry, Rob, didn’t mean for it to be about you personally – I mean it’s a cop out in the general sense, not that you are copping out of anything. :slight_smile: Just trying to engage with your points.

I haven’t tried this myself, but I think you can create your own shortcut to your desired tuplet ratios. The command is:


It’s likely you won’t be able to edit this in the shortcut editor as it can’t deal with every function that takes parameters, but you should be able to edit the keycommands.json file that you’ll find in your AppData / Application Support folder.

Related question…

Is there a way (yet… maybe it’s coming in the future?) to hide or edit the tuplets on an individual basis? I can’t seem to figure out how to do this. I have a string of similar tuplets and I want to show the first one and hide the rest. Also, on an individual basis can you change the appearance of the tuplet to intentionally “break” the general tuplet rules that you have set up? Add or take away a bracket as needed for example.

FWIW - Add my voice to the concern about the difficulty in adding tuplets. It seems like a lot of key strokes just to get a tuplet and then to leave it. I know there are a lot of Sibelius users in here voicing their opinions from that standpoint, but as primarily a Finale guy, I want to say that the way that Finale does tuplets in Speedy Entry is WAY better. The work flow is simply, Command-3 (for a triplet), enter the notes with the rhythmic value that you want, that’s it. Finale doesn’t assume the value of the tuplet until you’ve entered the first rhythm. And once the tuplet is done writing it automatically closes the tuplet, (unless you use the caps lock key to engage the “stickiness” of it.)

Finale (Speedy Entry) - Command-3, play note on keyboard, press desired rhythm
Dorico - press desired rhythm, type “;”, type “3” (or “7:4”), type “return”, play notes on keyboard, type “:” - It’s too much.

Worked perfectly!

You can hide tuplet brackets/numbers by way of the Properties panel (Ctrl+8 to show it).