xml import - all verses on top of each other

Hello all!

When I have a file in sib sib with multiple verses of text under one another and I export the file to XML (uncompressed) and import to Dorico, I’m left with all the verses on one line (verse 1) on top of each other. Is there anyway to prevent this from happening? If not, is there an easy way of separating the text into the proper verses? Usually I have to delete the text and re-enter it from scratch.

I can’t speak for the Sibelius side of things, but it’s not easily adjusted in Dorico. You can Alt-Shift-click to select a specific lyric superimposed on another, but at present there’s no way to parse them out until more robust lyric features are added.


Are you sure the verses in Sibelius are lyrics line1, lyrycs line2, lyrics line3 etc.
I tried it myself with an xml-export from within Sibelius 7.1.3 and import in Dorico.
Dorico did the right job translating them to verse 1, 2 and 3.


I’ve seen this before but not in a long time and not in Dorico.

Is it a MusicXML import error in Dorico or export error from Sibelius? Either is quite possible. Dorico has xml issues but I suspect Sibelius.

A good way to tell is to import that xml file into Finale or Notion 6—both have good MusicXML import. Either a friend’s copy or the 30 day demo will work. If you can post one page or a test page .xml that exhibits the problem, users like I can download and see.

Otherwise, you’ve not given enough info for a good guess. What version of Sibelius? Does it require the free Dolet plugin to update MusicXML (many versions do but I don’t know about recent builds)?

Once a lyrics syllable is selected, you can change its verse number (or Chorus, or Translation) in the Properties panel. (I’ve had to do this with XML from Finale, where the verse numbers were all over the shop.)
However, identifying and selecting the correct verse/syllable may be tricky. I don’t know if Select More will select lyrics on the same layer, or all the superimposed lyrics.

Yes I did check and the Sib. lyrics are “lyrics line 1” “lyrics line 2” etc. I’m using Sib. 8.6.0

Thank you Dan for the Alt-Shift-click suggestion. That helps.

I’ve noticed sometimes verse are imported correctly but other times they are not. I don’t know what changes to make this happen.

I have Sib. v 8.6.0. When I export a file to xml I click the file tab, then click on “Export”, then “Music XML”, “uncompressed”.

I don’t think I ever installed the Dolet plugin (maybe I did years ago?)

David, the Dolet plugin (Dolet® 6 Plugin for Sibelius 5.1 and later - MusicXML) uses a different engine to export the MusicXML. It sometimes gives better results than Sibelius’s own MusicXML export (and sometimes Sibelius does a better job).

Ok thank you so much I’ll give that a try! D


In an xml-file with 3 lyric lines, but at importing in Dorico as superimposed lines, I saw lines like this:

Replacing all by

gives me at immport in Dorico the right verses.

Maybe something you can use.


My xml file had thousands of lines of these text codes. I changed a whole bunch but didn’t seem to make a difference.
For what it’s worth . . . I did delete all the other instruments except the vocal verse lines and piano and the verses imported correctly.

****Chiming in on this thread, 16 months later, because I have encountered the same problem, and solved it. At least for Sibelius 7, exporting directly (not using the Dolet plugin).

I am using Sibelius 7.1.3, and exported a hymn with 6 verses as uncompressed MusicXML. When I imported the MusicXML into Dorico 3.5, I found that my 6th verse was overlaid on top of verse 1.

In reviewing the MusicXML, I noticed that the encoding for the first staff looked like this:

single 1. O single 2. O single 3. The single 4. Thy single 5. Frail single 6. O

Notice that last line, and the “number” attribute. It is “part1verse0” when it should be “part1verse6”.

I used my text editor (Notepad will do) to search-and-replace


I saved the MusicXML file, and it imported into Dorico correctly.

(No, I don’t think Sibelius users should be double-checking MusicXML exports; yes, my day job is being a software systems architect.)

I just did a xml import into Dorico 4 and Sibelius 7. Sibelius lyrics came in properly lyric line 1 and lyric line 2. Dorico, on the other hand mashed them all together. This is a function I need to work and I’m in the trial period on Dorico…darm. I so wanted it to work

Can you zip up the MusicXML file you’re working with and attach it here so we can take a look?

OK just a sec

This I Believe(The Creed).xml.zip (8.5 KB)

Thanks for attaching this. I can confirm that it comes down to the same problem: Sibelius, in its infinite wisdom, is exporting all of the lyrics with the same identifier, so Dorico is doing as it’s told, and importing all of them into the same line.

If you have access to the original Sibelius file and Sibelius itself, you might find that exporting the MusicXML file using the Dolet plug-in rather than using Sibelius’s own built-in exporter will do a better job in this specific dimension.

As far as I can remember, I started with a pdf in photoscore ultimate, exported it as a xml uncompressed file. I then imported that file into both Sibelius 7 and Dorico 4. In Sibelius, it appeared in it’s correct lyric line, but in Dorico it mashed the 2nd chorus into the 1st on top of each other. I tried selecting one of them in engrave mode and moving it.At first It appears to work , but when I let go of the mouse they both move to the same location still stacked on top of each other. Thanks for looking into this…

The file you’ve attached was exported from Sibelius rather than PhotoScore, so if you still have access to Sibelius, I’d suggest re-exporting it from Sibelius using the Dolet plug-in if you can.

Rather than dragging the lines further apart in Engrave mode, what you really need to do is select the lyrics that should be in line 2, and change the Lyric line property in the Properties panel.

Thanks for that…I don’t seem to be able to access the 2nd line. I can get at the 1st one, but the 2nd one doesn’t seem to offer a handle, so I can’t select the entire line, only one word. Could I copy the first lyric line, paste it into,say the 4th lyric line, erase it from the original and then select the 2nd line, which should be exposed by then and change it to be the 2nd lyric line? Then change the pasted 4th lyric line into the 1st? whew that was long winded…