Working with the Sibelius 7 Quick Start, New Score Wizard and a Screenreader

Out of the box, the combined quick start and new score wizard in Sibelius 7 are not yet particularly forthcoming with information when you are using a screenreader, due to a new graphical implementation combining the features of both windows. For users of screen reading software on windows, however, there is a workaround which I will detail here.

Firstly, when the application starts and displays the quick start, press control plus comma to display the preferences dialog.

Next, go down the categories list box (which starts with display, files and so on) until you get to “Other”. Tab through this page until you get to the “Show Quick Start dialog” checkbox. Uncheck this, press OK on the dialog and restart Sibelius.

Next time it starts you will be presented with a blank score document rather than the quick start. From here you can use the backstage to access your recent files, or you can add instruments and other operations via the ribbon that the new score wizard otherwise offers.

Features on the quick start can be accessed via other means; it has five sections ordinarily – Learn, New Score, Recent, Import and Latest News. Recent can be accessed via the recent files and folder options on the ribbon backstage (File tab) once you have the score document open, and most of Import can be accessed via the standard open dialog (you can open midi and XML files, for instance).

The Learn tab has two types of option – links to open on the Sibelius website, and links to files in the Sibelius 7 Installation. These are:

  1. Quick Tour – links to a video at
  2. What’s New – links to a video at
  3. Sibelius for Switchers – links to a video at
  4. Sibelius 7 Tutorials – this links to a PDF document called “Sibelius Tutorials.pdf” in the Sibelius installation (I’ll tell you below how to find this)
  5. Sibelius Reference – this links to a PDF document called “Sibelius Reference.pdf” in the Sibelius installation
  6. What’s new – this links to a PDF document called “What’s new.pdf” in the Sibelius installation
  7. Finally, there is a link to online support – this takes you to the web page at

Here’s how to find the PDF documents in your Windows Sibelius installation: Go to the C drive, then go into the folders AppData, then Avid, Sibelius 7, Resources, en.lproj (for English speakers, other language folders also exist) then Sibelius Help.

All of the options on the new page (which replaces the new score wizard from previous releases) can be accessed via the ribbon. Finally the Latest News page is the news feed from Daniel Spreadbury’s blog at, a RSS feed for which can be found here at

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