Finale 2003 to Sibelius 3

I am on the verge of deciding to switch over to Sibelius from Finale. Sibelius just seems from a features standpoint to be much more attractive. Before I take the plunge, I have a couple of questions that maybe some of you Sibelius users can help me with. My OS is XP Pro. (1) All of the groups I write for use the same wind arranger. I know that he is a die-hard Finale fan. How difficult will it be for me to convert his files into Sibelius 3 and arrange my parts with Sibelius 3 and VD (of course VD2 when it's released :D ) ? (2) Will I be able to convert Finale files that were written using the VD template over to Sibelius? (3) How much will I benefit from the change? (Especially when I upgrade to VD2...)

Thanks in advance for any ideas and insights.
Converting Finale brass/wind scores into Sibelius 3 so that I can then import into my VDL templates is something I do pretty often. It's a fairly simple process, though you may find a few quirks to deal with. A few of them (off the top of my head) are as follows. Note, some of this may also have to do with how the brass arranger entered these elements into Finale.

1) Slurs sometimes come out looking a little squashed.
2) Brackets (on left staff edge) for staff groups don't seem to translate properly.
3) Rehearsal marks seem to be input as regular, or boxed text, so they don't conform to Sibelius' rehearsal marking structure.
4) Some system-wide attributes (like rehearsal marks mentioned above) like metronome markings, written out dynamics ("accel poco a poco") cause some funny little invisible elements to be present in the Sibelius conversion.

Fortunately, these are all minor things.

To get rid of the invisible items in #4 mentioned above, I just go to the ADVANCED FILTER in Sibelius, select "view text", click on the 'text' checkbox under "Find", then shift-click all the various finale items in the "text style" window (finale expression, finale expression 1, finale measure number, etc), then click the "select" button. This will highlight any of the little unwanted artifacts that remain from the Finale conversion. With all of them highlighted, just click "delete" and kiss them goodbye. It's pretty painless, and just one feature that makes Sibelius quick and easy in my opinion.
Well, I was a finale user since version 3.0. About a year ago Jim convinced me to switch over to Sibelius. Each program has its advantages and disadvantages. I use both regularly to keep up with them.

Converting wind scores from Finale to Sibelius is easy, just save the Finale file as a .etf file and open it in Sibelius. You might have to do some tweaking, but not too much.

Opening Finale VDL files in Sibelius though is a pain. The files will all open with Sibelius putting the notes where they actually are on the staff, not where they map to in the VDL template so you'd still have to go back in and fix that. Unless, and I can't believe I haven't tried this yet, you can cut and paste from a regular Sibelius file into the VDL template.
i had to convert finale files last year for the same reason. sibelius easily converts and opens the finale files--there may be a few slight adjustments you have to make--but no big deal.

as far as VDL--create wind staves on the sibelius VDL template just as they appear on the wind arrangement that you convert, then copy and paste all of the wind parts to the newly created score.

as far as things written with VDL on the finale template--i'm really not sure how that would convert. i would think there is probably an easy way to do it--i've just never had to do that. someone here should know.

i think you will benefit greatly from the change. you will probably find that the ease of use is awesome. i have used both--and i learned more in the first two days with sibelius than i did in weeks with finale (this was about 3-4 years ago though) i have nothing against finale--but i could never in good concious recommend it over the great Sibelius! good luck!!

if you have anymore questions--i'd be glad to help!!

chris
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