Finale time savers

Hey guys!

I have a couple Finale questions for guys that do a lot of percussion arranging/composing. In the past, I have not had to work under a time crunch or for deadlines. However, lately, my writing as been much faster paced. I have run into some things that slow me down and was curious if anyone has some quick fixes. I know the easy answer would be to switch to Sibelius. Right now, most of my clients use Finale. So, that is not really an option yet. However, I would like to make the switch. I just have a feeling I will still be using both Finale and Sibelius.

1. In Finale 2010, is it possible to align dynamic marks for percussion staves? If so, what do you use? I have no issue using the TG tools plug in for the non-percussion staves. However, I get an error telling me that the plug-in does not work for percussion staves. This gets very tedious to go back and manual adjust for the battery and aux. perc. Does anyone have a trick I have overlooked?

2. What method do you use to print parts? I have run into several notation issues when trying to print parts. The format and spacing are wrong. The measure numbers and enclosures are missing from the parts, etc... So, I usually make a separate “Score” file and “Parts” file. That way, the changes I make to make the parts look correct, do not affect the score. What is your method? This makes three separate Finale files. One “Score Print” version, one “Audio” version for playback, and one “Parts” version.

Also, does anyone else use the insert movie option in Finale? I use it to line up the wind and percussion parts while I write. It makes it a lot easier to experiment. What do you guys use during the writing process?

Thanks in advance! Just looking to save time.

Hi Luke!

I'll leave the detailed Finale tricks for the people who use it more regularly than I do. Mainly, I just wanted to chime in to say that the easy answer isn't necessarily switching programs. Finale and Sibelius both have their strengths and I think our forum here is sometimes a little heavy-handed in favoring one method over another. I've probably been guilty of that as well in the past, but I hope you don't feel as if you need to switch to get any advice here! :) The time it takes to learn another program may not be worth it.

Hopefully you'll get some feedback here, but I'd also encourage you to post the same questions on the [url=]Finale forums[/url] as well since those boards are also swimming with experts who may have some quick tips to offer.

Good luck!
Hi Luke,

1) Unfortunately the TG Tool plugin does not work on Non-Pitched staves.  Not quite sure why, but it is a bit annoying, since it works wonders on pitched staves.

The workaround I use is this:

-Select the Expression Tool and select the Expressions you want to move.  Press backspace/clear to remove manual positioning.  On the right hand margin, use the baseline adjustment arrows to move the baseline for what you need (whole document, staff by staff basis, etc)

-For SmartShapes, select all with the SmartShape Tool or individual regions as needed.  Right-click on a SmartShape and choose 'Align Horizontally'.  If you need to align from staff to staff, select the crescendo/decrescendo markings in that measure stack and right click > Align Vertically.

-Once aligned, you can select multiple and move them to align with whatever you need.

Sounds like a lot of steps, but I can clean up a score/part in a matter of seconds using those tricks.

2) It sounds like you might not be using linked parts.  Are you going to Document Menu > Edit Part > (Choose any part) before printing?  Using the Part Management Dialog Box, you can set any page format you wish and it will automatically apply across all parts.

Let me know if you keep having trouble with Expression markings not appearing on parts.  Most likely, the assignment is set incorrectly.

Check the attachments below.  The first image is afew seconds of work using the first few suggestions.  The second image is the before.

Hey guys!

Thanks for the hints! I have used the SmartShapes trick before and it works well. I was just looking for a more automatic choice. I hope the TG Tools plug-in gets updated. That would make things much easier.

I am using linked parts. However, there are some things like titles, text, and some other part specific items that always seem to get changed in the score or the parts unless I just make a separate file like I do for my audio. I will tinker with the linked parts options and see if it makes things quicker.

I will start using your expression tools trick immediately. Thanks!

Jim, I have guys that use both software packages. I can see the benefits of both. I have used Finale for so long, I worry that if I change, I will really get slowed down. If I ever get some down time, I plan on trying Sibelius. I have heard details like this are a little easier on Sibelius.

One more question ��� what do you Mac guys use to create gradual tempo changes. On PC, there is a JW Tempo plugin. But, I have not found an equivalent for my Mac friends/composers. Any ideas?

Thanks again guys!

Hi Luke,

No auto option as of yet, that's something I would like as well (at least for original positioning).

As for the linked parts issue, do you have an example that you'd be comfortable posting (if not, send me a PM and I can take a look at it for you)?
You are awesome my friend! I did some investigating and realized that on my last few projects, I was using an older version of a template I made. I had not updated it and some options were turned off. It is working like a charm now. And yes, it saves a great deal of time.

I just got in such a hurry, I did not check out the new stuff in 2010 and kept using my old tricks. This solves most of my speed issues.

Thanks a ton!

Hi Luke,

No problem!  Let me know if you run into anything else odd.

If you're looking for some more useful Finale tips, check out the Finale social media sites!

[URL=]Finale Blog[/URL]
[URL=]Finale Forums[/URL]
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