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Staff System Optimization dialog box

How to get there

Click the Page Layout Tool  image\Page_Layout_Tool.gif. Choose Optimize Staff Systems from the Page Layout menu.

What it does

In published full scores, it’s customary to omit from a system any staves that consist of entirely of rests. The result is a more compact and readable score. In Finale, this process of suppressing the printing of empty staves within each system is called optimizing systems.

Use this dialog box to place or remove optimization on the specified staff systems. Optimizing can perform two functions: it always makes the staves in the staff systems independently adjustable in Page View for a single staff system; and—depending on your settings—it removes empty staves from the staff systems.

Using this dialog box, you can specify the systems you want optimized—all of them, for example. Finale redraws your score (in Page View), omitting blank staves from the specified systems; you’ll find that your score now fits on fewer pages.

Optimizing systems in Finale has another important benefit: it permits staves within staff systems to be independently movable in Page View. Under normal circumstances, when you move, respace, or rearrange staves using the Staff Tool all staff systems are affected. Post-optimization, however, you’ll find that the Staff Tool now allows you to vary the positioning and spacing of staves for a single staff system. Furthermore, again using the Staff Tool, you can create a new grouping of staves which will affect only that staff system, letting you change the way in which your staves are bracketed. With groups, you can also tell Finale to optimize staves together for instruments that require more than one staff, such as piano and harp.

Finale locks in this staff configuration. If, for example, you return to Scroll View after optimizing systems, and add some music to a staff which no longer appears in Page View (because the system has been optimized), the staff won’t reappear. If you want to edit, reformat, enlarge, or reduce your music, remove optimization before you do it (by choosing the Optimize Staff Systems command again and selecting Remove System Optimization), and later reapply optimization. For this reason, it’s best to make optimization the last thing you do before printing, after the piece has been formatted, proofread, and ready to be given its final layout. See Staff Attributes dialog box.

A measure with a "real" whole rest—one you’ve entered with the Simple Entry or Speedy Entry Tool—is not considered empty. If you notice that an apparently empty staff won’t disappear from its system, it probably contains a "real" whole rest, which you must remove before reapplying the Optimize All Staff Systems command.

Note that you can tell Finale to ask you before removing each empty staff from the system, which means you can leave certain blank staves in place, if you want (the same result you get by inserting "real" whole rests).

After optimizing a staff system, Finale will display a non-printing Optimization icon in Page View to the right of the system.

See Also:

Page Layout Tool



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