Can FinaleScript do this?

FinaleScript crop header
I enjoyed seeing some great “can FinaleScript do this?” questions that appeared as comments to my previous post. As a follow-up, I’d thought I’d clarify what types of tasks FinaleScript really excels at.

First and foremost FinaleScript is the perfect tool whenever you need to perform simple edits to batches of files. Imagine needing to change the publishing or copyright information (or any kind of text) in several files at once: FinaleScript can search and replace text, change document options, even manipulate notation, all without having to repetitively click through dialog boxes. Here’s an example script I use to redefine all the linked parts in a score:

page layout tool
menu item “Page Layout/Redefine Pages/Selected Pages of Selected Parts/Score”
popup “All Parts”
press “OK”

(I use this so often that I have defined a shortcut within FinaleScript.)

Sometimes with more complicated changes, however, the best effort might be spent solving the problem sooner in the process. For example, one blog visitor asked:

“Would Finale Script be useful in converting all transposing instruments in a score from the default (using key signatures) to chromatic (with no key signatures)?”

While the puzzle-solver in me can come up with ways you might accomplish this, I would probably first recommend that if you do this as a regular part of using Finale, you should set up a template file with all the instruments set up the way you want.

That said, since I was asked, one way you might address this with FinaleScript would be to not technically change the instrument to chromatic transposition, but produces a result that may work for you (more details below).  Check out this script…. (For setting instruments in F to “Keyless”.)

//set this to the key of the instrument transposition

key signature F major

//highlight the staff that needs to be made key independent
//or you can set the staff to be selected by removing the
//comment slashes and changing the number

//select staff 1

staff attributes
check “Key Signature” Near “Independent Elements”
press “ok”

//Set this to the key of the piece, which for keyless is C major

key signature C Major

//to correct the pitch of the staff you need to set this

menu item “Utilities/Transpose”
radio “Down”
radio “Chromatically”
popup “Perfect Fourth”
type “0” near “Octave(s)
uncheck “Preserve Original Notes”
press “OK”

With a little planning and foreknowledge of the layout of the score you could make a really long script to process each and every staff. As I hinted previously, the above approach includes some compromises. For example, subsequent copying and pasting between different staves set to different keys can result in strange transpositions.

If you enjoy experimenting with FinaleScript and would welcome some feedback on your efforts, there’s a dedicated area on the Finale Forum that offers a great opportunity to interact with other Finale users, ask questions and share suggestions:

Good luck – I hope you enjoy using FinaleScript as much as I do.

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