Chord Symbols in Finale

Sometimes when collaborating with others (or cleaning up my older charts) I’ll run across a file where the chord suffixes are a jumble of different fonts:

Chords3 700

Today, I’d like to share a few easy tips to help avoid this in your scores.

Tip #1: Enter the Right Chords the Easiest Way

While Finale’s Chord tool is designed to intelligently guess your chord suffix when you type it in, there’s an easier and faster way to enter chord symbols in Finale than typing things like “Em(maj7).” Type the root of the chord, followed by a colon, then the number of the suffix you want.

Don’t know the number associated with the suffix you want? Neither do I.

So instead, type the number zero (0) to pick from a list of suffixes.

To recap: Type E (or whatever the root is), press the colon key, then type the number zero. Your entire chord now shows “E:0”. Press Enter.

The Chord Suffix Selection dialog box appears, which displays every chord in your document’s library:

Chord Suffixes 4

Simply double-click the suffix you want to use. But before you do, note the number associated with the suffix. If you use this suffix often, you can save time by typing root, colon, and that number.

While admittedly “root:0” isn’t 100% intuitive, it’s fast, easy, and ensures you don’t accidently mix and match chord suffix fonts.

Tip #2: Before Creating a Suffix from Scratch, Edit an Existing One

Sometimes you may need a chord suffix that differs from those in your existing document. Rather than creating a new suffix from scratch, I suggest copying an existing suffix and editing it. This is easy to do, but can be tricky to find. I enter the similar suffix first. Next, right-click on it and choose Edit Chord Definition. Click Select next to “Suffix,” then click the Duplicate button.

Doing this can help to set up your new suffix correctly, using the same fonts from your other chords.

Tip #3: Globally Change Suffix Fonts

Curious how to fix the file above? You could delete each incorrect chord and add new ones with the correct suffix (as described above), or:

  1. Select the Chord Tool.
  2. Click Chord > Change Chord Suffix Fonts. The Change Chord Suffix Fonts dialog box appears.
  3. Under Search For, choose the old (incorrect) font, and under Replace With, choose the font you want to use.

Change Suffix 5

4. Click OK and watch your chords automatically change to your chosen font:

Chords3b 700

I hope this helps. Please let us know how chords are working for you in Finale by clicking on “Comments” below.

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