Figured Bass and the Finale Numerics Font

Transcribing a Bach chorale or creating examples of harmonic analysis for students? This blog’s for you.

The creation of figured bass and harmonic analysis is greatly simplified in Finale 2012 with the addition of the Finale Numerics Font. This font includes zero-width characters that make it easy to stack characters using the Lyrics Tool.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Select the Lyrics tool: From the Lyrics menu, choose Lyric Options.
  2. Under Hyphens, turn off “Use Smart Hyphens.” Under Word Extensions, turn off “Use Smart Word Extensions,” then click OK to return to  Document Options.
  3. Select Fonts at left, and then next to Lyrics, choose the Finale Numerics font, then click OK twice to return to the score.
  4. Finally, from the Lyrics menu, specify “Type into Score.”

You can stack the characters by using modifier keys on your keyboard. For characters on the top row, hold Shift and type the number or character. For characters in the middle, simply type the number or character. To place a character below, hold the Option key on Mac and type the number or character; on Windows, hold the Alt key and type the corresponding Alt-key code.

For example, in the second measure above, you can type ‘Shift-7’, then ‘x’ to insert a sharp sign below.

Don’t know the Alt-key code? Here are all the keystrokes for Mac and Windows users (you can also reach these links by searching the Finale Manual for “Finale Numerics”).

Questions? Observations? Share them with us by clicking on “Comments” below.

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