Finale 2012 and Unicode – in Plain English!

Used by permission from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

If you create music in languages other than English, you probably have a good understanding of what Finale 2012’s Unicode font support offers. If not, perhaps the word “Unicode” is Greek to you. What does it offer those of us who don’t work in languages rich in diacritics and other mysterious characters?

Unicode support means that you can access any character in your font. If you’re still wondering what characters these might be, and how to do it, this blog is for you.

Try the following in Finale 2012 OR the free trial version of Finale 2012:

  • Select the Text Tool and double-click anywhere in your score, as if you wanted to enter some text.
  • From the Text menu choose Font, then specify a font, perhaps Times New Roman. Windows users also need to click “OK.”
  • From the Text menu choose Inserts > Symbol. 

This produces a Symbol Selection box from which you can select a character (from your selected font) to insert into your score.

In Times New Roman, I see things like images that represent the various suits in a deck of cards, copyright, trademark, and other legal symbols, distant memories from math class, emoticons, pictures, shapes, and, well, stuff that’s Greek to me too. Note that any time you edit text in Finale you have access to these font characters through the text menu, so you can use these symbols in expressionsm, articulations, and anywhere else you wish.

Is this the only way to access these characters using Finale? Certainly not. Your computer’s operating system provides alternative ways to view and access these characters, and you can also purchase language-specific keyboards that already have all the Greek (or other language) characters on them.

Are you accessing these characters? How? Share your experience by clicking on “Comments” below.

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