Finale Blog: If It Ain’t Broke…


Being a practical guy, I generally agree with the philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, I make exceptions. My old typewriter still works fine, yet I’ve found that my laptop provides me with a more efficient means to communicate my thoughts.

In creating new versions of Finale, we always strive to improve the user experience while being sensitive to the fact that not everyone wants a new experience; when providing new ways to do things we typically make it possible for you to still do it the old way, too. As a result, sometimes long-time Finale users continue to do things the way they always have – long after a better option exists. (And of course the question of what is “better” is very subjective.)

Often when I’m speaking with Finale users, someone will refer to part extraction without mentioning Linked Parts, and I’ll discover that they don’t know Linked Parts exist. Linked Parts is the Finale feature that automatically creates parts for your score, and ensures that edits made in your parts instantly appear in your score – and vice versa. Prior to Linked Parts, you would extract parts, creating many separate Finale files based on the way the score looked at that instant. Then you had to manage a whole bunch of separate part files, and hopefully you took the time to update the score whenever you changed notes in the part.

For me, the way Linked Parts transformed this process was no less dramatic than what word processing software did to my writing. Best of all, there’s nothing to turn on, I simply create new scores from Finale’s Setup Wizard and my parts are automatically generated.

However, if you’ve in the habit of starting new files from an old template, parts will not be automatically generated. If this describes you, or if you are simply working in an old file created before Linked Parts, the good news is that it’s simple to add parts after the fact too!

To see the Linked Parts in your score, go to Document > Edit Part:

If parts exist in your score, you’ll see them listed here. Just click on the part name, like “Cello,” to see individual parts, and note the handy keystrokes for moving between your parts (Next Part, etc.).

If parts don’t currently exist in your score, simply click on Generate Parts:

…and new parts will appear the next time you select Document > Edit Part.

Have any questions about using Linked Parts? Please let us know by clicking on “Comments” below! 

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