Finale Blog: Two Nifty Tips for Expressions

In Finale, expressions are markings that tell the performer how to interpret (or express) a musical passage. This can include dynamic markings, tempo indications, expressive text, technique text, and more.

You can move and edit expressions, and indeed just about everything in Finale, with the Selection tool.

TIP 1: My handy shortcut for choosing the Selection tool is to hit the Esc key.

Once you’ve chosen the Selection tool, you can move any existing expression by simply clicking on it, then dragging it from one note to another (while continuing to hold the mouse down). As you drag, on-screen feedback indicates the note to which the expression is attached. This is important because this point of attachment is also where the playback effect will begin.

However, sometimes I want to move the expression but have the attachment point remain unchanged.

TIP 2: To move an expression without changing where the playback effect begins, simply hold down ALT (Windows) or OPT (Mac) as you drag or nudge the expression to its new location.

Is this helpful? Have other questions? Let us know by clicking on “Comments” below.

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