Finale Cut, Copy, Paste Shortcuts – and Your Memory


The other day I was watching a friend type some text and was surprised when he went to the Edit menu to select “Copy.” I’d mistakenly assumed that most folks who regularly use computers were hip to the “Holy Trinity” of keyboard shortcuts:

Action: Windows: Mac:
Cut Ctrl+X Command+X
Copy Ctrl+C Command+C
Paste Ctrl+V Command+V

Given that you are reading a music notation software blog, it’s likely you know these. If, however, your livelihood doesn’t depend on your ability to move music with maximum efficiency, you might not remember many more Finale cut, copy, paste shortcuts.

As a kid, one of my favorite guitar teachers was a little protective of his best guitar licks, but was honor-bound to share any information I requested. Whenever I’d ask him how to play a particularly cool riff, he’d play it for me, maybe even at a reduced tempo, and then play several other equally awesome licks in rapid succession, insuring that I’d remember none of them. It’s my goal to avoid this scenario today by providing so few Finale shortcuts that even those who are memory challenged (like me) will recall them!

Here’s the one key you need to remember:

  • Ctrl (Windows)
  • Option (Mac)

Check this out: highlight a region you want to copy. Now hold down Ctrl (Win) or Option (Mac) and click on the first measure where you’d like this music to appear. Done. How quick is that?

Want to copy it more than once (either horizontal or vertically)? Windows users simply hold down the Alt key, too. This invokes the Paste Multiple dialog (one of my favorite tips). Mac users can copy the contents, highlight the destination, then click Control+Command+V).

As our friend Philip Rothman recently commented on this blog, if you add the Shift key you’ll see the Edit Filter dialog (which Fred detailed last week), a great power user tip.

Too much? It’s okay. Just remember that all the secrets of the universe have been hidden under Finale’s Help menu. Simply choose Shortcuts & Character Maps > Keyboard Shortcuts to see them!

Got a favorite cut, copy, paste shortcut I didn’t mention? Share it by clicking on “Comments” below.

PS: Does this all sound familiar to you? I have talked about it before, but I’m hoping you forgot that, too!

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