Finale is all about Document Options

My friend Larry had a Finale question the other day. When he entered the following combination of sixteenth notes and rests, Finale gave him this:

But Larry didn’t want that. Larry wanted this:

As anyone who has ever seen me demonstrate Finale in person will attest, I don’t actually know every answer. But I’m pretty good at finding them. To be clear, this isn’t because I have a fantastic memory, but because Finale’s answers are found in fairly intuitive places.

While I could have looked in the User Manual under beaming, I went straight to Document Options.

To find them, go to the Document menu and select Document Options. From there, you can select from a list of topics on the left, and I chose Beams:

While this might appear a bit daunting at first, it offers all kinds of flexibility in how to make the beams in your music look exactly the way you want them to (and not the way someone else decided they should look). Plus the options are described in the language of music, not of computers, so it’s easy to select what you need.

Thinking that “Extend secondary beams over rests” might do the trick, I checked that option and the accompanying picture changed to display the result Larry was looking for:

Satisfied I found the answer, I hit the OK button. Instantly every similar example in Larry’s piece changed to his preferred manner of beaming.

Again, my only trick was to think of Document Options when I want to change the way things look in a document. When I consider the control Finale offers over beaming, and then multiply that by all the areas that Finale offers this kind of flexibility (from accidentals to tuplets) it’s pretty awesome!

Is there some result you’re not sure how to obtain in Finale? Let us know by clicking on “Comments” below – we’re glad to help!

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