Finale Tips: Lyrics and Hyphenation

Hallelujah Chorus excerpt 600 dpi crop

Recently I was asked to engrave two hymnals, both on tight deadlines. Today I’m going to share a few tips that helped me to complete these projects on time.

My first tip is Juicio Brennan’s Lyric Hyphenator website. Juicio hosts a web-based app that auto-hyphenates any text. His service is both very accurate and free!

My lyric workflow has long been to create by lyrics in a text editor (like Word) before I enter them in Finale. This allows me to take advantage of Word’s powerful spell-checker.

Next, I copy and paste the lyrics into Juicio’s Hyphenator and press the “Hyphenate My Text!” button. Instantly, my text is hyphenated. Juicio suggests checking the text for accuracy, as some words may be missing from the hyphenating dictionary, and it may not hyphenate proper nouns. After using the Hyphenator for both hymnals, I can count on one hand the number of words it hyphenated incorrectly. Juicio even provides a means of submitting missing words, so the service should only get better.

After the lyrics are hyphenated, I copy and paste the text into Finale’s Lyrics Window, pasting one verse at a time into its proper page.

Next, I place the lyrics into the score using the “click assign” tool. While I could manually click in each syllable, I hold down my Mac’s “option” key (Ctrl on Windows) while clicking on the first note, which instantly enters the entire verse.

Lastly, I make any adjustments to the lyrics with the “shift lyrics” tool, shifting lyrics a note or two to the left or right as needed.

For me, this is a very fast and accurate way to get lyrics into Finale, and much faster and more accurate than typing lyrics directly into the score. Please share your lyric tips, or let us know what you think of mine, by clicking on “Comments” below.

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