Finale’s “Add Again” Metatool

Hey there! My name’s Fred, and I’m part of the Repertoire Development department at MakeMusic. We are responsible for engraving and editing the notation content for SmartMusic using Finale. We produce hundreds of titles a year for SmartMusic, and in doing so, we actively look for any way we can streamline our process and save time.

One way we do this is with the constant use of Finale’s short cut keys, called Metatools. Metatools assign common tasks and items to specific keystrokes, so you don’t have to go looking for them. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite Metatools, which is new to Finale 2012: The “Add Again” Metatool.

This function allows you to add the marking you’ve just added – again. This might sound like a small thing, but it has applications that can save some serious time over the length of a project! It comes in particularly useful for items that are repeated, but don’t have or warrant their own Metatool, sort of like a Metatool on the fly.

The shortcut to this action is the hyphen “-”, and it works with many tools within Finale: Articulation, Expression, Tuplet, Clef, Time Signature, Chord, Selection, Key signature, Staff Tool, Repeat. To gain a better understanding, we can take a look at this functionality in action with the Articulation Tool.

First enter some notes into your score. Next, switch to the Articulation Tool and click a note to pull up the Articulation Selection dialog box. Choose any Articulation from the dialog and click “Select” to add your selection to the note. Now, hold down the hyphen and click any other note, and you will add the same articulation to subsequent notes. Nice!

However, here’s where the “Add Again” Metatool comes into its own: Tuplet Definitions. Finale does a great job with tuplets, but anyone who’s entered an eighth note triplet that begins with a quarter note, knows this has to be defined via the Tuplet Definition dialog box. If you have a bunch of these in a score, time spent in the Tuplet Definition dialog box can add up!

So, enter the notes for your quarter-eighth triplet combination into the score. Switch to the Tuplet Tool, click the first quarter note, and define the eighth note triplet as usual. Next, continue entering the notes as usual. Now, the next time you come to a similar quarter eighth triplet, enter the notes, switch to the Tuplet Tool, hold down the hyphen key, and click the first note of the tuplet. Finale will apply the same tuplet definition to the notes, and save you time!

Let us know how the “Add Again” Metatool is working for you by clicking on “Comments” below!

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