FinaleScript to the Rescue

Like fellow Finale bloggers Fred Flowerday and Mark Adler, horn player Kelby Stine is a member of MakeMusic’s Repertoire Development team, who perform the engraving and editing of SmartMusic’s notation content. This week Kelby was kind enough to pen our guest blog and pose for Scott Yoho’s amateur photography (above).

Kelby here. I think of FinaleScript as one of the most useful plug-ins in Finale, and a great solution to many problems. “What kind of problems,” you might ask? What if your:

  • Dog just ate all the sheet music you need to perform – one hour from now?
  • Editor requested a “few” global changes to hundreds of Finale documents?
  • Hand is getting cramped from repeating the same music notation task over and over?

FinaleScript offers solutions to all three dilemmas above, and much more. How?

FinaleScript is a basic scripting tool, which enables you to automate a set of functions within Finale. You can learn more about FinaleScript by searching the Finale User Manual for FinaleScript – here are links to the results for Mac and Windows.

To get started, go to Finale’s plug-ins menu and select FinaleScript. You will notice several folders of prewritten scripts. Let’s start by opening the batch process folder and selecting the script designed for batch printing. With this script you can print a single file, multiple open files, or even entire folders full of files with one mouse click. If you like, you can even configure this script to print odd pages, even pages, page ranges, or even 2-up pages. Try it out the next time you need to print out a bunch of files – and let us know what you think by clicking on “Comments” below. This is just one example of what can be done with scripting.

I use FinaleScript every day to make basic edits. Any FinaleScript can be assigned a shortcut, just be sure the shortcut does not mimic one that is defined for your operating system. For example, I can create multi-measure rests, space music, fit a set number of measures per system, update layout, change document preferences, and change fonts all in one script. I have my scripts set up to do all these actions with a defined keystroke. Want to see that script? Let me know.

The power of FinaleScript lies in the batch processing ability. Let’s say you editor needs to change the spelling of the word “colour” to “color” for 200 separate files! FinaleScript can do that; it can even change the font, point size, and font style.

FinaleScript is also portable. Once you have your scripts set up the way you like, you can copy the FinaleScript folder and paste that folder into other installations of Finale. One word of caution: be careful to not overwrite someone else’s scripts.

As a music editor/engraver in the Repertoire Development Department at MakeMusic, Inc., I am responsible for editing publisher’s Finale files and engraving new files from printed music for use in SmartMusic. FinaleScript is my favorite time-saving tool for editing and fixing literally hundreds of documents in a short amount of time. I hope you get some great use from it, too!

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