Global Staff Attributes: Let Finale do your heavy lifting

At a recent Finale training in Dallas I spoke to a user who had figured out HOW to do what they wanted to do with Finale, but not how to do it efficiently.

To see what they were up against, select the Staff tool, double-click on any staff, and check out the Staff Attributes of that staff. Here you have awesome control over what appears and doesn’t appear on each staff. You can choose to display or hide everything from chords and clefs to repeats and rests. You can change staff name fonts, clefs, hide staves, all kinds of things.

Once you double-clicked on the staff all of this is pretty clear.

What wasn’t clear, at least to this user, was how to make a Staff Attribute change that will impact ALL staves: There’s no provision to do that here, and thus you may assume that you’ll have to repeat this process for every staff in your score. The good news is that you don’t!

The solution is a wonderfully useful plug-in that doesn’t get enough attention:

[Cue the echo chamber effect.] Global Staff Attributes.  

Let’s see how easy it is to, for example, change the staff name fonts for an entire piece. To check it out go to Plug-ins > Scoring and Arranging > Global Staff Attributes:

While the “Global” name might imply otherwise, you have fine control over which staves you affect, and as a bonus you don’t need to specify this prior to selecting the plug-in. What’s more, you can even select noncontiguous staves as I’ve done below:

However, for our example, you’ll probably want to select all staves, click the corresponding Select Fonts button, and chose your desired font. You can also choose the same font, or something different, for your group names as well.

When you’re done simply hit “OK,” or click “Apply” if you subsequently want to change something else with the plug-in.

I have found the Global Staff Attributes plug-in helpful in so many ways and my hope is that, now that you know about it, you will too. Please let us know what you think by clicking on “Comments” below.

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