My Favorite Finale Shortcuts

Shortcuts increase your efficiency and speed, and make things easier on your hands, but only if you can remember them. I’ve blogged about Finale shortcuts before, both here and here, and a complete list of Finale shortcuts can be found in your Finale Help menu. Nevertheless, I meet many fine Finale users in my travels who would benefit from a short list of top shortcuts, and I’d like to have such a list handy to share with them. Therefore, here are my favorite Finale shortcuts:

Viewing Shortcuts

  • Ctrl/Command-E — This changes your View from Page View to Scroll View and vice versa. (Remember that this means that Windows users hold down the Ctrl key while typing a lower-case “e” while Mac users hold down the Command key (the key with the Apple on it) while typing a lower-case “e.”
  • Ctrl/Command- + (plus) — This zooms in, making my music bigger. Use the minus key to make it smaller.

Simple Entry Shortcuts

  • X — Indicates you want to enter an expression — then type a “4” to enter a forte. A full list of the keys (or metatools) which correspond with each marking is available in the Expression Selection Box.
  • * (the asterisk key) — Indicates you want to enter an articulation — then press an S to enter a staccato, an A for an accent mark , etc.
  • L — Flip stems in the opposite direction.
  • / — Breaks a beam.
  • Alt/Option-K — Lets you change key — just as T and C let you change Time Signature or Clef.

    Using Finale on a laptop? You’ll want to specify the Laptop Shortcut Table. Select Simple Entry, go to the Simple menu, specify Simple Entry Options>Edit Keyboard Shortcuts and change “Default Shortcut Table” to “Laptop Shortcut Table.”

Editing Shortcuts

  • Ctrl/Command-Z — Undo. This is my favorite shortcut, period.
    Ctrl/Command-C — Copies whatever you’ve selected. Use Ctrl/Command-V to paste.
  • 6, 7, 8, and 9 — Choose the Selection Tool, select some music, then type a number: “6” transposes your music diatonically down a step. “7” transposes your music diatonically up a step. “8” transposes your music diatonically down an octave. Guess what “9” does!
  • S, G, <, etc. — In the SmartShape tool, type “S” to enter a slur, “G” to enter a glissando, “<” to enter a crescendo, and “>” to enter a decrescendo.

Layout Shortcuts

  • Up Arrow — Choose the Selection tool and select a measure. If you hit the Up Arrow key on your computer keyboard, this measure will move the measure up to the previous staff system. The Down Arrow key moves the measure to the subsequent system.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve read that my cockatiel can only remember forty things. Assuming I can recall at least as much as my cockatiel, I should be able to manage this list, my wife’s birthday, AND the location of my car keys.


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