Smart Shape Shortcuts

This week’s blog will again be a short one. You may notice a trend here; this time of year I am on the road every week, demonstrating Finale for music educators, ministers, dealers, and more. Check out our convention/clinic schedule to see when we’re in your neck of the woods – it’d be great to meet in person.

In fact, today’s topic – Smart Shape shortcuts – occurred to me when I was in Anaheim earlier this month demonstrating Finale at the NAMM Show. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember things like shortcuts very well, so my idea was to share some shortcuts you won’t have to remember.

Most Finale users I meet are familiar with the basics of entering SmartShapes (slurs, crescendos, decrescendos, glissandos, etc.) found on this palette:

For example, they know that after they click on the Slur Tool they can double-click on any note to add a slur from that note to the next, or that they can double-click and drag to add a slur over a range of notes. Ask them to enter a crescendo, and they’ll similarly begin by clicking on the Crescendo Tool. Today’s tip will save you from clicking on those individual Smart Shape tools, saving you time and effort.

Want to enter a crescendo? Type the < key (which looks like a crescendo) then click where you want your crescendo to begin, and drag to where you want it to end. Appropriately > produces a decrescendo. Need another slur? Type an S. A glissando? Type a G. Need to create a line? Type an L. My point is that you don’t need to remember the specific shortcuts, you only need to remember that shortcuts exist, and that you can easily guess what keys do what.

Have you seen the new movie, Up in the Air, where George Clooney plays a man who is constantly traveling for work? I’d like to see it, but I’ll probably have to wait until it’s showing on a plane!

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