SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

Finishing Touches

Finale is the industry standard because it offers ultimate control of the printed page.

Overview of Finishing Touches

Finale offers ultimate control of the printed page, making it the first choice for engravers, publishers and others who seek perfection. Equally important, Finale also speeds up and simplifies the process.

Recent additions include:

  • Create perfect notation of accidentals and rests, in music in multiple layers, without manual editing.
  • Instantly create keyless scores or keyless staves within a score.
  • Beat-attached SmartShapes speed up the creation of perfect looking (and playing) shapes.


  • Staff Layout capabilities make it simple and intuitive to hide, move, and edit staves, groups, and brackets. 
  • Space Systems automatically positions your staff systems evenly on each page.
  • Choose from a variety of included music fonts or use a third-party font.
  • Add graphics (including pictures or logos) to your score, in a wide variety of formats, and easily resize them to fit your needs.
  • Document Styles let you control the appearance of your documents and make creating your own Styles instantaneous.
  • Customize your workspace with textured paper backgrounds, display colors, views, and palettes.
  • Finale also has over 50 time-saving plug-ins, many designed for specialized notation tasks.
Accidentals and Rests in Layers

Improvements to Accidentals

Finale now ensures that duplicate accidentals never occur on unison notes in separate layers.

Instead of this:
Acc Ex 1 2012

…you’ll see this:

Acc Ex 1 2014

When entering notes (without MIDI) in Simple Entry, Finale now honors accidentals that appear earlier in a measure (even if they’re not in the same layer). This reduces the time it takes to create an example like this:

Acc Ex 2 2012

If you’d prefer to redisplay accidentals in other layers within measures, this result – document wide – is just a click away:

Acc Ex 2 2014

New in Finale 2014: Rest Enhancements

Now you can instantly consolidate rests of the same value that occupy the same beat across layers. You can instantly switch from this:

Rest Ex 3 2014 MORE

…to this …or back again.

Rest Ex 3 2014 LESS

Easy Keyless Scores

Easy Keyless Scores

While Finale has always been able to create the look of keyless scores, now they’re “one-button” easy.

Keyless Score crop 450

When creating a new keyless piece, simply select “Keyless” option in Finale’s Setup Wizard. Instead of displaying key signatures, the resulting piece will display all necessary accidentals.

keyless choice cropped X2

With Finale 2014, it’s equally easy to specify select staves as keyless, select measures as keyless, or instantly convert staves from transposing to keyless in an existing score.

Beat-Attached SmartShapes

Beat-Attached SmartShapes

Hairpins, trills and similar SmartShapes are now aligned in the same way as chords and expressions, automatically attaching to a desired “beat,” and snapping into place.

This not only makes precise entry simpler and quicker, it also ensures consistent results, in appearance and playback, even in music that is subsequently moved or edited.

For just one example, your SmartShapes automatically look great in both your score and parts, even if circumstances require them to look quite different in each.

These crescendo markings in your score:

Whatsdat Expression 2b score

..automatically looks like this in your part:

Whatsdat Expression 2b

SmartShapes are also part of the sweeping enhancements made to Finale’s acclaimed Linked Parts feature in Finale 2014. SmartShapes can now be unlinked, allowing you to easily produce different results in your score, so you can always customize further should you choose to.

Staff Layout

Improved Staff Layout

Staff Layout capabilities make it simple and intuitive to hide, move, and edit staves, groups, and brackets. Work in any order you wish, change your mind whenever you want, and never lose a note.

Spacing Systems

Space Systems automatically positions your staff systems evenly on each page. You can decide between even, proportional, and other spacings, or simply hit the Apply button. Whether you’re working on parts, small scores, or big scores with hidden staves, Space Systems can save you time by managing the distance between your staff systems and quickly making your pages look perfect.

Moving Staves

It’s incredibly easy to move staves. Want to increase the distance between staves? Click and drag.

  • Your music updates automatically as you drag and you receive on-screen feedback about the distance between the staves and what staves will be impacted.
  • As you drag a staff handle up or down, all subsequent staves move too, retaining their relative positioning.
  • No additional steps are required to move one staff in this system only or the whole score, or to move multiple staves in selected systems.
  • Plus, when you add a new system it will reflect the staff spacing of the previous system.

Live Dragging

Dragging or nudging one staff also moves the staves below it to retain relative staff spacing and the dragging moves the staves in real-time, so you instantly see the results.

Editing Groups and Brackets

We’ve simplified the process of editing group names and brackets, and to change groups and brackets for the whole score or just selected regions.

  • Groups automatically adjust their measure ranges when measures are added or removed.
  • It’s also easy to have full staff and group names appear anywhere in your score which is very helpful when you’re starting a new movement in the same Finale file.

Hiding Empty Staves

Finale makes it easy to hide staves that don’t contain music, in your whole score or selected regions. On-screen feedback and new contextual menus offer instant access to hidden staves.

In one click, this… …becomes this:

Auto-Showing Music

If you choose to hide empty staves in your score, and then subsequently move measures or add notes to the hidden staves, the appropriate notes and staves now automatically appear.

Hiding Staves Containing Music

Finale even makes it easy to hide staves that contain music.

  • Need parts for an instrument that you don’t want to appear in the score? Simply hide staves in the score.
  • Want an unseen playback effect? Hide a staff!
  • On-screen feedback makes it clear when music is hidden and new contextual menus make it instantly accessible. Finale makes it easy and flexible.
Document Styles

Create the look you want with personal Document Styles

Choose from a wide variety of styles or create your own to instantly personalize the appearance of new documents. Simply select a Document Style on the first screen of the Set-up Wizard to get the visual results you want, and save time.

Doc Style 230 cDocuments Styles control:

  • text and music fonts
  • text inserts
  • all libraries (including expressions, articulations, document settings, etc…)
  • graphics (a company logo, for example)
  • page size and orientation
  • page layout
  • measure numbering and much more…

Create Your Own

It’s easy to create your own Document Styles. Just copy a completed Finale file (including notes) into the Document Styles folder and its settings become the basis for a new Document Style. Finale automatically knows what items pertain to the style, and which, like notes, do not. The next time you visit the Set-up Wizard you’ll be able to select your new Document Style.

Importing Graphics

Importing Graphics

Add embedded or linked graphics to your score like pictures or a logo and easily re-size graphics that you’ve imported into your music. Embedded graphics allow you to easily transport your files to anyone.


Use any files you choose

Finale can import the following file formats: TIFF, JPEG, PNG, EPS, PDF, BMP, GIF, and PICT (Mac only)

Embedded Fonts in Macintosh EPS files

Finale embeds TrueType and OpenType fonts as well as Postscript fonts. This ensures that your files look and print the same for others as they do for you.

You can also export your score or a section of music as a graphics file to create textbooks, worksheets and quizzes.

Notation Plug-ins

Save time with specialized notation plug-ins

Finale includes more than 50 exclusive, time-saving plug-ins, designed to make quick work of a variety of specialized tasks. Plug-ins can quickly offer creative or editorial suggestions, as well as produce a wide variety of notational results.

For one notation example, the Cross Staff plug-in makes creating cross-staff beaming a snap. Just select the notes you want to move to the bass staff…

PI Before

…select the plug-in, and click “Go.”

PI After

It’s that easy!

Contoured Dashed Slurs

New in Finale – Contoured Dashed Slurs  

While Finale has always had a dashed curve, an additional contoured dash slur has been added due to popular publisher requests. These are often used for editorial markings (as seen below) as well as in choral music (to discourage breathing).

Bach Slur - Score