Restore Finale Customizations after Upgrade

Finale 26 is quite a bit faster in graphics performance and stability than 25, and well worth the upgrade, with quantum improvements in management of articulations, particularly.

Whether or not you choose the “replace Finale 25” option in the installer (I didn’t!), assets such as plugins, FinaleScripts, soundmaps, Device Annotation Files, Libraries, ensembles.txt etc. manually need to be copied over to their corresponding places in the new Finale 26 Application Support folders by users with any customizations they’ve added while using 25 and earlier.

Let’s take a closer look…

more >> “Restore Finale Customizations after Upgrade”

Using Virtual Machines (VM) for Legacy Music Notation Software

I recently had to retire my trusty 2007 Macbook due to lack of Dropbox support for OS X Lion (10.7). I ran into an unexpected snag with the Macbook Air I bought to replace it, though: the most current OS X operating systems do not support older versions of Finale, but a number of orchestrators I work with still use Finale 2011 and Sibelius 6.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this dilemma in the form of virtual machines.

A virtual machine (VM) is an emulation of a computer operating system. This operating system could be a different operating system (such as Windows OS running inside the Mac OS) or, in this case, an older version of the same operating system (e.g. two different versions of the OS running on the same computer).

My Macbook Air is now running High Sierra (OS X 10.13), but I have El Capitan (OS X 10.11) installed inside Parallels Desktop to run older software versions of Finale and Sibelius. It was a relatively painless process, though not without a few kinks along the way. I hope my experiences will help others navigate those setbacks. more >> “Using Virtual Machines (VM) for Legacy Music Notation Software”

A Fast Way to Change Music Spacing Reference Width in Finale (With Keyboard Maestro)

One of the quirks with Finale’s note spacing  is that the very last system of a document will often have disproportionately fewer measures than the rest.

One option is to use the Fit Measures tool in the Utilities menu, but then the note spacing can be inconsistent between systems.

Finale’s Reference Spacing Width feature, found in the Music Spacing > Spacing Widths… section of Document Options, provides a solution. The setting allows you to reflow and rebalance the note spacing of  measures quickly. more >> “A Fast Way to Change Music Spacing Reference Width in Finale (With Keyboard Maestro)”

Sibelius Quick Tip: Create a Bar Rest for a specific Voice

Q: How can I enter a bar rest for a specific voice in Sibelius?

For instance, when I write music in two voices, in the event that the first voice pauses, bar rests are automatically notated above the second voice, should it continue:

Conversely, this is not the case.

A: Locate the bar rest on the second Keypad layout, which can be used during note input to enter whole rests in a specific voice…

… or to turn existing notes or rests into a bar rest.

A German version of this quick tip („Ganztaktpausen erstellen in Sibelius”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.

Deconstructing the Rhythm Dot – The Mathematics of Dotted Notes

Updated on  August 9, 2018 to add an addendum on tupletting pairs of tied notes.

I recently needed to figure out ways to represent dotted notes so they would appear without a dot, and in the process, I found a number of ways to break down dotted notes into smaller notes. You may never need to do what I had to do, but someday one of these techniques may turn out to be useful.

more >> “Deconstructing the Rhythm Dot – The Mathematics of Dotted Notes”

Quick Tip: Inserting blank pages in Sibelius

Empty”placeholder” pages are sometimes useful to define the start of a new event, scene or movement in a score, or to facilitate good page turns.

To insert one or more blank pages, select the barline which precedes where you would like one or more blank pages to be inserted.

Now, choose the “Special Page Break” option from the Breaks group on the Layout tab:

(Prior to Sibelius 7 use Layout > Break > Special Page Breaks…)

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut CMND-SHIFT-RETURN (Mac) or CNTRL-SHIFT-RETURN (Windows).

This opens up to the Special Page Break dialog, where you can specify how many pages you wish to insert.

Special Page Breaks apply specifically to the current part (or score) view. If you have blank pages that you would like to appear globally in the score and parts, create the break in the score, and check “Keep Other Special Page Breaks” in Multi Part Appearance.

Note: Special Page Breaks are only available in the Full version of Sibelius (now called Sibelius Ultimate).

A German version of this post („Leere Seiten einfügen in Sibelius”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.

Positioning of page numbers, headers and footers in Sibelius

Q: In my Sibelius score, the page numbers always alternate between top right and top left corner. And I can only choose between “inside edge“ and “outside edge“ for a footer, which has the similar effect of alternating positions. How can I change this so that page numbers are always aligned top right to the page and footers are always in the bottom right corner?

A: From the Text tab, Click the “Edit Text Styles“ arrow-button in the Styles group. When the dialog opens, choose Page Numbers and click Edit…

Now the System Text Style dialog opens, where you can set the page numbers to align “Right“ in the Horizontal Position tab.

You can reposition a “Footer (outside edge)” in the same way.

A German version of this post („Position von Seitenzahlen und Kopf- und Fußzeilen in Sibelius”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.