Finale 25.1 released

10/19/16 : Coinciding with the hoopla and fanfare of the release of Steinberg’s new Dorico notation program, MakeMusic today released their first incremental upgrade to Finale 25.

MakeMusic seems to be on a mission to increase the pace of their development of Finale, and this free incremental upgrade is a case in point. Along with the usual minor bug and cosmetic fixes typical for a .1 point release, there is a small but healthy list of new features and UI improvements to sweeten the pot:

It is now possible to export not only the score, but the the parts to MusicXML by selecting File > Export > Linked Parts to MusicXML.

In the Score Manager, you can now Mute or UnMute every instrument in one shot by clicking the M button at the top of the column. Solo works the same way, (click the S button), which simplifies toggling between Mute and Solo configurations more easily in the Score Manager.

Note that it still isn’t possible to toggle between selection of a single instrument and selection of every instrument except the current one by clicking an instrument while holding down a modifier key, as is possible in DP and other programs, but this addition of a basic global select all / none is an excellent incremental step.

The “Repeat Endings” sub-dialog of Document Options has a new feature for controlling the backward repeat bracket position:

fin-backward-repeat-bracket-positon

First ending brackets can now be set to align by default with the thin inner line of the backward repeat rather than the end of the repeat symbol, so the first and second ending repeat brackets don’t appear to overlap one another.

A subtle but nice improvement is the addition of increment / decrement arrows at the bottom of the scroll bars in the Key Signature dialog, making it easier to select a Key Signature:

fin-key-sig-dialog

A new “Allow Transparency” checkbox allows exported graphics to have  transparent backgrounds when exporting EPS, PDF, PNG, SVG or TIFF graphics.

In previous versions of Finale, I always found the “slider” selection method for Number of Beats and Beat Duration in Finale’s Time Signature dialog to be a bit frustrating, as it was pretty easy to slide right past the target values:

fin-old-time-sig-selection

In Finale 25.1, these sliders have been replaced. Number of beats can either be incremented / decremented using the arrow keys, or typing in the number of beats directly. Beat duration can be selected from a pop up menu:

fin-new-time-sig-selection

As with previous versions of Finale, time signature denominators can be selected from whole note to 32nd (with their corresponding dotted variants).

Rewire mode has been improved in Finale. You now have the choice of using either Finale’s tempo map or syncing tempo to your  DAW via a new Slave to ReWire Tempo check box in the playback transport. A Sync button has also been added to the Playback Controls to update your score data when using a DAW to playback:

fin-slave-to-rewire

Among the noteworthy fixes:

Finale 25.1 is now optimized for high DPI Windows computers. This means that the tool pallets will now display at a more optimal size on high DPI Windows hardware.

Finale’s graphic output is now true black.

There is no question that Finale 25 is a the most significant Finale upgrade in a long time, and actually seeing useful new features and UI tweaks in a point upgrade like this is very encouraging.

However, some of the excitement of the new architecture and excellent new features continues to be tempered by the unavailability as yet of compatible releases of some of the popular pro level third party plugins. Here is the current status as I am aware of it:

Robert Patterson’s website states that Patterson Plugin Collection for Finale and Copyist’s Helper plugins are optimized for Finale 25 (64 bit).

There is currently a v3 beta of TG Tools for Finale 25 available on Tobias Geisen’s website.

It is unknown at this time when Jari Williamsson (JW plugins) will release 64 bit versions of all of his plugins compatible with Finale 25. As of this writing, there are 13 plugin beta versions for Windows posted on his website, but nothing yet currently available for Mac. JW plugins are (to date) freeware, so if you find them useful, consider making a donation to help with future development.

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