Finale Quick Tip : Change Measurement Units on the Fly

Finale supports six+ different units of measurement :

  1. Inches
  2. Centimeters
  3. Points
  4. Picas
  5. Spaces
  6. EVPUs (Enigma Virtual Page Units)

While Millimeters aren’t specifically listed as an available unit of measurement in Finale, you can enter mm values when using Centimeters by simply moving the decimal point to the left (25.4 mm = 2.54 cm). 

You set the measurement unit from Preferences > Measurement Units in the Finale Menu, but that doesn’t mean you always have to think in those units. Some places in Finale, such as the Document Options and Page Format dialogs, have a handy Units popup menu which apply only within that dialog:

But Finale gives you even greater control. You can enter values in any unit of measurement in any numeric field of any dialog by simply adding the first letter of the unit of measurement after the number.

For example, if you need to “think in inches” for a moment, regardless of the current unit of measurement setting, type in “1.75i” (“i” for inches) and Finale will enter the measurement correctly, and convert the number to the current unit of measurement for you.

On the off chance you should ever need to enter a value in picas this way, the shortcut is “p0” (“p” is reserved for “points”.)

.5i, 6s, 144e, 1.27c, 36p, 3p0 are all the same value, just entered differently

2 Replies to “Finale Quick Tip : Change Measurement Units on the Fly”

  1. Dear Mr Puff,

    I’m working with Sibelius; is it not possible to use picas for units of measurement? I dont find other than inches, millimeters and points.

    Thank you by forehand


    1. Hi Koenraad – The units of measurement are fixed in Sibelius . Staff Rulers and Selection / Object rulers can be set in Preferences > other to either mm, inches, points, or spaces. Some of the internal settings are always either spaces or mm depending on how fine the setting is.

      There is no setting for picas in Sibelius, but for larger measurements at least, one workaround would be to multiply your pica measurement by 12 to get points or by 6 (actually 6.022499489 but 6 is acceptable) to get inches.

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