Finale Quick Tip : Create an Opaque Enclosure (Mask) for Text

Sometimes in Finale, it is desirable to place text in the foreground over a line. One common usage is for a text instruction in the center of a hairpin:


Another common usage is to make text stand out against a barline:


We can use Finale’s Text Enclosures feature to get text to visibly “pop” into the foreground over lines like hairpins, slurs, ties brackets or bar lines. We’ll create an opaque, borderless enclosure around the text that masks (hides) a portion of the line appearing behind it.

With your text expression highlighted, select the Edit.. button in the Expression Selection dialog:


When the Expression Designer dialog opens, locate the Enclosure Shape, choose Rectangle from the pop-up menu, then click the Edit… button:


Now, in the Enclosure Designer, check Opaque, then set Line Thickness to Zero, and choose Enforce Minimum Width from the popup menu:


For an expression like “molto” or “poco” which you want to show on top of a hairpin, you want to add a small value to the Width field. I find that .5 or even .75 spaces works well (you can type .5s into the Width field if your measurement units are currently set to inches).

For Text that will appear in the foreground over a barline, you can  add a small value in the Height field. This is a matter of personal taste, but again, something in the neighborhood of a half-space is a good starting point.


related: Create White Space Where Text & Barlines Intersect

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