There are two main requirements for managing Text in any notation program. First, we want to be able to define in advance how the musical and text elements will look, so that our score is following the same appearance rules throughout. This is part of what music publishers refer to as a “House Style”. Secondly, we need to be able to “break the rules” easily for special cases (for instance, if the title is to be in an ornate font where text is otherwise a more standard serif or san-serif font.)
For existing scores, knowing how to set up defaults for Text in Finale will also help us quickly locate font, size and attribute information about a particular string of text, and quickly make changes, if needed.
Initially, there are two main locations where we define Text in Finale. The first of these is found in Document Options > Fonts, and is the place where we determine the exact “look” of the music notation itself, as well as the default font, size and font attributes for some other Finale text.
The second “default setup” area for text is Finale’s Category Designer, where we choose the font, size, style and location of all instructional text for the piece associated with staves or systems. These categories include Dynamics, Expressions, Techniques, Tempo and Rehearsal Marks etc. Let’s take a look …
FINALE DOCUMENT OPTIONS > FONTS
Finale’s Document Options has a Fonts pane which allows you to set Default text fonts, sizes and attributes for one or more different text elements. There are a number of text elements we can define here, divided into sensible categories.
The Notation popup allows you to set any House Style variations you might wish to include for everything from the notehead font to the font used for multimeasure rest numbers:
(try the popup above to see the various notation element choices in Finale).
Finale’s choices for the notation elements above (or your changes here) map out the specifics of each common notation symbol, which defines the look of your score. Note that it is common practice to use the same music font (or variations of the same font) for *all* of the music symbols in the score.
To facilitate this, Finale provides a quick and intuitive way to globally and quickly change the music from, say, a Classical to Jazz notation style in the main menu. Choose “Set Default Music Font” from the main Document Menu to change the fonts for *all* of the music notation elements in the current score to a new font family in one shot:
At this point, having changed the “Master” font family for the notation to a Jazz looking House Style, back in the Fonts panel of Finale’s Document Options, you could *then* customize the font and attributes of any *one* of the individual notation elements to give your piece a more custom look within that House Style.
Moving back into the fonts panel of Finale’s Document Options, we find…
The Lyrics popup allows you to set the font for lyrics text beforehand. Here, you can specify the font, style and / or attributes between verse and chorus differently if you want :
The Text popup controls the default settings for Staff and Group Names, Measure Numbers, Text and Ending Repeat text, etc.
Text which is typed directly on the page (as opposed to being attached in some way to a staff or system) are called “Text Blocks” in Finale.
For these Text Blocks, you can change the font, size and attributes of this text on the page from the main menu before (or after) entry, just like you would in any Word Processor.
The Text menu will appear automatically in the main menu whenever it is available.
Text Blocks can also be copied from one document to another, retaining font, attributes and page location. (see item #5 in this tutorial).
Finally, the Chord popup has separate controls for Symbol, Suffix, Alteration and Fretboard.
Note the asterisk* after certain text elements in the above popup menus. These appear in the actual Finale popups. For items which have an asterisk, existing text already entered in the score will *not* immediately be changed. The settings only affect *new* text created after the change, e.g. these updates become the Defaults for future entries*.
FINALE CATEGORY DESIGNER
The second “Defaults” area for Text is is an extremely powerful Finale feature called the Category Designer. The Category Designer allows you to specify the look and exact default placement of instructional text for your score such as Dynamics, Tempo Marks, Tempo Alterations, Expressive Text, Technique Text and Rehearsal Marks. Each category allows you to set separate Text Font, Music Font and Number Font settings.
Consider a typical Tempo marking, often a combination of words and symbols. For instance, you might want Tempo words to be Times New Roman 14pt Bold, but the Music Symbols such as “quarter note equals” to be Engraver Text 12pt, and the actual metronome marking might be the same as the music symbols font, or optionally something else. Finale allows you control over all three of these elements separately:
In addition, the “score” text categories Tempo Marks, Tempo Alterations and Rehearsal Marks allow you to define in which staves of score these markings will display. (see Score Lists).
You are not limited to the six hard wired Categories available in the Default File. You can create your own, and define them any way you’d like. Choral dynamics above the staff? Boxed Percussion or Instrument Double Names? Create a new Category, and define the font, size and location for these text objects in Category Designer.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
There are a number of location controls for both horizontal and vertical alignment of text in Finale’s Category Designer, allowing for the greatest possible detail in placement.
For Horizontal positioning, there are three main controls. First, a master justification choice of Left, Right or Center. Next, a popup for Horizontal Alignment which features no less than 14 possible choices:
Rounding out these controls, there is an Additional Horizontal Offset numeric entry field, providing all the precision you could ever ask for:
Note: When creating individual Expressions, they will default to the master settings, but any or all aspects of their look or positioning can be overridden within an individual Expression.
Finale offers an array of Vertical Positioning options as well:
All of the choices have at least one additional vertical placement offset option, to allow text to clear either note entries or the staves themselves. The last two choices in the list, “Above Staff Baseline or Entry” and “Below Staff Baseline or Entry” allow both an additional baseline offset and an additional entry offset:
See this previous tutorial covering “Staff Baselines“. “Staff Reference Line” refers to the top staff line. So, for instance, to define an expression or (optionally) an expression category which will always appear at a fixed distance of 1.5 spaces above the staff, you could use Staff Reference Line for vertical positioning, with an offset of 1.5 spaces.
HOUSE STYLE AND NON-HOUSE STYLE TEXT EXPRESSIONS
To update Expressions to your new House Style, add new Expressions to the available set, or to see the current font, size, attributes and / or positioning for any existing Expression, select the Expression Tool, then double click in a bar.
When you type SHIFT and any letter or number key to define a macro key shortcut, the Expressions Dialog will also open.
When the Expression Selection dialog opens, if the particular Expression or category of Expressions doesn’t look updated to you, Choose Reset Fonts or Reset Fonts and Positioning from the “Reset to Category” popup at the bottom of the dialog.
Should you need to create a text object of unique size, font, attributes and / or positioning, duplicate an existing expression or create a new one, then click the Edit… button and uncheck “Use … Category Fonts” and optionally “Use … Category Positioning”. This then becomes a completely independent expression which doesn’t follow the House Style Rules for look and location.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it.