Hide Cautionary Key & Time Signatures in Finale

Q: I’m creating very simple exercise sheets in Finale; scales and so forth. But I don’t know how to end one scale and go to the next key as a new song, meaning, brand new time signature and key signature. I can add the new key signature. But this leaves a key signature change reminder at the end of previous line that I would like to erase.

I would also like to add a time signature at the start of each exercise. But I can’t add it unless it’s a different time signature. None of the Finale Worksheet templates have exactly what I need. I would like to use the regular piano template and manipulate it. Is that possible?

A: In Finale, it is very simple and fast to format exercise sheets, etudes and multiple movements of the same piece correctly. Let’s take a look…

Typically for etudes or exercises, each new exercise will start on a new system. By default, there will be a cautionary key change and / or time change at the end of the previous system:

The mechanism for “erasing” these cautionary markings is to hide them. Select the Measure Tool, and then double-click the last bar in the previous system before the new key signature and / or time signature change (the “Cautionary” measure):

When the Measure Attributes dialog opens, locate and check “Hide Cautionary Clefs, Key and Time Signatures:

This will hide these cautionary objects appropriately so that the last object on this system is the barline. While you are in this dialog, if appropriate, you can also change the barline type; for instance to show the end of a movement or exercise:

…or you can leave the barline as is:

Now, all that remains is to “re-strike” the time signature if the start of this next exercise is in the same meter as the last.

(Modern practice for a standard piece of music is to show the Time Signature at the starts of subsequent systems only where the meter has changed, or at the start of a new Movement.)

Time and Key Signature visibility control is also found in the Measure Attributes dialog, but this time, you want to make sure to double click on the actual start bar of the new exercise (e.g. the first bar of the new system). Set Time Signature (or Key Signature) to Always Show on the first bar of each exercise:

That’s all there is to it.


for Mizue Murakami

4 Replies to “Hide Cautionary Key & Time Signatures in Finale”

  1. Thank you very much, Robert for quickly showing me the solution !! As you said, I was able to fix the problem in no time. I’ll be using these tools very often from now since I would like to create a lot of exercises. And these tools will be also very helpful when starting a new movement in the middle of a page.

    1. Great question. Not directly; Finale has a blanket option in its Measure Attributes dialog to Hide Cautionary Clefs, Key And Time Signature so these cautionaries (normally) always show or hide together. One sort of obtuse way to fake this up is by selecting the measure that starts the time signature and key change on the new system, and setting the time signature Display (in Measure Attributes) to Always Hide, while leaving the key signature at defaults. You can then make a staff attached text object for the time signature matching the font, size and positioning of the regular time signature and place it in the staff at the start of that system. Obviously not an ideal solution in a score with many staves, because you have to add one for each staff…

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