Creating and using Text Inserts (Wildcards) in Finale

Finale has a very useful feature for automating the display of text called Text Inserts. These text wildcards use the information from the fields in File > File Info to display text on the page.

One advantage of using a Text Insert is that you only need to type the actual text into the Finale file in one location – File > File Info. Anywhere the wildcard appears, the text is dynamically updated instantly.

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Notating Fingered Tremolos in Finale and Sibelius

Fingered tremolo resembles a trill, but often with a larger interval between the fingers. The notation shows the tremolo marking between two notes rather than intersecting stems, or directly under or over a whole note. The convention is to show the full value of each of the notes in the tremolo pair.

Fingered tremolo is very straightforward to create in both Finale and Sibelius:

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Finale & Sibelius – controlling text visibility between score & parts

In observing the steps people go through to change visibility of text between score and parts in both Finale and Sibelius, I thought a short tutorial post on the subject might be helpful.

In both Finale and Sibelius, headers and other types of text are normally shared between the score and the parts, visible in both. The default setting in both programs is to show the text entered in the score in both score and parts.

It is a simple key shortcut to Show or Hide individual occurrences of text  as you edit each part (the keystroke toggles visibility in both programs):

  • Finale : CNTRL-ALT-SHIFT-H / windows • CMND-OPT-SHIFT-H / mac
  • Sibelius : CNTRL-SHIFT-H / windows • CMND-SHIFT-H / mac

… However, this is a lot of extra steps, particularly in an orchestral score with a lot of parts. It is much easier to do this in a single step for cases where you want the visibility of all the parts set the same way, and the score set a different way:

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Create & position a larger time signature on the staff in Sibelius 6 & 7

Q: I’ve made my regular time signatures a bit larger than the default size, but I can’t seem to get them vertically aligned properly on the staff … How do I get them centered on the staff so that they stick out equally above and below the center staff line?

A: You need to make a quick adjustment in two places to do this.

  1. When you increase the font size, you must also slightly increase its Line Spacing.
  2. The larger the font increase, the more vertical offset you need to add to the overall time signature Default Position.

Here’s how:

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Beyond Defaults : Add ½, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Finale

There are a couple of common approaches to indicating non-diatonic trills in music. One way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis:

fin-tril-ex1

The other, which is very common in popular and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores because it is very efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol above, or just to the right of the “tr” symbol.

Finale 2012 and earlier already have a set of these trills in Smart Shapes. To get to them, you can Option / Alt. click on the Custom line tool, to select the trill flat, trill natural or trill sharp line:

fin-default-trills

However, my personal preference is for the accidentals to appear slightly to the right of these defaults, and in addition, I wanted to a version of these trills with the accidentals in parenthesis:

fin-parenthetic-trills

Finally, for certain projects, I wanted a “tr½“:

fin-halfstep-trill

Note  that even though Finale 2012 supports Unicode text in many areas, inside dialogs such as the Smart Line Editor, Unicode is still not supported. So, the ½ character in the trill is not a single character, it has to be “faked” using vertical and horizontal offsets of three separate text characters.

I’d like to share these trill lines with you. You can download the Finale 2011 file here.

Choose File > Save Library… with this file open and Smart Lines selected, and save the library file with a descriptive name you’ll remember. Then chose File > Load Library… with your Finale template or score open.

If you just want one of the trill lines, here is another way to get the lines into your own Finale template using filtered copy and paste:

  1. Open the Trill Lines Source document.
  2. Select the Mass Edit tool. Choose Edit > Edit Filter.
  3. Uncheck everything except for Smart Shapes (Assigned to Measures). OK.
  4. Select the measure containing the Trill line you want. Copy it to the clipboard (CTRL-C / WIndows or CMND-C / Mac), and then paste it into your own Template document.

That’s it! I hope these are useful additions for you. Please share the trills with other Finale users if you find them useful. Thank you.

~robert

Creating custom trill flat, trill natural and trill sharp lines in Sibelius 6 & 7

UPDATED DECEMBER 5, 2012

There are a couple of common approaches to indicating non-diatonic trills in music. One clear way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis. However, while extremely clear, this method is somewhat labor intensive.

There are also a couple of shorthand methods used in symphonic pops as well as film and game scores to show trill destination or tonality. The first is to display a “½” character for half steps, and either “w” or “wt” for whole steps just to the right o the “tr” symbol.

The other, very common in symphonic pops and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores because it is very efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol just to the right of the “tr” symbol.

Sibelius 7 and Sibelius 6 don’t have these combined symbols by default, so one common approach is to input the regular trill line that comes with SIbelius, and then add a flat, natural or sharp symbol from the symbols dialog. The problem with this approach is that the symbol tends to drift away from the trill line when the music is respaced, or you view it in a transposed part.

Fortunately, it’s very straightforward to build each of these as a fixed, combined symbol and use each of these new trill characters to create new trill lines.

If you are in a hurry, there is an even easier way. Simply open the Sibelius 6 file I’ve linked to here, select one of the trill lines (making sure that only the trill line is selected), copy it to the clipboard (CTRL-C / WIndows or CMND-C / Mac), and then paste it into your own Template document.

  • For correct playback in Sibelius 7, select the line after you’ve placed it in the score, go to the Home Tab and select the Inspector. Go to the Playback Section of the Inspector.
  • For correct playback in Sibelius 6, select the line after you’ve placed it in the score, open the Properties Panel and choose the Playback dropdown.
  • For both Sibelius 6 and Sibelius 7, uncheck diatonic trill, and make sure the interval is set to one half step.
If you are curious about how to create these lines yourself, here are the steps:

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Locating and Editing the Triangle Symbol for MA7 chords in Finale

In Finale 2012 and several earlier versions, chord suffixes can be created by simply typing them in with the Chord tool.   If every chord suffix library for Finale was the same, you could simply type in a standard keystroke for each suffix.

However, depending on the library that is currently in use for the suffix, this isn’t always the case. For instance, consider the different ways arrangers indicate a major 7th chord: M7, MA7, MAJ7, etc. In Finale, the in order to type in a chord suffix directly, it has to exactly match one of the existing suffixes in the current library.

In addition, some symbols, like the Triangle ∆ (Delta symbol) sometimes used for MA or MA7 chords isn’t an obvious keystroke. Furthermore, some chord fonts, such as the JazzCord font, are designed to display each suffix and any of its alterations using a single font character (e.g. “∆7” isn’t two keystrokes in JazzCord, it is a single character).

To locate, display or edit these suffixes which can’t simply be typed in, and for which you don’t know the shortcut: enter the chord name without the suffix, (e.g. “C”) then right-click to select “Edit Chord Definition”. This will allow you to manually choose the chord suffix.

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