Featured Finale Plugin – JW Meter and Rhythm

I was recently asked to rebar an extended section of a score containing various time signatures 4/4, 2/4, 3/4 into 3/2 time. Fortunately, what could have been a hugely labor intensive and messy operation became a whole lot easier in Finale, thanks to Jari Williamsson’s “JW Meter and Rhythm” plugin. This plugin consolidates quite a number of useful operations related to meter and rhythm into one suite.

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Deconstructing the Rhythm Dot – The Mathematics of Dotted Notes

Updated on  August 9, 2018 to add an addendum on tupletting pairs of tied notes.

I recently needed to figure out ways to represent dotted notes so they would appear without a dot, and in the process, I found a number of ways to break down dotted notes into smaller notes. You may never need to do what I had to do, but someday one of these techniques may turn out to be useful.

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Rebarring in Finale : 5/4 becomes 3/4+2/4

Q: Here’s the “easy” problem: I have a score in 5/4. It’s always the same grouping 3/4 + 2/4. I would like to convert all the 5/4 measures into two measures of 3/4 and 2/4, separated with a dashed bar line. I tried the JW Meter and Rhythm plugin & TG Tools but I didn’t find a solution there. Maybe I can create a FinaleScript for it?

I hope there’s an answer out there I missed. Regardless, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

A: Thank you. It’s a great question, and it would be the perfect type of task for a plugin to automate, I agree. You are correct that there are currently no available plugin solutions for this. It is possible to do manually, although depending on the complexity of your score, the solution is somewhat involved. Here’s a how-to breakdown.

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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…

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Creating Big Time Signatures in Finale which include the Cut Time Symbol

Q. Do you know if there a solution to the omission of a Cut Time option in Finale’s Engraver Time font?

A. As you know, the Engraver Time font is a vertically “stretched” narrow font specifically designed to display large time signatures in scores:


However, inexplicably, Finale doesn’t provide the Cut Time symbol in the Engraver Time font; the character slots “c” and “Shift-C” in Engraver Time have been left blank. It’s unclear why a vertically stretched Cut Time symbol was not included with the Engraver Time font.

Finale’s Document Options > Time Signatures dialog can control positioning of the abbreviated Cut Time symbol vertically separate from the regular meters. 

I have logged a feature request with MakeMusic to add the Cut Time and Common Time Symbols to the Engraver Time Font (if you would like to request this as well, refer to case #130919-000264)

In the meantime, if you also happen to own Sibelius 7, you can use the “Opus Big Time Std.” font from Sibelius which *does* have a version of Cut Time and Common Time symbols. Make sure the Cut Time option is checked in Document Options > Time Signatures.

(Hint: if you don’t own Sibelius 7, ask a friend who does to email you the Opus Big Time Std. font, or you can download the Sibelius 7 30-day free trial, which comes with all of the fonts.)

Once you install the Opus Big Time Std. font, depending on the font size you choose for your big time signatures, you will likely need to separately adjust the vertical positioning for the Abbreviated Cut Time symbol so that it appears properly related to the positioning of your regular time signatures:


You can vertically adjust the three fields for Abbreviated Symbol, Top Symbol and Bottom Symbol to where you think they look best based on the size of your time signatures.

for Susan Pascal


  1. Finale Blog: Creating Large Time Signatures in Conductor’s Scores
  2. Finale Manual – Document Options-Time Signatures dialog box

A Simple Finalescript™ To Create Rhythm Cues in Drum Parts

Frequently, in jazz charts, drum parts are written with rhythm cues included so the drummer can catch specific accents and phrases the band is playing. These cues might look something like this:


Finalescript™ can help speed up the process of creating these cues, automating the following steps required to create cue notes in drum parts:

  1. Move cue notes to Layer 4 in drum staff (Layer 1 is used for slashes)
  2. Transpose all pitches in selection to space above the staff
  3. Change to cue sized notes
  4. Change stem direction of cue notes to stems up
  5. Change tie direction of cue notes to “over”
  6. Move Rests up, parallel with notes in Layer 4
  7. Apply a custom slash notation style that allows the cue notes in Layer 4 to show

The script is designed to create rhythm cues using the Normal Notation Style. However, I’ve also had luck with using it with a drum staves using the  Percussion Notation style, although as outlined below, in newer versions of Finale there is an additional step required.

Before starting to create rhythm cues, you will need to paste the Finalescript lines below into a new Finalescript. Copy and paste the script lines from “//start script” through the line that says “//end script”. In Finale, the script editor can be accessed from the plugins menu: Plugins>Finalescript>Finalescript Palette.

Here is the Finalescript:

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Finale Note Spacing, Beat Spacing, Beat Groups & Time Signature Spacing

Q: I am using Finale 2011, and I am having a music spacing issue. If I am inputting beamed notes, and add an accidental, the space between that note and the one before it becomes unnecessarily larger, and the beamed notes are no longer evenly spaced.

Unchecking the “Avoid Collision of Notes and Articulations” has no effect on the spacing whatsoever. I have viewed several Finale scores that lead me to believe that even spacing with accidentals is possible, but I am at a loss as to how to accomplish it. Have you any ideas for solving this issue?

A: In addition to the spacing parameter controls found in Document Settings>Music Spacing, Finale has three different types of automated spacing: Note Spacing, Beat Spacing and Time Signature Spacing. Additionally, Finale provides a way to fine tune the spacing between individual note objects.

Let’s take a look…

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