If you have been using Finale more than a few minutes, you are probably already using a few keyboard shortcuts to keep from having to reach up and click on various tools and menu items on the screen over and over.
Shortcuts, Shortcuts, Shortcuts
First, there are the built in System level shortcuts found in all Mac and Windows programs; e.g. Open, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Save, Save As, Print, Close, Quit. This group of shortcuts is not editable, obviously, since they are system wide.
Finale also has a number of shortcuts which are specific to Finale (and in some cases, common to music and audio programs) but which are also not user editable. Here are a few examples:
The Escape key is used to switch to the Selection Tool.
The Spacebar is used to start and stop Payback.
CMND (CNTRL) E toggles between Scroll View and Page View.
OPTION (Alt) Click the Measure tool to add measures.
CMND (CNTRL) + SHIFT + U to Unlock Systems.
COMMAND+OPTION+. (period) – navigate to Next Part.
COMMAND+OPTION+, (comma) – navigate to Previous Part.
Some of Finale’s built in shortcuts require that a region of one or more measures be selected:
COMMAND + I is used to insert measures. (No Windows equivalent)
CMND (CNTRL) + F is used to select or deselect SmartFind source region.
CMND (CNTRL) + U to Update the Layout
CMND (CNTRL) + 6-9 Transposes the selected region.
CMND (CNTRL) + L to Lock Systems
1 (with Selection Tool Selected) to Implode Music
2 (with Selection Tool Selected) to Explode Music
3 (with Selection Tool Selected) to Check Elapsed Time
4 (with Selection Tool Selected) to Respace Music
Double click a measure with the Staff Tool selected to open the Staff Attributes Dialog.
…and so forth.
In addition, there are a few areas of Finale which offer User Editable keyboard Shortcuts.
Finale’s Main Tools can be accessed via user programmable shortcuts. While you can’t use any keystrokes as shortcuts here, you can program up to 8 of the Main Tools you use most often on Mac, or 12 on Windows:
Mac: OPTION+CONTROL+F through OPTION+CONTROL+’ (apostrophe)
Windows: use Shift+F2-F12 to program the tool, and then F2-F12 to recall it
Metatools are a powerful way to program keyboard shortcuts to add specific articulations, clefs, expressions, smart shapes etc. to your Finale score. Here is a tutorial on Scoring Notes for programming Meta Tools for articulations. You can use the same technique for Expressions, etc.
Simple Note Entry stands out in Finale because it uniquely has all of its functionality available as user-programmable shortcuts. Select the Simple Entry menu item, then choose Simple Entry Options. When the dialog opens up, choose Edit Keyboard Shortcuts. Here you have the option to change the Keystrokes for note durations and the other functions available in Simple Note for both Desktop and Laptop computers:
For reference, here is a comprehensive list of all of the available shortcuts for Finale:
Mac Keyboard shortcuts and special mouse clicks
Windows Keyboard shortcuts and special mouse clicks
While there are a number of available keyboard shortcuts in Finale, with the exception of the metatools and Simple Note, a complete set of user-programmable shortcuts as found in Dorico or Sibelius is simply not available.
To compound the issue, there are a few shortcuts which are programmed into Finale, but unless you referred to the comprehensive lists above, you would never know they exist, because the key bindings for a few of these shortcuts do not show up in Finale’s own menus.
JETSTREAM FINALE CONTROLLER
Obviously, it would be helpful to have access all of Finale’s functions with some type of shortcuts, particularly if one didn’t have to memorize literally hundreds of keyboard shortcut mnemonics.
And this brings us back around to the topic of JetStream Finale Controller, which is a FREE solution for Finale productivity that works with Elgato’s Stream Deck.
What if you want to create a Pickup Measure? Or open the Move/Copy Layers… dialog? Or even toggle between a Concert Pitch Score and Transposing Score? These are all menu items which do not have corresponding keyboard shortcuts. So…
One of the first tasks the JetStream Finale Controller development team completed was to put together comprehensive access to nearly every menu item and dialog that is built into Finale.
By default, these buttons are grouped into Task Sets representing various categories. Some of these conform completely with Finale menus; others are collections of related tasks or functions.
For example, the buttons in the View Task set largely correspond to items found in Finale’s View Menu. Some, like those in the Zoom submenu, already have Finale shortcuts. Others, like toggling Page Layout Icons or Margin visibility on or off, do not already have a corresponding keyboard shortcut in Finale. Any menu or tool shortcut you might need for for a particular task is available.
These tool, menu and dialog box access shortcuts don’t necessarily require the power of JW Lua scripting, which will we get into in a future post. Access for all of these functions were created in AppleScript on Mac and AutoIT in Windows.
There is nothing magical here so far; all of these buttons simply provide an alternate way to access the tools and menu items in Finale. But what is truly great about these buttons is not just that you have a secondary means of access, but how you can group them together for your own workflow.
If you read the previous installment of the Development Diary, you’ll remember that one of the most powerful features of the JetStream Finale Controller is the ability to create your own custom sets of functions by copying and pasting the buttons together in a special profile we created for that purpose.
This allows you to cherry pick the tools you use most often and group them together in the Custom area of the JetStream profile.
You might already be using certain existing hardwired shortcuts in Finale, and find them fast and efficient. For instance, you might not need a button to switch between Page View and Scroll View since there is already a built in shortcut.
But maybe you would like shortcuts to Create and Break Multimeasure Rests.
Now you’ve got them, which you can copy and paste into a custom set which could also contain other menu shortcuts you might need quick access to, like Display in Concert / Transposing Pitch or to open the Category Designer, which don’t have Finale shortcuts.
What is a function you are constantly reaching for in the menu on every project? Is there a shortcut in Finale for it, or do you have to mouse to a menu item?
JetStream Finale Controller provides a shortcut for it. And if it doesn’t, new functions are relatively easy to add. The modular design is completely extensible.
If you would like to be notified of JetStream Finale Controller news and release for both Mac and Windows, visit jetstreamfinale.com and sign up to be informed of the project’s progress.
You can start using JetStream today by joining the JetStream Beta Team. Details can be found on the jetstreamfinale.com web site.