Finale to include and support eight JW plug-ins in next update


Sometimes important news breaks when you’re on summer break, and this is one of those times. MakeMusic has announced that the next update to Finale, v27.3, will for the first time include a set of powerful plug-ins from developer Jari Williamsson, without requiring you to separately download and install them.

The eight plug-ins that will be shipped in v27.3 are:

  • JW Accidentals
  • JW Change
  • JW Copy Part Layout
  • JW Note Spacing
  • JW Pattern
  • JW Rhythm Copy
  • JW Space Empty Rests
  • JW Staff Polyphony

In announcing the news to his mailing list, Jari said, “I can finally share this piece of news to everyone: MakeMusic has licensed my most used plug-ins and they will include them in all future updates to Finale. It also means that they have reworked the plug-ins to be compatible with the latest OS version changes — and changes to Finale itself. I don’t have as much time to work on music notation as I did in the past, so I believe this is a great solution to Finale users.”

JW Change in use in Finale

MakeMusic product manager Jon Tschiggfrie said that this “squarely qualifies as a huge win for productivity and quality output.”

Dave Cusick, MakeMusic’s product lead, said, “Including the plug-ins with Finale allows us to make them readily available to all Finale users right ‘out of the box’, eliminating the tedium of seeking them out, downloading, installing, and configuring them. We’ll now be able to keep them up-to-date with each Finale release, ensuring their longevity.”

Michael Good, MakeMusic’s vice president for MusicXML technologies, said, “We have also modernized the plug-ins to work well with the new features added in Finale v26 and v27 (such as the SMuFL fonts), fixed some bugs, and updated them so they can be translated into other languages for our international customers.” Some users with newer Macs have had problems with the JW plug-ins, and Michael said that “as included with Finale, they will work natively on Apple silicon, fully support Dark Mode, and no longer cause security warnings. Windows users will see fewer changes, as the plug-ins already worked well there.”

As a service to the community, and to make the plug-ins easier to discover for all users, we have been providing Jari’s plug-ins for free on Notation Central, our marketplace for music notation technology. When Finale v27.3 is released, we will remove the eight plug-ins listed above from Notation Central.

MakeMusic did not provide a release date for Finale v27.3 at this time. There is a sale on Finale running now through September 4, 2022, where upgrades to Finale are available for $99 (reg. $149), new licenses are $299 (reg. $600), and academic licenses are $99 (reg. $350), with the code FINALESUMMER at checkout. We presume that the Finale v27.3 update, when it is released, will be free of charge to anyone already using Finale v27.

For the latest information about compatibility for Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, and MuseScore, as well as links to the latest news and reviews about product releases, please see the Scoring Notes Product Guide.



    Thank you for this great update!

    Would you please ask MICHAEL GOOD why there is no DARK MODE with FINALE WINDOWS?

    I feel left out again :)

    1. iAnonGuy

      Yea, I really regret investing in Finale for Windows, but I’m probably going to cross grade to Dorico Pro within the next couple of weeks.

      No Dark Mode. HORRIBLE GUI responsiveness on Windows. Really shitty playback. The entire thing does feel like software from mid-1990s that has been duct taped over the years in a desperate attempt to keep it “running, at least” on the platform.

      There are some things to like about it, but right now I can barely consider the software usable.

      On the flip side, I am not THAT mad, because buying Finale and cross grading to Dorico costs around the same amount of cash as going straight to Dorico Pro from Nothing. So, it’s not like I’m losing that much money.

      I expect to see Finale die out – at least, outside of the Education market segment – and be replaced by Dorico and, increasingly (due to much better development pacing) MuseScore.


        Whatever floats your boat.

        1. iAnonGuy

          Amazingly informative dialog. Thank you!

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