Today MakeMusic released the second update to version 25 of Finale (25.2). This is a free update for all registered users of Finale v.25. Users can update directly through the software or through their MakeMusic account.
Here’s what’s new.
Instruments that transpose at the octave can retain their transposition in concert pitch scores
Oh, the workarounds we will miss — er, no, we won’t — to avoid crazy leger lines in a piccolo or contrabass part when switching between a concert pitch score and a transposing score.
Now, if your instrument is set up properly to transpose at the octave (in Window > Score Manager > Instrument List > Transposition), you have the option for the music to display the same regardless of whether you’re working in a concert pitch score or a transposing score. Switch on the new option Document > Keep Octave Transposition in Concert Pitch to enable this.
It works for instruments that are set up to transpose either by key signature or chromatically, and it also works for instruments like glockenspiel that transpose by two octaves.
This is important not only for playback, but for copying and pasting as well. Now, any selections that are copied to or from an octave-transposing staff will correctly respect the octave of the source or destination material.
And Sibelius users, before you gloat and say that Sibelius has done this properly since version 1, it was only last week that Sibelius gained the ability to change staff sizes on a per-system basis — something that Finale has done since… version 1. So, there!
A ruler at the top of the screen to display bar numbers
No longer do we need Tim Davies’s clever workaround for displaying bar numbers no matter where you are in your score. Finally we have a proper ruler at the top of the screen that functions as a readout of the bar numbers, much like one would find in a sequencer.
Turn this on for existing scores at View > Show > Measure Number Bar. (Fun fact: Finale calls them “measures” and Sibelius calls them “bars”. So you can think of it as a bar number bar, I suppose.)
For new scores, enable this in Preferences > New > New Document Windows > Measure Number Bar.
The ruler respects the setting in Preferences > View > Measure Numbers to display defined or actual measure numbers, and will also respect any measure number regions in your score, including those with prefixes or suffixes, if Display Defined Measure Numbers is selected in Preferences:
This option is only available in Scroll View or Studio View; it’s not there in Page View.
It’s worth noting that the ruler that displays measurement units (inches, millimeters, etc.) is now gone from Scroll View and Studio View, since working in those views can often bear little relation to the actual size of the music on a printed page.
Other new features and fixes
You can now import a MusicXML file into an open document if it’s empty, by selecting Use current document if empty in File > Import > MusicXML Preferences. This is useful if you want to import MusicXML directly into a custom document or template.
There are some new templates for marching band and studio orchestra, and updated templates for drum corps and marching band.
A couple of Windows-only improvements: Horizontal scrolling has been enabled with trackpads, and new options in the Audio Setup dialog box (an Enabled check box and a Device Error Log button) allow users to enable or disable audio drivers and review any errors associated with those drivers.
- Blank pages are no longer deleted when preceding measures are deleted
- Extracting parts maintains note position edits made with Special Tools in linked parts
- When extracted, parts maintain their Display in Concert Pitch setting
- Muted keyswitches for Jazz and Big Band trumpets and trombones work as expected
- Muted keyswitches for Garritan strings work as expected
- Arco and glissando markings in string parts do not cause Finale to crash
- Manuscript Textures and Backgrounds are installed and updated
- Clicking Select to choose a Manuscript Texture in the Preferences, opens the correct default folder
- In lab settings, Finale correctly recognizes Sassafras Keyservers
- In the Setup Wizard, Brush Drum Set is now available when selecting instruments
- Simple Entry accidentals are carried over in overfilled measures
- Finale files do not crash with more than 16 instruments using SmartMusic SoftSynth
- Finale copies text inserts without crashing
- Time signature settings for individual linked parts are preserved when extracting parts
- Extracting parts does not alter or wipe out time signature font settings or placement offsets in the score
- Tuplet numbers and brackets appear on multiple layers when the tuplet begins with a consolidated rest
See this post if you missed what was in the 25.1 update, and read our review of Finale 25. Robert Puff also has coverage of this update on his blog, Of Note.