Finale version 26.1 released


Today MakeMusic released Finale version 26.1, the first update (other than a quick 26.0.1 hotfix) since Finale v26 was released in October 2018. The update addresses areas that users will appreciate. Articulation improvements were the main engraving attraction in v26 and they get further attention in 26.1. There are also a few new MusicXML features.

The update is free for all existing Finale v26 users from MakeMusic’s online store. A sale is being offered for a limited time for users who don’t yet own Finale v26; more on that, below.

Articulation improvements

Articulations got a lot of love in Finale v26, but there was one item that begged for further refinement. There was a new item in the Articulation Designer called Center over/under stem when stem side.This is meant for staccatos, when the stems are flipped. When this is checked (which it is by default in new Finale v26 documents), staccatos will appear directly on the stem.

This is fine on their own:

But it looked strange when in combination with other notes:

Finale v26.0

Fortunately, this has been fixed in 26.1, to the delight of Gould disciples everywhere. Articulations that center on-stem when stem-side now center on the notehead if there is a notehead-centered articulation also present on stem-side, like so:

Finale v26.1


The other change in 26.1 is an improvement in how articulations that are set to Above Note function in the presence of other layers. For instance, when only a single layer is present, a marcato on notes in Layer 2 will always display above the notes. But when notes are added in Layer 1, the marcato articulation in Layer 2 will flip, taking precedence over the Above Note setting. Of course, this being Finale, you can override this if you so choose by selecting the articulation and flipping it (F).

Related item: If you’re opening files created in version 25 or earlier, you might be wondering if you can convert the precomposed articulations such as the combined accent-tenuto, marcato-staccato, and others to independent articulations that take full advantage of the stacking mechanism. Thankfully, MakeMusic has provided a script that can do this that runs via JW Lua; you can read all about it and download it from our site.

Other items

The other improvements in 26.1 mostly relate to MusicXML import and export, specifically with respect to linked parts. The bundled version of Patterson Beams has been updated to better handle on-stem tremolo articulations.

In anticipation of classic SmartMusic’s retirement on August 31, 2020, SmartMusic users will appreciate a feature in 26.1 that allows them to convert older SMP and SMPX files to a new file type (SMZ) that can be read by the new SmartMusic.

In the Finale User Manual, all articles referencing menus, submenus, and tools are now cross-referenced to display not only what each item does, but also to provide information on how to accomplish each musical task.

A full list of improvements and fixes in Finale v.26.1 is available from MakeMusic’s web site for Mac and Windows.

MakeMusic is offering Finale on sale for a limited time, through May 20, 2019. New users of Finale can purchase it for $249, a significant savings off of the $600 regular price. However, if you already own a competing product, I recommend that you contact MakeMusic to obtain a quote for a competitive upgrade, which could be less expensive. MakeMusic has removed this option from their store, but the latest information is that it is still being offered by request.

For existing users on Finale v25 or earlier, the sale price for an upgrade to v26 is $99 (regular $149). Both sales items require the code FINALE261 at checkout.

Finale v26 was the most stable new Finale version that I can recall in many years, bringing along even longtime dyed-in-the-wool users who hadn’t upgraded since Finale 2011, thanks to its performance improvements and new features. There was only a single hotfix to address some mouse behavior when using certain devices, and since then I’ve been running it without any issues. Today’s 26.1 update is modest in scope, but it does address the single biggest item we raised in our review of Finale v26 regarding the new articulation features, so we’re happy to see it.


  1. Jon Burr

    Thank you, Philip –
    I ran the updater and encountered something weird… the updater froze on my Mac (Mojave). I force-quit it from Activity Monitor, opened Finale, and found it was updated, despite the apparent failure.

  2. Roberto Tagliarini

    spero che funzioni e che non rompa le palle

  3. tagliarini roberto

    deve funzionare bene e non rompere

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