Finale version 26.2 released [updated]


MakeMusic has released Finale version 26.2, the first update since May 2019. This maintenance release is squarely focused on bug fixes and other improvements rather than new features. The most significant item in 26.2 for Mac users is full support for macOS 10.15 Catalina.

The update is free for all existing Finale v26 and v26.1 users from MakeMusic’s online store, or from within Finale by choosing Finale > Check for Update (Mac) or Help > Check for Update (Windows).

Finale v26.2

MakeMusic senior product development manager Jason Wick explained the update this way in a recent post on the official Finale blog:

Over the past twelve months, the majority of our team’s efforts have gone into technical improvements that don’t yield short-term user-facing benefits. Although our friends using Finale haven’t seen big differences on the surface, the underlying code has changed dramatically…The architectural work that we’ve been doing modifies hundreds of thousands of lines of code and those changes are investments in the long-term viability of Finale.

To that end, the “New Features” that are listed in the “Read Me” document that accompanies the release of Finale v26.2 are generally technical in nature:

ARIA Player

  • v1.959. The ARIA Player has been updated to v1.959 in the full Finale installer. Note: The new ARIA version may cause older versions of Finale to display an incompatibility message. Users can find the ARIA Player v1.959 installer in the MakeMusic Download Library.

Document Options

  • Cleanup. Architectural cleanup efforts have been made to the Document Options.
  • FinaleScript. FinaleScript’s import options commands now import all associated options.
  • Guides. Guides are now included when saving a Document Options library.
  • Page Format for Score and Parts. Page Format for Score and Parts are now included when saving a Document Options library.


  • ReWire. ReWire has been updated to comply with Mac notarization standards. (Mac only)
  • Security. Finale executables and installers have been updated and modernized to comply with current OSes and security practices.

Patterson Beams Plug-in

  • Grace notes and resized notes. The Patterson Beams Plug-in has been updated to affect grace notes and resized notes. Stem lengths and beam angles look like they would at full size, but without trying to avoid wedges with the staff lines.

I asked MakeMusic product manager Jonathan Tschiggfrie about what “architectural cleanup efforts have been made to the Document Options” specifically, and he replied:

The work in Document Options has to do with the underlying mechanism of how Finale records and later accesses the multitude of document-related settings, especially when multiple documents are open at the same time. In essence, the structure we’ve been using for decades can in rare cases cause a document option in one active document to incorrectly bleed over to another open document. It’s also one of the limiting factors to how agile we can be when writing new features or resolving defects that involve those document settings, which is the primary reason for addressing it now on our way to a more maintainable codebase (hence “investing in Finale’s future”). This cleanup is purely technical, except where we’ve found fixes for minor but long-standing unintended quirks in Finale as we go; one of our guiding principles for this work is to have no net negative effect on functionality, and if anything, improve the user experience.

As a Finale user going back decades, many years ago I did occasionally encounter a document inheriting the settings of another document by osmosis, although it hasn’t happened it a long while. Still, out of habit or superstition I usually only work with one file open at a time whenever possible. So I’m glad that this issue is being addressed.

Other fixes in Finale 26.2 are:

  • Click and Countoff dialog box. The Finale Click volume is now adjustable on a per-document basis for use during Playback and HyperScribe.
  • Consolidate Rests Across Layers
    • Consolidate Rests Across Layers option is correctly saved in the Document Options – Layers dialog box when the library is loaded.
    • Consolidate Rests Across Layers is now included in FinaleScript’s import layer options command.
  • Document Options – Multimeasure Rests dialog box. The Document Options – Multimeasure Rests dialog box updates correctly after clicking Load Library and selecting a file.
  • File Compatibility Warning dialog box. The File Compatibility Warning dialog box correctly reappears after choosing Show All Messages in the Preference – View dialog box.
  • Flag Type. Finale retains the Flag Type selection in the Document Options – Flags dialog box when the default music font is changed.
  • Heavy Line Thickness. The Heavy Line Thickness field in the Document Options – Repeat dialog box updates correctly when using the repeat heavy line thickness [#] [units] command in FinaleScript.
  • HiDPI (Windows only). The Vertical Collision Remover Plug-In displays correctly on HiDPI monitors.
  • macOS Improvements
    • Document Styles available in the Setup Wizard are sorted alphabetically and match the Setup Wizard on Windows for High Sierra and later.
    • Latin Percussion grooves and Drum Groove styles are sorted alphabetically on High Sierra and later.
    • Plug-ins appear in the correct order on High Sierra and later.
    • Text encoding and display for some MakeMusic fonts are now correct on macOS 10.15.
  • MusicXML
    • Default hyphen and beam distance are now correctly exported and imported.
    • Numerals on 1-bar multimeasure rests are imported more accurately.
    • Unslashed flagged grace notes are imported more accurately.
  • Reset Panning. Finale no longer crashes when selecting MIDI/Audio > Reset Panning while in Studio View in some documents.
  • Shape Selection dialog box. The Shape Selection dialog box appears when clicking Select in the Multimeasure Rest dialog box.
  • Space Systems Plug-in. The description when hovering over the Space Systems Plug-in option in the Plug-in menu no longer contains a typo.
  • TG Tools Plug-ins
    • The TG Tools Plug-ins close when pressing ESC.
    • The Go button in the TG Tools Plug-ins included with Finale is now highlighted correctly.

Finale v26.2 is supported on macOS 10.12 Sierra/10.13 High Sierra/10.14 Mojave/10.15 Catalina and Windows 7 (SP1)/8/8.1/10 (64-bit only).

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.

26.2.1 hot fix

Subsequent to the release on November 19, 2019, MakeMusic issued a 26.2.1 “hot fix” on November 21, 2019 to correct two problems in the 26.2 update:

  • The setting in Document Options > Ties > Placement > Under/Outer Note, the Horizontal > End value iwas not respected;
  • For documents set to Keep Current in Document Options > Music Spacing > Grace Note Spacing, if music spacing was applied, horizontal positioning of grace notes was undesirably altered.

For users that had already downloaded the 26.2 update, the “good news,” according to MakeMusic product manager Jonathan Tschiggfrie, is that the problems lived “in Finale’s drawing engine, meaning that no document data would have been changed.”

Jon said that those who have already installed 26.2 will get another in-app notification to install the 26.2.1 hot fix.


  1. Jon Burr

    Using Finale’s Finale Menu>Check for Update finds and installs the update right over the existing Finale 26, meaning that (for this update!) you don’t have copy all your customizations (Plugins, Finale Scripts etc) over to a new folder.
    This is really great news, they’re cleaning up a lot of these legacy architecture issues – and it updates like a conventional Mac app.

    1. Jon Burr

      – and from a Music Prep standpoint, this is indeed a major update. Ensembles in the Score Manager now include a lot of features previously only available in Templates. It’s possible to use an Ensemble style that includes part/score name on every page, for example.

    2. Ben

      Point updates have always installed in place, leaving your preferences and plug-ins intact. Only major revisions use clean folders.

      I forget when Finale started using the Sparkle update engine – probably 2012 or 2014.

  2. Ben

    Apparently there are problems with this update: notably, some types of tie do not display correctly, with the Document Option being ignored. Other types of notation may have similar issues.
    MM have acknowledged that a ‘Hot Fix’ will be released shortly.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Indeed. Specifically, in Document Options > Ties > Placement > Under/Outer Note, the Horizontal > End value is not respected. I haven’t checked thoroughly to see if other settings are affected as well. Thanks for alerting us.

      1. Philip Rothman

        MakeMusic issued a 26.2.1 “hot fix” on November 21, 2019 to correct two problems in the 26.2 update and the post above has been updated.

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