Finale version 26.3 released [updated]


Updated July 1, 2020 with information about Finale version 26.3.1.

MakeMusic has released Finale version 26.3. This maintenance release brings support for Dark Mode on Mac, better performance and responsiveness while editing and scrolling, MusicXML improvements, and a handful of bug fixes.

Finale v.26.3 running in Dark Mode on macOS

Finale v.26.3 is the first version of Finale to be fully translated into Spanish. Jason Wick, MakeMusic’s senior manager for product development, said that the new Spanish version of Finale “is a fully translated installation and application experience. Here at MakeMusic, we’ve been excited about rolling this out for many months now. I couldn’t be prouder of the teams here, and I know our Spanish speaking users will love it! We’re ready to fully support this new group of Finale users.”

Dark Mode (macOS)

Finale 26.3 inherits the system setting from your Mac System Preferences > General > Appearance.

Unlike some other software, there is not an option to control Finale’s Dark Mode independently from the system setting.

Most dialogs and even third-party plug-in interface look good, but some, like the Expression Category Designer, have not been fully updated.

Jason Wick told Scoring Notes that their approach was to prioritize the dialogs based on usage data and hammer through tweaking as many as possible in the time available. “So yes,” Jason said, “there will be a handful of dialogs where you might see something like this.” Hopefully the remaining items will make it in a future update.

Finale user Nick Mazuk has posted a brief video overview of using Dark Mode in Finale v.26.3.


The fixes in Finale v.26.3 are generally technical in nature:


  • Music written with percussion clefs using standard rather than percussion notation now exports correctly.
  • Music written on 2- or 3-line percussion staves now exports and imports more accurately.
  • Percussion notation rests set to a specific staff position now export and import more accurately.
  • Custom Clef Designer definitions are now exported.
  • Stacked chord symbols are now exported and imported.
  • Measure numbers now export more accurately from documents with multiple measure number regions.
  • Stems shortened to nothing using the stem length tool are now exported correctly.
  • MusicXML import no longer changes MIDI quantization settings.
  • When notes display in other layers when rhythmic notation is applied, their stem directions now export correctly and articulations are displayed after import.


Finale’s underlying drawing mechanism has been updated to offer better performance and responsiveness while editing and scrolling.


If Finale encounters a problem saving a document, a warning is displayed with suggestions for further action.


A handful of other fixes, some specific to Mac or Windows, are detailed in the Readme file accompanying the release.

Finale v26.3.1. update

On June 30, 2020, MakeMusic released version 26.3.1 with the following fixes, most notably a fix to the latency issue with NotePerformer syncing during playback:

Mac and Windows

  • The playback cursor is now synced properly with audio during playback when using virtual instrument plug-ins with latency, such as NotePerformer.
  • The Setup Wizard now chooses a default duration when the pickup measure checkbox is selected and a time signature other than 4/4 is selected.
  • Undo functionality is no longer disabled when choosing Cancel in the Resize Note dialog box.
  • Linguistic coverage has been improved in the Spanish-language version.

Mac only

  • Finale no longer crashes when exiting the Chord Definition dialog box.
  • Finale no longer hangs when repositioning staves causes a staff system to move to a different page.
  • The playback cursor is now drawn correctly over page breaks and when music scrolls vertically.

Availability and compatibility

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

Finale v26.3 is supported on macOS 10.12 Sierra/10.13 High Sierra/10.14 Mojave/10.15 Catalina and Windows 10 (64-bit only). Be aware that, as a result of Microsoft ending support for Windows 7, Finale releases are no longer supported on Windows 7.

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.


  1. Daniel

    How to disable Dark Mode
    Open up your terminal and enter (to disable dark mode) – defaults write com.makemusic.Finale26 NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance 1 (to restore: defaults write com.makemusic.Finale26 NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance 0)

    1. Ben Byram-Wigfield

      Or just click the button in System Preferences > General.

    2. Jake

      The spanish articles of the Finale website are so bad translated. Hope the program translation is allright!

  2. Christopher Smith

    Where is the Read Me file? My Finale (Mac) updated without a trace. I didn’t even have to quit, and I can’t find the Read Me anywhere, not even on the MakeMusic site.

    1. Philip Rothman

      It’s typically included in the installer package that you download, and also on the screen that pops up, but if yours installed silently you may not have seen it. The changes are included in the online manual although as of this moment it doesn’t look like it’s been updated for 26.3.

  3. Ben Byram-Wigfield

    On top of an unfinished UI, there’s also a fatal bug in the Chord Definition Dialog, causing Finale to crash. Help Pages still haven’t been updated.

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