Finale version 27.4 supports macOS Sonoma, true black printing, other fixes


MakeMusic has released Finale version 27.4, the fourth update to Finale v27. The main objective of this update is to provide official support for running Finale under macOS Sonoma (macOS 14). Finale is a universal binary application, meaning it will run natively on Apple Silicon (M1, M2, etc.) as well as older Macs with Intel processors.

Subsequent to the November 29, 2023 release of v27.4, on December 12, 2023 MakeMusic released Finale v27.4.1, a hot fix update to address several issues in the v27.4 release.

The v27.4 update is the first update to Finale in more than a year. In addition to ensuring compatibility with Sonoma and addressing any issues specific to that OS, Finale v27.4 adds some small but helpful items and fixes some longtime bugs.

Finale v27.4, running in macOS Sonoma

The video

Jason conquers this update with a new “Conquering Finale” video. It’s the little things that count!


The updates

Symbols and elision slurs in lyrics

It’s easier now on Mac to insert a symbol in the Lyrics Window (Tools > Lyrics > Lyrics Window…). When you’re in the Lyrics Window, simply choose Insert Symbol… from the menu, to bring up the full Symbol Selection dialog, which will give you access to the entire range of Unicode characters.

A practical implementation of this improvement is the ability to add elision slurs when typing directly into the score. (Longtime Finale users will know the tortuous method of typing a capital I and switching to the Engraver Font Set to achieve this result). There is a specific Insert Elision menu item now, with a corresponding shortcut, Option+Shift+Command+-, to do this easily.

Behind the scenes, Finale inserts the elision symbol in the Finale Lyrics font and then switches back to the font you’re using for lyric entry (Academico in this example).

Print to true black

Nearly all music is printed in black and white — but with Finale, it was more like a dark shade of grey for some Mac users, for many years. Documented on Scoring Notes with workarounds, the current Finale forum, and the old Finale forum, this truly qualifies as a longstanding issue, and it is very nice to see it addressed.

In Finale v27.4, there is a new option in the Print dialog that should hopefully solve this problem once and for all. In Finale Print Options, in the Print: section, there is a new Use RGB option. Uncheck this box to ensure that the PDFs that you generate from Finale are output in true black.

Of course, for PDFs made prior to Finale v27.4, you’ll still need to check to see if the PDFs are true black, and, if not, apply the post-production fix via Adobe Acrobat we documented on Scoring Notes, if this is important to you.

Improved (?) music spacing when layers cross or overlap

There is a new option, Stems, in Document Options > Music Spacing > Avoid Collisions. As best we can tell, this option might be checked when starting a new score from one of Finale’s default document styles, but not when starting from a third-party document style (like Scoring Express), template, or existing file, although your own experience may vary depending upon what your default settings are.

It improves situations like this, where the stems collide with notes in an unsightly manner:

And indeed, after respacing the music, the spacing of the music is improved in the fourth and fifth bars, although we feel that the spacing in the first three bars was possibly overcompensated for:

(Note: This was improved in the Finale v27.4.1  hot fix update, so if you are not seeing the results above, be sure to download the 27.4.1 update.)

If you would like a complete explanation of this issue, we highly recommend you consult pages 52 and 53 of Behind Bars; as usual, Elaine Gould has explained the rules, conventions, and exceptions very well.

Ties on chords that have pairs of seconds no longer collide

A nice fix here: This unsightly issue with colliding ties…

…has been fixed in v27.4:

Sonoma-specific fixes

An issue in which the Add Instrument button and Instrument column within ScoreManager do not respond to mouse clicks has been resolved in Finale v27.4. This had blocked users from adding instruments to existing scores, requiring an interim workaround.

Tooltips for palettes now work properly on macOS Sonoma when changing the palettes shape.

Other fixes

Mac only:

  • Among this list of other fixes may well be one or two items that you’ve been waiting for:
  • Fixed an issue where grace notes can cause the screen to go blank. (Mac only)
  • Tool palettes now retain their location when entering and exiting full screen mode and using a second monitor. (Mac only)
  • The Times font no longer incorrectly populates font lists. (Mac only)
  • Tuplet handles can now be moved without issue while in Page View. (Mac only)
  • Fixed an issue where Edit System Margins and Edit Page Margins dialog boxes can display off screen. (Windows only)

Windows only:

  • Playback controls no longer change settings after adding measures to a document. (Windows only)
  • Fixed an issue where lyrics can disappear from the lyrics menu. (Windows only)
  • When printing to PDF, the saved name of the document is retained in the export window and part names are automatically populated with each part. (Windows only)

Both Mac and Windows:

  • Copyable staff styles are now copied to parts when copy and pasting in the score.
  • Back ending brackets and repeat text endings are now added to the score and parts properly.
  • Ties at the start of a system now draw correctly and do not disappear.
  • Fixed an issue where removing staves from a linked part can create duplicate staves.
  • Augmentation dots are now placed correctly on notes with flipped stems.
  • Measure numbers are now aligned correctly in measures with key signatures and time signatures.
  • The All Channels option for Hyperscribe now remains selected.
  • It is now possible to flip the stems of a beamed group with a shortcut while any note of that group is selected.
  • Fixed an issue where deleting the first staff of a document can prevent Human Playback from playing back expressions.


Finale v27.4 is a free update for anyone who has already purchased Finale v27, and can be downloaded from your MakeMusic account, or directly through Finale, if Check for Update is selected.

If you don’t already have Finale v27.4, now is the best time to get it — last year, MakeMusic permanently reduced prices on both new licenses and on upgrades, and there is a sale going on right now which runs through December 1, for even further discounts by using the promo code FINALE35 at checkout. New retail licenses are 70% off, bringing the cost of Finale down to $89; upgrades from previous versions of Finale and new academic licenses are 35% off, bringing the cost down to $65. (Check out our massive Black Friday post for lots of other deals on music notation software and related technology going on right now.)

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. Heine Svendsen

    Seems that v.27.4 has some problems both on Mac and Windows.

  2. Compositor

    About True Black output: when RGB is unchecked, the output file size is considerably bigger (about 4X) than the previous workaround (export PDF using the Graphic Tool). Is there a quality difference? Should I use the new method (Print to PDF with RGB unchecked), or keep using the Export function in the Graphic Tool? Please advise. Thank you.

    1. Ben Byram-Wigfield

      Size is no guarantee of quality. Vector graphics should be sharp at any resolution; and the same PDF data can be described in various different ways.

  3. Ben Byram-Wigfield

    There is now a 27.4.1 ‘hot-fix’ that addresses some matters arising from the 27.4 update.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks! I have updated the post. In particular, here are the hot fixes:

      • Restored third-party PDF printers (Windows only).
      • The JW Staff Polyphony plug-in now shows in the correct language.
      • Fixed an issue where relative layer position is correct even when notes without stems are present.
      • Fixed an issue that would shift a unison note in layer two incorrectly to the left.

      The last item is reflected in the post.

      1. Ben Byram-Wigfield

        I believe the 27.4.1 fix also restores third-party PDF printers on Windows.

        1. Philip Rothman

          Much appreciated – thanks!

  4. Martin Marris

    Very interesting, thanks for this update.

    Unfortunately the “Print to true black” fix only seems to apply to the Mac version of 27.4.

    Working on a CMYK book in InDesign, I find that Finale PDFs imported into the ID document print on all four plates. This happens regardless of whether I use the Graphics tool to export the page, or the File/Export function. Furthermore the “RGB” option in the Print dialog, described in the post, seems to be Mac-only.

    For now, I will continue to use the droplet that I created for post-processing these PDFs in Acrobat Pro. Sigh.

    (The issue is not confined to Finale. PDFs exported from Sibelius have the same problem, which I have also been fixing for many years using the Acrobat Pro droplet.)

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