Using the Pori chord symbol font with Finale [updated]

Tips

I was excited to see Steinberg’s handwritten music font Petaluma made into a derivation for Sibelius called Pori, and also the recent updates to refine them further. However, Finale had been left out! Being a big fan of the Chuck Sher Real Books, I was most excited about using the chord font. Given the capabilities of Finale’s chord editor, I set out to make a custom library that could be used in any Finale file. It didn’t end up being a terribly time consuming process, so I thought it might be helpful to share the process, as well as the chord library!

Let’s cut straight to the good stuff. I am providing a custom chord library that will load up nearly every chord symbol you might want to use. This include the main variants of major and minor chords. I personally use MA and m, but I have also provided maj and mi in case you prefer a different look. Either way, after reading this post, you’ll see it’s not terribly difficult to add new chords to Finale.

Download the fonts and library

First, you’ll need to download the Pori fonts (donations appreciated) from NYC Music Services’ web site if you haven’t already done so. Install the fonts onto your computer in the usual way, and restart Finale if it was open.

Next, download the chord suffix library that I created called Pori chord suffixes for Finale.lib.

Finale doesn’t make it quite as easy to swap out fonts for chord symbols as Sibelius. There are two different approaches I’ll outline to use these chords.

Approach 1: Set up a clean file

This is the simplest approach. You will only want to use this method if you are starting a new piece of music.

  • First, we need to change the default chord fonts. Go to Document > Document Options > Fonts and change each of the following in the Chord drop-down to Pori Chords Std 16 plain:
    • Symbol
    • Suffix
    • Alteration
  • While you’re in Document Options, go to Chords and in Chord Alteration Baseline Adjustment, set Sharps, Flats, and Naturals each to 0.
  • Next, go to File > Load Library and select the Pori chord suffixes for Finale.lib that you just downloaded. This will import the new chords into the file.
  • Update: If you are unable to load the Pori chord suffixes for Finale.lib file into Finale, try downloading this Finale file instead, and exporting the library from the file using File > Save Library… and check Chords and Fretboards, and then import the ensuing library file into your Finale document.
  • Last, we need to delete any existing chord suffixes in your file. Select the Chord Tool, and enter any chord in your document (let’s just say Cm7.) Then, lasso the handle, and hit Return. This brings up the Chord Definition menu. Click on Show Advanced if it hasn’t already been previously selected.

  • Now, find the Suffix options at the bottom of the menu and click Select… Now you’ll see all the chord suffixes present in your file. Feel free to delete any suffixes that aren’t using the Pori font. You might get this message:

  • You can click Yes. You’ll be left with a chord library containing only suffixes that use the Pori font.

Approach 2: From an existing file

This will take a little longer, but it’s the safest way to swap out your old chord suffixes and start using Pori.

  • First, we need to change the default chord fonts. Go to Document > Document Options > Fonts and change each of the following in the Chord drop-down to Pori Chords Std 16 plain:
    • Symbol
    • Suffix
    • Alteration
  • While you’re in Document Options, go to Chords and in Chord Alteration Baseline Adjustment, set Sharps, Flats, and Naturals each to 0.
  • The next step is where it differs from the previous method. Since you’re now dealing with chord suffixes that may still be in use in your document, you have to be more careful getting rid of them.
  • When you try deleting a suffix that is in use, you will get a dialog asking if you want to replace the suffix, or completely delete it. We want to replace it.
  • Choose to replace the suffix, and then pick the replacement suffix from the new Pori chord suffixes. From now on, if you type in this chord from the score, Finale will choose the new Pori chord instead of the old one.
  • You’ll need to do this for all existing chord suffixes in your document. Once you’re done, you’ll never need to worry about it again!

Tips!

You’ll be able to simply type in most of these chords from your keyboard. It should be pretty rare that you need to select a chord from the Chord Suffix Selection menu.

  • Stacked chords – For a chord like C7(#9#5), you’ll need to use [ and ] to access the tall parenthesis. I have already manually tweaked the positions of the stacked extension, so it should look great out of the box.
  • If there is a chord that is not already in the library, try typing it in and see how it looks by default. The Pori font automatically puts chord alterations in superscript. If you need to make a custom stacked alteration, I would suggest duplicating one that I already created, and changing the alterations manually. You’ll preserve most of the manual positioning and save yourself some time.

I hope you all find this useful. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section. I know Finale’s chord tool can be a bit intimidating!

Comments

  1. William Spencer

    So glad you used this method to create the library (where you can simply type in the suffix). I built my Library the same way, first with Golden Age, then Jazz.

    Thanks

    1. Jeremy Levy

      Hope you enjoy it. I mostly use the old Bill Duncan chord font for a clean Helvetica-like look. But, I thought it would be nice to have an alternate visual choice. There are still a couple suffixes you can’t type directly because of symbols that are not easily accessible on the keyboard (like the triangle symbol), but for the most part it’s pretty easy.

  2. Philip Rothman

    I’ve updated the post with an alternative method of accessing the chord suffix library via an ordinary Finale file, in case anyone has trouble with the .lib file directly.

  3. Alex DeLeon

    Hey guys, man these chord symbols are beautiful!

    Question: I mostly enter in my chord symbols via MIDI input, is there any way for me to use this font but still retain my current workflow (MIDI input)?

    Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Alex

  4. Charley Rich

    How do you make these changes permanent so the next time I start a score it automatically uses this chord library?

  5. Bruce Diehl

    Thanks! I look forward to making my chords look better with your fonts. Before I download, just asking. The file to download specifies Siebelius……but I’m working in Finale. Is this ok for Finale? Thanks!

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