Smarter title pages for parts in Finale


Generally title pages for parts aren’t customary or necessary. But there are occasions where you might want one. The two instances when I find myself using a title page on a part are:

  1. To layout a part that starts on a left-facing page so that a better page turn can be made, or
  2. (Related to no. 1) Laying out a part that is only two pages so that all the music is visible at once.

In those cases a title page is useful. Because the title page is effectively page 1, it should have all the same information that the first page of music has, with respect to the part name, title, and composer.

Crucially, I will go a step further and say that all of this information should appear in the same place — at the top of the page, and not centered vertically like one may be inclined to do.

Why? Think about a librarian quickly thumbing through a stack of parts to take inventory. All of the information appears at the top of the page for the parts, allowing for quick reference — until you get to something like this:

Not what we want.

To someone needing to quickly verify or distribute parts, that blank area at the top is a workflow-killer. You’ve got to take apart the whole stack of music to see what information is hiding halfway down the page. It may not seem like a big deal, but in a time-sensitive situation, every little bit helps.

The other important thing to consider is that the information on the title page should exactly match that which is on the first page of music. Obvious, yes, but what if you update the title of the piece but forget to update the title page?

Fortunately, this can be set up in a foolproof way. The concept is the same in Finale and Sibelius, but the process is a bit different. So, in this post, I’ll describe how it’s done in Finale, and it a future post I’ll describe the Sibelius way.

Create the title page

It is no problem to have a title page in one part, some parts, or all parts in Finale, without affecting the score. The instructions in the Finale User Manual are quite adequate — but only the first four steps, for our purposes. I’ll reproduce them here.

  1. Scroll to the beginning of the piece and choose the Page Layout tool.
  2. Choose Page Layout > Insert Blank Pages.
  3. For Insert, enter 1. Select Before Page and enter 1 (these are the default values).
  4. Click OK. A blank page is inserted at the beginning of your document.

You’ll get something that looks like this:

Yep, that’s truly a blank page, as promised.

Add the information to the title page

The official instructions go on to describe how to create a new text block on this blank page — but that’s not what we want here. Instead, we want to literally duplicate the part name, title, and composer.

When setting up a default Finale score, all of that information is usually assigned to a single page — page 1. But when the blank page gets added, Finale logically updates that information only for that part, so that the information appears on page 2, which you can see by double-clicking on the text frame for the title and going to Text > Frame Attributes:

The key to having the text appear on the title page in addition to the first page of music is to switch Attach To > Page from Single Page to Page Range, and input a page range from 1 to 2:

Do this not only for the title, but for the part name and composer as well, and presto:

Now, any time you update the text frame for each of the element, or update the information in the Score Manager, the text will update on both pages.

Optionally, you can then add a text block that says “Blank page” or, if you like, an arrow, to indicate that the page should be turned:

You may be thinking, “Great! But what happened to those text frames on the score and other parts where there isn’t a title page? Will the text be undesirably duplicated?”

Excellent question. Let’s take a look at the score.

Everything looks just as it was before — no title page has been added, and the text is only appearing on one page. How can this be?

Quite magically, Finale has accounted for this by adding a “page 0” to the document. So the page range of the text frames is still two pages — it’s just that in the score or in parts without a title page, the page range is 0 to 1. Since page 0 doesn’t exist in the real world, it doesn’t appear in the document.

Don’t believe me? Open up the Frame Attributes dialog and see for yourself:

This is actually described in the Finale User Manual in the section on linked parts. Click on Linking behaviors of specific musical elements and then Text to learn more.

Now that you’ve learned how to do this, will it change your workflow? Do you have other ways of managing title pages and related elements? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Patrick

    Just discovered your page. Nice to have another resource! I have a question relating to this…(sent the question to Finale Tech and got a robo response despite a detailed explanation..oy) I’ve been using Finale for over 25 years, but am always looking for tips.

    For ease of workflow and using as little paper as necessary, I want to be able to drop a totally clean Title Page at the end of 3-page parts, I want to be able to accommodate a necessary page turn at the end of page 2, I’m printing 2-up on 12X18. By doing this, I can print pages 1&2, turn, and print 3&Title, fold and the page turn is accounted for. However, the text inserts at the top of the page will of course appear. Even when unlinked, if you “unshow” them, the whole part is affected. My temporary solution has been to push the single page margin out of the way. Also, by adding a blank page at the beginning, it affects the page numbering, I haven’t seen a way to have it leave the page numbering alone. I’m hoping that Finale addresses this and creates a completely unencumbered Title Page function, but would be interested to know your thoughts on this.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Patrick, if I understand correctly, I think your temporary solution might be the best one in this case.

      Regarding page offsets, in Finale they affect the score and all parts. I don’t know of a way to have a different offset for parts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *