This video series is part of Conquering Finale, a regular feature on Scoring Notes, with new installments released periodically.
Tackling the text tool
Lesson 1 (basic): Adding and Editing Text Blocks
In this video, I’ll teach you the basics of Page Attached and Measure Attached Text Blocks. Adding Text Blocks is rather simple, but at (2:41) I’ll show you how to edit them including changing the font, and adding styles like bold, italics, and underline. What page(s) the Text Blocks get attached to is also important to know how to do, so that’s covered as well (10:09).
Lesson 2 (basic): Text Inserts
Inserts allow you to automatically enter special items or dynamically updating information, (recalled from various sources within the file), in-line with your text. There are inserts to quickly add accidentals (0:50), Page Numbers (2:42) which can also have a “Page Offset” (4:16), title information from the Score Manager (6:21), Date and Time information (13:27), and Symbol (15:30) which allows you to manually pick a character from the specific font you’re using. In addition to all of this, I’ll also take a quick look at inserting a Hyperlink in a Text Block (18:36).
Lesson 3 (intermediate): Alignment and Positioning of Text Blocks
Aligning and Positioning Page Attached Text Blocks is an important thing to get right for a variety of reasons. I’ll explore how Alignment and Positioning work in Finale and how they interact with each other. Text Blocks can also have “Facing Pages” positions as well (9:53) which is useful for things like page numbers. There’s an important discussion about positioning Text Blocks on Linked Parts (11:58). And I’ll even show you a couple of tricks for getting a Text Block to ONLY appear on a single part (14:40). Finally, I’ll look at what can be done to position Measure Attached Text Blocks (16:35).
Lesson 4A (intermediate): The Standard Text Frame
In this, the first of three videos focusing on the ubiquitous Text Frame in Finale, we’ll take a look at the Standard Text Frame and most importantly, the difference between an unbounded and a bounded Text Frame. Using bounded Text Frames has some advantages which I will illuminate in this important lesson. Justification (8:38) is very much related to the bounded or unbounded nature of the Text Frame, so that will be dealt with in this video as well. And finally, within the Standard Frame Dialogue box, we have some options that will allow us to put a border around our Text Blocks (13:50).
Lesson 4B (advanced): The Custom Text Frame
In perhaps the most useless video ever filmed for Conquering Finale, I will attempt to walk you through the Custom Text Frame so that you can do really random things like surround your Text Block in a circle. Or a triangle. For the 4 people in the world that were wondering how to do this… you’re welcome.
Lesson 4C (advanced): Boxed Song Numbers
In Musical Theater scores, it’s common practice to place the song number in a box in the upper-right corner of the first page. In this video, I’ll show you how to do this using a Standard Frame (0:32), which has the advantage of being simple to set up but the disadvantage that it won’t always be perfectly square, or using a Custom Frame (5:30), which will always be perfectly square but has the disadvantage of being more difficult to set up. You’ll see it done both ways and then you can decide which way you prefer.
Lesson 5 (advanced): Advanced Character Settings
This video explores some of the advanced character settings that can be applied to text in Finale. Tracking (1:28) controls the horizontal space between individual letters, Baseline Shift (3:50) allows you to change the height of words or individual characters – usually important when mixing music fonts with text fonts, Superscript (8:26) is similar to Baseline Shift but has some subtle differences, and finally, Line Spacing (11:04) controls the space between each line in the entire text block.
Lesson 6 (advanced): Fixed Sized Text
The confusion about when to use non-fixed-sized text or fixed-sized text can be easily cleared up once you understand how text scaling interacts with everything else (Page, System, Staff, Notes, Noteheads) that can be scaled in Finale. So this video provides some valuable information about this relationship as well as some practical applications for fixed and non-fixed sized texts.
Lesson 7 (advanced): Document Options for Text
In the Document Options for Text, there are a few things that can be done with tab spacing and time and date formatting, but the bulk of this video deals with the options available to adjust the size and spacing of the Accidental Inserts. I’ll even show you how to repurpose those inserts for different uses.
Lesson 8 (intermediate): Text and Font Replacement
Finale has a powerful utility in the Edit Menu called Text Search & Replace which will allow you to search for words in any number of ways, in any number of places, and replace them with other words. You can also use this utility to search and replace whole fonts with or without specific sizes or styles and replace them with other fonts with or without specific sizes and styles. The filtering options are very comprehensive so you can get extremely specific once you know how it all works.
Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle — SMuFL Text Fonts
Finale 27 ships with new text fonts which also use the SMuFL format and contain some useful music characters that can be used in line with any text you create in Finale. The Finale Maestro Text font, which is actually a clone of Times New Roman, is particularly useful for this. I’ll show you how to create dynamics in line with text, all kinds of tempo equations, and how to put boxes around text using nothing more than just the Finale Maestro Text font. In addition, I’ll summarize what the other included text fonts are, and what they do or do not include.
Listen to the podcast episode
On the Scoring Notes podcast, David MacDonald and Philip Rothman talk with Jason Loffredo about preparing music for the world of musical theatre and his Conquering Finale video tutorial series, which can help you better master that sophisticated software, whether you’re a new or long-time user. Listen now: