In the Plugins class we’ll explore all the various plugins that ship with Finale, along with custom libraries from other developers.
- Lyrics Plugins
- FinaleScript Plugins
- Scoring and Arranging Plugins
- Miscellaneous Plugins
- Expressions Plugins
- Measures Plugins
- Patterson Plugins
- TG Tools Plugins
- JW Plugins
- Note, Beam and Rest Editing Plugins
You’ll see two plug-ins in the lyrics menu.
The first is Auto-Slur Melismas, which adds slurs to syllables sung over two or more pitches.
The second is Clear Lyric Positioning, which removes adjustments to lyric baselines, or changes in position done with the Syllables tool.
You’ll see we have a lot of Finale scripts installed. Finale ships with many, and we’ve created many more, so many, in fact, that we have a dedicated class for Finale Script. We find that Finale script it has become essential to our workflow. We authored an article on Finale Script in the Scoring Notes Blog that provides working script for all the functions in our own Finale Script menu.
Scoring and Arranging
You see there are also a lot of Scoring and Arranging plug-ins. The Canonic Utilities are especially interesting for composers, because of the variations they can create on selected entries.
We find the global staff attributes plug-in to be extremely useful making bulk changes to staff settings, such as displaying bar numbers.
Otherwise we don’t find ourselves in this menu much, except for possibly piano reduction or split point, although the smart split point plug-in in TG Tools is much more useful to us.
We find only one plug-in in the Miscellaneous folder, but it can be very useful. It’s the change fonts plug-in.
The only plug-in we find in the expressions menu is auto dynamic placement. We’ve never had any reason to use it. Since improvements in collision avoidance in recent versions of Finale have made it unnecessary, we have set our default dynamic positioning using the Category Designer (Document>category designer).
There’re some interesting plug-ins in the measures menu, but we’ve never had the need to use any of them. For example, when we’re working on an arrangement that needs a Coda System, we enter it as we go using the the ending tool.
Robert Patterson has provided a set of “Patterson Lite” plug-ins that ships with Finale. Mr. Patterson has premium plug-ins available as well. We’ve come to rely on his premium staff sets plug-in, which offers an interface much more complete than Finale’s built-in interface. The same is true for his multi measure rests plug-in, which is essential to our workflow. We haven’t had the need for the others yet.
His premium plug-ins appear as their own item in the plug-ins menu list when they’re installed.
Tobias Gleeson has also generously provided a set of plug-ins that ships with Finale. He also has a suite of premium plugins that get their own top menu in Finale once they’re installed. The ones we use most often include easy harmonics, easy tremolos, and smart split point.
JW Plugins don’t ship with Finale, but we find them to be absolutely essential. They’re available as a free download from his website. They are so powerful and with such extensive capabilities that they deserve a class on their own. The ones we use the most include
- JW change
- JW part layout
- JW fit music
- JW rhythm copy
- JW tie notes
- JW untie notes
–but we’ve had the occasion to need to most of them. They’re a “must-have.”
Note, Beam and Rest Editing
Of all the plug-ins that are in the Note, Beam and Rest menu, there are only a couple that we use often.
These include the Single pitch plug-in, which we use when creating drum parts. When changing the meter for a section, we’ve found that we need to apply the change to real whole rests plug-in first.
We go into detail about any and all plugins and demo their respective operation in our Finale Plugins Class