Quicker Chord Entry in Finale
Finale’s Chord Tool has an extension picker shortcut that appears when the user types a chord root followed by “:” and “0” (number zero) and a “space” character, which might come as a revelation for many users struggling with chord input. It brings up the chord library, where you can pick an extension for your chord with one click, or create one with the editing tools.
On opening this you’ll notice little numbers in the box occupied by each extension, representing id #’s for each variant.
With those ID numbers, instead of typing a zero after the colon, if you type the id number corresponding to the chord you want before hitting the spacebar, Finale inserts it into the score.
If we knew all these extension numbers, we’d be able to shorten the picking process by typing in the symbol, then the colon, then the extension ID number.
This can already save a lot of time – but learning all these extension ID numbers is a bit much, and easy to forget if you don’t use them every day. You could trim the Chord Symbol library down considerably, or rearrange them so the ones you use most are near the top. Instead, we found a way to make chord suffix selection fast and easy using a floating icon palette in Keyboard Maestro.
Keyboard Maestro Icon Palette
Keyboard Maestro supports Macros and Groups. A Macro is an individual script, and a Group is a collection of macros. In a Group, Macros can be displayed in a palette with an icon representing its action. You can open the Palette with a shortcut, or listing in another palette, then click its icons to complete your chord entries.
Setting this up involves a few steps.
Let’s assume you’ve already created your custom chords in Finale, or know which ones you’ll use most often.
1. Take a screenshot of the open Chord Extension Picker/Editor in Finale
This enables you to see the ID numbers associated with your extensions, and do screen grabs to make the icons.
2. Create a new Group in Keyboard Maestro
Set the Palette editor’s options for it, checking “Show Icons Only.” You can define the icon size and number of columns, the palette color, and whether it stays open or closes after one action.
3. Begin building your macros.
Add an action from Keyboard Maestro’s “Text” group – “Insert Text by Typing.” That’s the only action you’ll need. Then enter your text string, being sure to use the ID number associated with the extension you want to use. Into the action’s text field, type a colon (:), the ID#, and a spacebar press.
4. Add the icon
Open your Chord Extensions screenshot in the Preview app on the Mac, drag-select around the chord symbol you want, hit ⌘C (copy), then click in the little icon field in Keyboard Maestro’s macro editor and paste your selection in there. Your icon shows up.
Repeat until you have all the ones you want in there.
Save Your Chord Library for Reuse
In order for this to work in all your documents, be sure to save your Finale chord library, if you’ve customized it, and load it into other documents, including new ones, or your Templates or Default Documents. Note that Finale templates might have different chord libraries, depending on the font used in the template. If you do that, it’ll always work.