Finale ships with Templates, Default Files, and Document Styles. We’ll explore them, learn how to modify and save them, and learn how to create a “House Style” that opens with every document you create.
- Editing your Default File
- Some essential changes to make in the Default File
- Libraries, Export/Import, into the Default file
- Creating a House Style
- Using the House Style as a Document Style
- Inserting linked text shortcodes (part/score name, arranger name)
- The Page Layout Tool
- Finale Template Files
- Setting up Condensed Scores with Voiced Parts
Finale Template Files
It’s worth having a look at Finale’s Templates if you’re working with large scores. Finale Templates offer a jump-start on professional-quality music preparation. There are over a hundred of them, sorted by general purpose (for band, orchestra, choir etc) with individual files for various ensemble configurations. You can customize these templates, which is something you might want to do if you use them a lot.
This Screenshot shows the view that opens when “New File from Template” is selected in the File menu’s “New” dialog.
Ensembles in the Setup Wizard
When using the Setup Wizard, you’ll see there are a variety of pre-configured Ensembles you can use as well, offering more configuration options as you set up your file than are available in Templates.
You can apply a Document Style to the selected Ensemble.
Descriptions show in the Setup Wizard describing the included features for each Ensemble.
Note that Finale 26.2 contains a lot of updates to Default Files and Ensembles, including a lot of essential features previously missing, like part and score names.
Finale uses your chosen Default File for things like importing XML and opening MIDI. We have an article on the Finale Blog that describes the process of making changes to the Default File, and where to find and save it. Note that the article precedes the release of Finale 26.2.
Libraries in Finale store your customizations for things like Expressions, Articulations, Chords, Smart Shapes, Tabs, and font customizations. Libraries can be saved, exported and imported into any document in Finale, including into your Default Document or Templates. For example, if you’ve created a series of custom chord symbols, you can save the Chord library for the document used to create them, and import that Library anywhere.
Creating a House Style
You can save any document as a Document Style, including your customized Default Document, or any Template. Document Styles need to be in the Document Styles folder in order to be available in the Setup Wizard.
Condensed Scores with Voiced Parts
Some of Finale’s Large Ensemble Templates use a Condensed Score format, where voices are combined in the same staff for some instruments. Further investigation in the Parts Manager reveals that each instrument has their own, singe-line part. You can see that the isolated parts take advantage of Finale’s “Specify Voicing” feature.
It’s possible to modify a score you already created to use these features, but it’s a multi-step process. Using Finale’s Templates for these ensemble types saves a lot of editing.
Condensed Scores are not created by the Setup Wizard.
If you’re using Garritan’s Jazz and Big Band premium library, there are a lot of Jazz techniques available, triggered by Human Playback from special articulation symbols that are triggered by symbols only in the Jazz Font. If you’re writing a Big Band score and want to include fall-offs, doits and shakes, use the Jazz font – it’ll save a lot of editing later.
An alternative is to create a multi-sample Bank, add all the articulation samples, and trigger them with channel change messages instead. For more information, see our page on Using Custom Sound Libraries.