Spotlight on Plug-ins

Welcome to the Spotlight on Plug-ins

 

This series will look at all of the native and third-party plug-ins that are available for Finale. Each plug-in will get its own video. Keep checking back here as I'll try to add to this series as frequently as I can.

Spotlight on Plug-ins #1
Patterson's "Copyist's Helper"

Download the Patterson Plug-ins here:

http://robertgpatterson.com/-fininfo/finmaincontent.html

 

Robert Patterson’s “Copyist’s Helper” plug-in is perhaps one of the most valuable plug-ins that you can own, particularly if you’re a musical theater copyist. This video highlights some amazing additions to the 6.03 version of the plug-in which was released on Feb. 6th, 2021. There’s a brand new feature that allows you to insert or delete measures while retaining the measure numbers (0:37). Yes, automatic A and B bars have finally become a reality in Finale! Inserting and Deleting Systems while also retaining bar numbers is the other new piece of this plug-in (8:23). Both of these features solve some other long-standing problems with inserting and deleting Measure Number Regions and/or Systems in Finale. This is an absolute MUST HAVE!

 

Starting at (13:33) I explore the already existing features of the Copyist’s Helper plug-in, mainly related to measure numbers, including a really helpful operation that can be done on Multimeasure Rest ranges that will list the ranges with the correct A and B or cut bars. The other side of the plug-in is the Instrument Headers tab (27:24). There’s a specific solution for listing the currently held instrument for Reed Doublers in page headers (28:44), and there’s a newer function that uses Finale’s Bookmarks to force-create section specific text blocks (33:57) which is useful for multi-movement files.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #2
Move Rests...

In this Spotlight on Plug-ins video, we take a look at Finale’s “Move Rests…” plug-in. It’s a rather simple yet powerful plug-in that is built into the program, so we all have access to it out of the box. This plug-in allows us to move all the rests within a selection vertically up or down any amount of steps that we want. This is particularly important when working with multiple layers on a staff or when working with rhythm parts where we may have cues above or below slash notation.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #3
Align/Move Dynamics...

Download the TGTools Plug-ins here:

https://www.tgtools.com/index-en.htm

 

The Align/Move Dynamics… plug-in is a critical tool designed to help wrangle your Text Expression dynamics and Smart Shape hairpins into vertical alignment. It’s a rather simple tool with a few options and a lot of potential! At (12:20) I’ll even show you some built-in keyboard shortcuts that allow you to align and move your dynamics without even opening the plug-in.

 

Align/Move Dynamics… is part of the TGTools Lite package that comes with Finale, but later in the video (14:29), I’ll explore some of the more advanced features of the TGTools Pro version which is simply called Align/Move… With the pro version there are a lot more refinements that can be made, and other things, aside from dynamics, (like pedal lines for piano), can also be aligned.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #4
Change to Real/Default Whole Rests

In this, the 200th Conquering Finale video, we’ll take a look at the built-in Change to Real Whole Rests and the Change to Default Whole Rests plug-ins. These plug-ins serve a very simple purpose: to convert default whole rests into real whole rests and vice versa. Understanding the difference between the two types of whole rests and the reasons why you may want one or the other is really what this lesson is all about.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #5
JW Copy Part Layout...

Download the JW Plug-ins here:

https://www.notationcentral.com/?product_cat=&s=JW&post_type=product

 

The JW Copy Part Layout… plug-in is a MUST have in your Finale toolkit. As the name suggests, this plug-in will copy the layout from one part into another part instantaneously! It’s very simple to use and there are only a few important things to be aware of when you’re using it which I will touch on in this video.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #6
Ledger Lines (Hide)/(Show)

The Ledger Lines (Hide) and Ledger Lines (Show) plug-ins are really simple to use and pretty much do exactly what they say they will do… hide or show ledger lines. Simply knowing that this plug-in, which is built into Finale, exists is really half the battle. The other half may just be figuring out when it’s really useful to hide ledger lines, so to that end, I’ll show you a couple of practical situations where this is really useful. There’s a bonus tip at the end for any advanced users that are curious to know what this plug-in does “under the hood”!

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #7
Patterson Beam Over Barlines

Download the Patterson Plug-ins here:

http://robertgpatterson.com/-fininfo/finmaincontent.html

 

There are some things that are almost impossible to do natively in Finale. One of them is connecting beams across barlines. Fortunately Patterson’s Beam Over Barlines plug-in handles this beautifully and simply in a single operation. There’s a “Lite” version that comes with Finale so everyone has access to this wonderful plug-in. If you get the full Patterson Plug-in Suite, there’s a “pro” version of this plug-in (9:38) which gives you a little more control and a few more options to help customize your beams over barlines in specific circumstances.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #8
Rhythmic Subdivisions...

Finale's built-in Rhythmic Subdivisions… Plug-in will allow you to divide the rhythms within any selection into smaller rhythms. Great for string parts with constant driving 8th or 16th note passages, this plug-in allows you to simply enter the larger values of notes where the pitches change so you can avoid manually entering a million notes. There are some interesting and powerful options available within the plug-in and I’ll walk you through everything it has to offer and give you some practical uses for it.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #9
TGTools Easy Tremolos...

Download the TGTools Plug-ins here:

https://www.tgtools.com/index-en.htm

 

If you need to create piano-style tremolos, then TGTools Easy Tremolos… is the only way to go. It’s built into Finale, so if you own Finale, you own this plug-in. There are a few tricks to using the plug-in effectively so I’ll cover that as well as some neat tricks for actually editing them once they’ve been created (9:33). I will also cover the full, paid version from the TGTools plug-in suite which is simply called Tremolos… (11:56). With the pro version, you have a lot of control over many small details of how the tremolos get created.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #10
TGTools Process Extracted Parts...

Download the TGTools Plug-ins here:

https://www.tgtools.com/index-en.htm

 

If you’re dealing with condensed scores using “dummy” staves to make Linked Parts, this TGTools Process Extracted Parts… plug-in is really invaluable. Unlike some of the other tools and plug-ins that are available that can help divide shared staves into individual lines, this plug-in is purpose-built for this specific task. It can be set up to choose which voice from chords with a variable number of voices, and it also treats chord voicings within the same Layers or from completely different Layers exactly the same. It’s hard to describe how useful this plug-in can be, so you’ll have to watch the video to see the demonstration.

Finale V26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #11
JW Change...

Download the JW Plug-ins here:

https://www.notationcentral.com/?product_cat=&s=JW&post_type=product

 

If Finale had a Swiss Army knife, it would most definitely be JW Change…! This plug-in can potentially fix so many issues in a mass change type of operation that may encounter in your score. There are 17 categories of items that can be changed, each with anywhere from a few to a couple dozen different functions (2:18).  And there are incredibly powerful filters (3:24) allowing you to be very specific about what it is you’re changing. I’ll show you generally how to use the plug-in, as it would be impossible to show you the hundreds of functions each with dozens of filters, and then demonstrate a few choice examples of things that can be done. 

I’ll show you how to change the notehead size of an alternate vocal harmony across several measures (9:14).

A fix for Incorrect Beam Stubs in triplets (10:50).

Deleting specific Articulations in a passage with and without filters to delete them from certain beats (12:23).

Feathered Beams… the easy way (14:02)!

Showing Expressions on Score or Parts only (15:17).

Swapping specific accidentals for microtonal accidentals (17:13).

Because the Sequence Editor doesn’t quite work in Version 27.0 on a Mac running Big Sur, I’ll show you how it works in version 26.3 (21:09) because it can be incredibly powerful. Hopefully JW Change… can get an update soon so that it will work in v27 as well as it does in v26!

Finale V27.0/26.3

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #12
Patterson Parenthesize Trill-To Notes

Download the Patterson Plug-ins here:

http://robertgpatterson.com/-fininfo/finmaincontent.html

 

Robert Paterson’s ingenious “Parenthesize Trill-To Notes…” plug-in make very quick work of turning grace notes into parenthesized notes that appear after a note for the purposes of clarifying the trilled pitch. With this plug-in, a little bit of knowledge about best practices will go a long way in getting good results. Ultimately, it can be simple to use if you know how to set up the grace notes correctly. There are some other advanced options that will give you some control over the characters being used for the parentheses as well as positioning of the parentheses characters and the whole trill-to note relative to the main note. Finally, there’s a way to use this plug-in to create gliss-to notes as well, and at the end of the video, (17:35), I’ll show you how to get that extra functionality out of this plug-in.

Finale V27.1

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #13
Installing and Using JW/RGP Lua

Click here for the  JW or RGP Lua Plug-in

 

Click here to download Lua Scripts

 

Extra Michael McClennan scripts

 

Click here for a starter guide on programming in RGP Lua

Welcome to Finale Lua! This video will explore the JW and RGP Lua system of plug-ins and scripts. I’ll spend a little time explaining what Lua is and then guide you through the process of installing RGP Lua, (recommended for recent versions of Finale), and then installing the individual scripts to run inside of RGP Lua. There are over 100 Lua scripts as of the making of this video, so I will only give you a brief demo of a few of them, but I highly encourage you to explore the Lua script repository that was set up by Nick Mazuk. A huge thanks to Jari Williamsson and Robert Patterson for creating and maintaining the Finale Lua system and another huge thanks to all the script contributors including Robert and Jari as well as Nick Mazuk, Jacob Winkler, Carl Vine, Michael McClennan, and CJ Garcia. Their tireless work has created an ecosystem of plug-ins and scripts that is bringing enormous efficiency gains in Finale for the benefit of all of us!

Finale V27.2

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #14
Chord Kerner

To download the Chord Kerner Lua script, visit this page on Michael McClennan’s website:

https://michaelmcclennan.com/macros/finale-lua-scripts/

 

Michael McClennan has created an incredible tool for editing chord suffixes called Chord Kerner. Chord Kerner, which runs on RGP Lua, effectively replaces Finale’s built-in Chord Suffix Editor. If you’ve ever tried to use that editor, you’ll understand how horrible it really is. Michael’s Chord Kerner does everything that the Chord Suffix Editor does (and a little more) except with a much better user interface! Changing the positions of individual characters (4:24) is a breeze, as is adjusting fonts, styles, and the characters themselves (9:30). There’s even a (nuclear) option that will show you every chord in your suffix library in your score (13:56). There’s some bonus material towards the end of the video that’s definitely worth watching if you’re curious about James Darcy Argue’s Jazz chord library. I even demonstrate a version of his library that I created using the Arial font (19:08).

 

I’m making that Arial Chord Suffix Library available for free to anybody that wants to have it! It was an INCREDIBLE amount of work (all done with the Chord Kerner tool), so although it’s free… a donation to the Conquering Finale series is always welcome! Click the link below to download the ZIP file. When you open it, you’ll get a .lib file as well as a PDF with instructions on how to install the library and some other recommended settings for the Document Options to give you the best results. This library will only work with v27.2 and later.

Finale V27.2

Jason's Arial Chord Suffix Library

 
Spotlight on Plug-ins #15
Harp Pedal Wizard

Click here for the  JW or RGP Lua Plug-in

 

Click here to download Lua Scripts

In this video, we’re taking a look at Jacob Winkler’s incredible Harp Pedal Wizard, a LUA script that automatically creates Harp Pedal Diagrams or Note Names. This script does require RGP LUA 0.63 or later, and because it’s on RGP LUA, at least Finale v25 or later. The Harp Pedal Wizard has a series of features that will automatically set up the pedals based on a root and a scale, or a root and a chord, but the pitches can also be set up manually if you need to. The script will then create either Harp Pedal Diagrams, or it will intelligently lay out the list of pitches in the common way that Harpists are used to reading them. There’s also an option for Partial pedals which will allow you to only list the pitches that need to change. This video is based on v2.0 of Jacob’s Harp Pedal Wizard LUA script, but as with many of these scripts, changes can and are made quite frequently. In fact, as of the taping of this video, I believe changes and improvements are already being made!

Finale V27.2