Utilities menu

How to get there

The Utilities menu is one of Finale's unchanging menus; that is, it appears regardless of which tool is selected.

What it does

The Utilities menu is one of the most versatile menus in Finale. Its commands, which work on selected regions as small as a single beat or as large as the entire score, transform your music in many powerful ways. All of the commands described below work on partial or full-measure selections, except as noted otherwise. Select a region with any tool that supports measure selection and these commands are available. Note that commands in the Utilities menu that affect a selected region of music (such as Music Spacing) can be interrupted. Simply press ESC to stop processing the command.

  • Transpose. Choose this command to display the Transposition dialog box, where you can specify how you want the selected music transposed - up an octave, down a third, or whatever interval you specify. You can also keep the original line of music when transposing notes.
  • Transpose Percussion Notes. Choose this command to open the Transpose Percussion Note Types dialog box, where you can assign note types to percussion notes in a selected region.
  • Respell Notes. Choose this command to retranscribe the pitches of the selected notes, so they appear as they would when entered for the first time. For example, if a region contains C double sharps, this command will change all of them to D naturals. The Respell Notes command respells using the setting in the Edit > Enharmonic Spelling submenu.
  • Fit Measures. Choose this command to display the Fit Measures dialog box, where you can specify that you want selected measures placed onto one line. You can also specify a number of measures-per-line you want for the selected region. This command, only available in Page View, is extremely useful in laying out the measures of your piece - avoiding awkward page turns, placing 4 bars on a line, and so on.
  • Move to Previous System • Next System. Choose these commands to move a selected region of measures to the previous or next system. These commands are only available in Page View.
  • Lock Systems • Unlock Systems. Choose these commands to lock or unlock the selected systems, preventing or allowing them to reflow across system breaks automatically. The system locks appear as icons on the upper right side of the staff. You can turn the display of these icons on and off using View > Show > Page Layout Icons.
  • Music Spacing. Use this submenu to specify how Finale should space your music horizontally. See Music Spacing submenu.
  • Update Layout. Choose this command to refresh the measure layout within each system, taking measure spacing changes into account, in order to create attractive, neatly justified systems with appropriate measure spacing in Page View. For the most part, this command is unnecessary; Finale constantly updates the layout automatically by default (see Automatic Update Layout under Preferences - Edit).

    If you need to restore all measures to their original “floating” status, press SHIFTwhile selecting Update Layout from the menu.

  • Update Smart Word Extensions and Hyphens. Choose this command to update Smart Word Extensions and hyphens based on settings in the Word Extensions dialog box, recalculating them if Update Manually is selected in the Smart Hyphens and Word Extensions portion of Preferences - View.
  • Rebar. Use this submenu to automatically redistribute the notes of your piece so that each measure contains the correct number of beats, according to the time signature. See Rebar submenu.
  • Rebeam. Using this submenu to change the beaming patterns for notes you’ve already added to the score. See Rebeam submenu.
  • Explode Music. Choose this command to display the Explode Music dialog box, where you can tell Finale how to explode the selected region: how many resultant staves, what clefs they should use, and so on.

    Finale's Explode Music command strips a chordal passage into individual single-line melodies on separate staves. You could use this feature, for example, to transform a piano reduction into four monophonic-melody staves for a choir. You're not limited to exploding a single staff; you can select several staves for exploding. Explode Music only affects full-measure selections.

  • Implode Music. Choose this command to display the Implode Music dialog box, where you can specify how you want Finale to condense the music on the selected staves onto a single staff. You’re not limited to imploding a single staff; you can select several staves (Implode Music only affects full-measure selections).

    There is also a Piano Reduction plug-in which requires fewer steps and provides more control.

  • SmartMusic® Markers. Choose this command to display the Add SmartMusic Markers dialog box, where you can easily create performance markers such as breath marks, rehearsal marks, repeats indications, and more. When you save the file as a SmartMusic Accompaniment, these markers appear in the SmartMusic interface during the performance.
  • Add/Remove Capo Chords. Choose this command to display the Add/Remove Capo Chords dialog box, where you can add or remove capo chords to a selected region that already includes chord symbols.
  • Apply Articulation. Choose this command to display the Apply Articulation dialog box, where you can add a certain articulation mark (a staccato, for example) to every note (or notes of a particular duration) in a selected region at once.
  • Check Notation. Use this submenu to check the notational integrity of several types of elements. See Check Notation submenu.
  • Stem Direction. Use this submenu to manually flip a region of stems up or down or to have Finale do so automatically. See Stem Direction submenu.
  • Change. Use this submenu to change certain aspects of a selected region all at once. See Change submenu.
  • Change Instrument. Choose this command to display the Change Instrument dialog box, where you can select the instrument the performer will be switching to for a selected region of measure. The instrument change appears in the Score Manager, which displays its start measure and staff properties. Finale automatically also adds an instrument change back to the original instrument in the measure after the end of the selection. See also Adding mid-score instrument changes.

See also:

Keyboard shortcuts: Utilities menu

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