New Features in Finale

For details on specific interface changes added in the most recent version of Finale, see Finale Interface Changes. For a list of fixed defects, refer to the Read Me document that was installed with your version of Finale or Fixes in Finale.

What's New in Finale version 27.1

  • SMuFL. It is now possible to convert legacy non-SMuFL fonts in documents to SMuFL-compliant music fonts.
  • Human Playback. Human Playback now recognizes expressions and articulations that use SMuFL-compliant fonts.
  • Plug-Ins. The TG Tools Easy Harmonics, TG Tools Easy Tremolos, Create Coda System, and Drum Groove plug-ins have been updated to use the correct characters in SMuFL fonts.
  • Symbol Selection. The Symbol Selection character grid can now be navigated using the arrow keys.
  • Libraries. New libraries using the SMuFL-compliant Finale Maestro music font have been added for Accordion (articulations), Accordion Register (text expressions), Figured Bass (text expressions), Guitar (text expressions), Guitar (smart lines), Ornaments (articulations), and Accidentals (articulations).

What's New in Finale version 27.0


  • Easily create a free SmartMusic account to start using sharing in Finale.
  • Securely log in to your SmartMusic account without leaving Finale.
  • You can limit who you share your music with by specifying individual email addresses.
  • You can share your music without specifying recipients by creating a unique URL link.
  • You can control whether your recipients are able to download a PDF of your shared music.
  • You can also choose to upload your music to the Content Manager web app without sharing.
  • Finale automatically maps your music's instruments for upload but also gives you the freedom to choose them yourself.
  • Finale exports your music to MusicXML behind the scenes so that the maximum amount of document information is retained for viewing and playback in the web apps.
  • The current sharing status of your music is displayed in the Sharing dialog box.
  • Uploaded music can be updated or deleted (unless it is being used in an assignment template).
  • Uploaded music can be managed, shared, and edited via SmartMusic's Content Manager web app.

Fonts & Characters

  • Finale now installs with the SMuFL-compliant fonts Finale Maestro, Finale Broadway, Finale Jazz, Finale Engraver, and Finale Ash ("legacy" versions of Finale fonts are still installed).
  • Finale's engraved default document and document style now use the SMuFL-compliant Finale Maestro font, while a legacy version is also available.
  • Finale's handwritten default document and document style now use the SMuFL-compliant Finale Broadway font, while a legacy version is also available.
  • The default music font for a Finale document can easily be switched between any SMuFL-compliant font.
  • Essential libraries have been updated to use SMuFL fonts.
  • All SMuFL characters, including those specific to fonts used in Finale, are given a clear description in the Symbol Selection dialog box.
  • The Symbol Selection dialog box now includes category filters and a search field to aid in the finding of specific characters.
  • The Finale Lyrics and Jazz fonts now include support for additional non-English alphabetical characters.
  • All fonts shipped with Finale are now available for use under the SIL Open Font License.

Instruments & Sounds

  • Default settings for notation and playback have been improved for many existing instruments.
  • Finale's list of instruments has been expanded to include calliope, cavaquinho, handchimes, music box, and tabor.
  • Many instruments that formerly did not make use of an appropriate sound from Garritan Instruments for Finale now do.
  • Several duplicate instruments have been removed from Finale, and inappropriate Garritan Instruments for Finale sounds are no longer automatically selected for several percussion instruments.
  • Clapper/slapstick, flexatone, and bell tree sounds have been added to Garritan Instruments for Finale (GIFF) and the timpani range has been extended.
  • Taiko drum ensemble and chime tree sounds are now loaded correctly when added to a document.
  • Percussion layouts and percussion note types have been added to accommodate new and revised percussion sounds in Garritan Instruments for Finale
  • Percussion layouts have been improved for a wide range of instruments in the Drums and Percussion categories.
  • Percussion layouts and percussion note types have been improved for quad toms, bongo drums, conga drums, percussion accessories, cymbals, and snareline.
  • Staff positions for snare drum, bass drum, dollu, and lambeg drum on single-line staves have been corrected.
  • The volume of the Fusion Drum Kit has been increased to be in better balance with other instrument sounds.

Tool Palettes

  • The tool palettes have been improved for clarity.

MusicXML 4.0 support

  • Concert pitch scores with transposed parts are now exported and imported.
  • Swing playback is now exported and imported.
  • Roman and Nashville chord styles are now exported and imported.
  • Alternate bass formatting (After Root, Under Root, As Subtext) is now exported and imported.
  • Piano pedal lines that discontinue without an upstroke and resume without a downstroke are now exported and imported.
  • Bends created with the bend hat and guitar bend tools are now distinguished from one another on export.
  • Expressions whose category uses a staff list that includes the top staff (e.g. tempo marks and rehearsal marks) now export and import correctly for use with linked parts.
  • Measure numbering that use a top or bottom staff now export and import correctly for use with linked parts.
  • Staff scaling and line spacing are now handled separately during export and import.
  • Different SMuFL wavy line characters in custom line definitions are now exported and imported.
  • Enclosures created with handwritten fonts that look like an inverted bracket - a rectangle with the top line missing - are now exported.
  • Up to 16 simultaneous cross-measure slurs per part can be imported or exported during very large divisi splits.
  • Linked parts in compressed files are now supported in a standardized way that all applications can use.
  • SMuFL fonts are now used when importing a MusicXML file using a default file or opened Finale document that uses SMuFL fonts.
  • Guitar bends and bend hats are now imported. With files from MusicXML 3.1 and earlier that do not distinguish these two types of bends, bend hats are imported with standard notation and guitar bends are imported with tablature.

What's New in Finale version 26.3.1

Dark Mode Support

  • Finale now includes a more comprehensive user experience when running the application in macOS Dark Mode.


  • Finale's underlying drawing mechanism has been updated to offer better performance and responsiveness while editing and scrolling.


  • If Finale encounters a problem saving a document, a warning is displayed with suggestions for further action.


  • Music written with percussion clefs using standard rather than percussion notation now exports correctly.
  • Music written with 2- or 3-line staves now exports and imports correctly.
  • Percussion notation rests set to a specific staff position now export and import correctly.
  • Custom clef designer definitions are now exported.
  • Stacked chord symbols are now exported and imported.
  • Measure numbers now export more accurately from documents with multiple measure number regions.
  • Stems shortened to nothing using the Stem Length tool are now exported correctly.
  • MusicXML import no longer changes MIDI quantization settings.
  • When notes display in other layers when rhythmic notation is applied, their stem directions now export correctly and articulations are displayed after import.

What's New in Finale version 26.2

ARIA Player

  • v1.959. The ARIA Player has been updated to v1.959 in the full Finale installer. Note: The new ARIA version may cause older versions of Finale to display an incompatibility message. Users can find the ARIA Player v1.959 installer in the MakeMusic Download Library.

Document Options

  • Cleanup. Architectural cleanup efforts have been made to the Document Options.
  • FinaleScript. FinaleScript's import options commands now import all associated options.
  • Guides. Guides are now included when saving a Document Options library.


  • ReWire. ReWire has been updated to comply with Mac notarization standards.
  • Security. Finale executables and installers have been updated and modernized to comply with current OSes and security practices.

Patterson Beams Plug-in

  • Grace notes and resized notes. The Patterson Beams Plug-in has been updated to affect grace notes and resized notes. Stem lengths and beam angles look like they would at full size, but without trying to avoid wedges with the staff lines.

Previous versions

For the following feature lists, items that have changed as of the current version of Finale are marked with an *.