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Smart Shape/Direction


Finale makes intelligent decisions about slur or bend direction, based on whether the attached notes are above or below the middle staff line. When you transpose music or change the key, slur directions are automatically changed, without requiring any action on your part. However, there will be times when you’ll probably want to change the direction of individual slurs or bends that are attached to notes. This you can easily do using the Direction submenu.

The Direction submenu offers you four choices: flip the currently selected slur or bend, place a selected slur or bend over the entries; place the slur or bend under the entries; or use automatic placement. Automatic placement uses the rules as shown in the Smart Shape Placement dialog box. Over and Under ignore the rules for direction, but still use the attachment values that you set in the Smart Shape Placement dialog box. Flip and Automatic have keyboard shortcuts of COMMAND+F and COMMAND+SHIFT+F respectively.


Tip: you can set the default direction for all note-attached slurs by selecting the Direction menu item with no slurs or bends selected.


These options for direction only apply to note-attached slurs or bends (when Attach to Notes is checked in the Smart Shape menu). When Attach to Notes is unchecked and you’re creating measure-based slurs or bends, Finale automatically senses their direction based on whether you add the slur above or below the middle line of the staff. Press OPTION when you’re creating a measure-based slur or bend if you want the slur or bend to go in the opposite direction. To change an existing slur or bend’s direction, select the slur or bend and drag the middle editing handle up or down to change its direction.

To summarize which settings affect which Smart Shapes:




Slur Contour

Current slurs and future slurs without manual edits.

Smart Shape Placement

Slurs, bends, and glissandos you’re about to create, plus slurs, bends, and glissandos with end points that haven’t been manually adjusted.

Slur Thickness

Future slurs and bends, plus all existing slurs and bends.

Slur System Breaks

Future slurs and bends, plus start and end points (across staves) that haven’t been manually adjusted in existing slurs and bends.

Smart Slur Options

All slurs, both current and future.


Note: For older Finale documents: All files created in Finale 3.2 or older and opened in later versions will retain the measure-attachment of the existing slurs and any editing that you did. If you want the convenience of note-attached slurs for any of these slurs as well, simply delete the old slur and recreate it in the current version of Finale.


All files created in Finale 3.5 to Finale 2001 will have Engraver slurs turned off by default when opened in later versions of Finale. If you want the beauty of Engraver slurs, click on the Smart Shape menu, choose Smart Slur Options. In the Smart Slur Options dialog box, check Use Engraver Slurs. All new slurs and slurs that have not been adjusted manually will convert to engraver slurs.

To also convert slurs that have been adjusted manually, choose the Selection tool and then from the Edit menu, choose Select All. Then choose the Utilities > Check Notation > Remove Manual Slur Adjustments. For more information, see Smart Slur Options dialog box.







See Also:

Smart Shape Tool








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