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Slur Contour dialog box

How to get there

  1. Click the Smart Shape tool  image\Smart_Shape_Tool.gif. The Smart Shape menu appears.
  2. Choose Smart Shape > Slur Contour.

What it does

Use the Slur Contour dialog box to define the general shape Finale will automatically give to all new slurs when they’re created. Slurs already in the score aren’t affected by changing Slur Contour settings. If you want to change the look of individual slurs that are already in the score, use the Smart Shape tool to make your adjustments.

In general, slurs have varying heights, depending on the length of the slur. Settings in the Slur Contour dialog box specify a flexible range of heights that Finale automatically applies as you create a slur. With this feature, most of the slurs you create will require no extra editing. Of course you still have the ability to edit each slur individually for those circumstances that require special consideration.

Slur height settings are arranged according to slur length — short, medium, long and extra long:




Finale’s default height setting


1/8th inch or less

.04861 inch


1 inch

.14583 inch


3 inches

.25 inch

Extra Long

4 inches or more

.25 inch


As you create a slur, Finale senses the length of the slur and automatically applies an appropriate height from among these settings.



When the length of the slur falls somewhere between short and medium, or between medium and long, Finale finds a proportional height somewhere between the respective settings. When the slur’s length is less than the short or greater than the extra long slur lengths, Finale simply applies the height from the short or extra long setting, respectively.

The Slur Contour dialog box focuses on slur height, but you can also set an inset value for each slur length to control the amount of "bow" or "hook" at the ends of the slur. The amount of inset you choose for your slurs is a matter of style, and it might even be the same for each of the three slur lengths in the Slur Contour dialog box. As you create a slur, Finale determines the inset value in the same way it determines the height, sensing the length of the slur and automatically applying an appropriate inset based on the settings.

The height and inset values combine to form a control point, which is positioned in relationship to the start of the slur. When a slur is drawn, its arc approaches, but does not actually reach, the height of the control point. So the visual height of the slur itself is actually somewhat less than the height of the control point.

Important: Remember that whenever you create a slur, Finale uses the current Slur Contour settings. However, the settings are never applied to manually edited slurs already in the score.

See Also:


Smart Shape Tool



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