FinaleScript and macros

Enhancing Finale with automation and advanced keyboard shortcuts.

The built-in keyboard shortcuts and Metatools are all well and good, but what about commands that you use often but which have no keyboard equivalents? Furthermore, what about multi-step procedures (switch into Page View, Scale View to 75%, click Page Layout tool, indent first system, click OK) that you perform often?

If you’re even a moderate efficiency demon, you should try the FinaleScript plug-in. This plug-in was designed to provide an easy way to automate repetitive tasks, so a series of commands can be run once for any number of documents, instead of over and over again manually. For example, instead of opening and changing the spacing, transposition, and layout of many documents manually, this plug-in allows you to run the same set of commands to all of these documents at once. A series of commands can also be applied to a single document. For a complete tutorial written for beginners through advanced users, see Using FinaleScript.

In addition to the FinaleScript plug-in, you might also consider linking Finale up with a third-party macro program. A macro is a series of steps—dragging, choosing menu commands, typing, and so on—that’s been automated and programmed to execute itself when you press a certain keystroke.

Macro programs let you perform any such sequence with a single keystroke. QuicKeys by Startly Technologies, for example, can make your life with Finale easier. If you’re unfamiliar with a macro program, you’ll have to sit down with its manual and learn how it works. But it’s a worthwhile investment of time, and will pay for itself many times over—every time you work with Finale, in fact, and get to watch the macro program perform a routine multi-step task for you.

Furthermore, you can use a macro program to map tool keyboard equivalents (because Finale provides only ten). For example, you may decide to use CTRL+T to switch to the Text tool.

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