How to get there
- Choose the Lyrics tool . The Lyrics tool menu appears.
- Choose Lyrics > Adjust Baselines.
What it does
In this dialog box, you can specify the exact position of the baseline of each lyric type and number (the invisible line against which the bottoms of the words align) in relation to the staff. Furthermore, you can specify a different baseline position (marked by the four positioning triangles in Click Assignment mode) for each staff. The numbers in these boxes are measured from the middle line of the staff using the currently selected measurement units under
You’ll usually want the baseline of Verse 1, for example, to be just below the melody, and Verse 2 to be just under Verse 1. As a matter of fact, Finale’s default values position verses in precisely that way: one beneath another. If you change the font for your Verses (in the Document Options - Fonts dialog box) and find you have overlapping lyric due to the font size, you can neatly adjust the baselines for all lyric lines at once by clicking the Set Piece Offsets to Default Font button.
Note, by the way, you can perform these same settings visually by dragging any of the four positioning triangles up or down when you’re in Click Assignment or Type Into Score mode. This dialog box, however, provides a way to preset the lyric baselines to very precise numerical locations, or to adjust several at once (even after the lyrics have been entered).
- Verse • Chorus • Section. Select the appropriate option for the lyric type whose baseline positions you wish to edit.
- Number. In this text box, enter the Verse, Chorus, or Section number for which you’re setting the baseline positions.
- Piece. The number in this text box specifies the position for all the lyrics of the indicated type and number. It corresponds to the position of the first (leftmost) positioning triangle (of the four that appear when you’re placing lyrics in the score using the Click Assignment or Type Into Score commands). This number is measured from the middle line of the staff; because the default position is below the middle line, the number is a negative number.
- Staff (#) • Prev • Next. Sometimes, even after you’ve specified the Piece Offset (see above), the lyrics in one particular staff may need a slightly different placement—for example, if the notes in the alto line fall mostly below the staff, the lyrics may need to be moved lower. In the Staff Offset text box, you can specify a new vertical position for the lyrics only in the indicated staff. (This setting corresponds to the positioning of the second of the four positioning triangles.) The Staff: indicator identifies the staff by name, if you’ve named it, or by number; cycle through the staves in your piece by clicking the Prev and Next buttons to its right.
When the Staff: indicator identifies the staff whose lyric line position you need to change, enter a number in the text box. This number indicates how much higher or lower the lyric line should be in this staff compared to other staves in the piece—in other words, how much higher or lower it should be than the Piece Offset baseline position. A larger negative number moves the lyric line farther down.
- Staff System (#) • Prev • Next. Not only can you specify a separate lyric line position for each staff (above), but you can even specify the position of the baseline in an individual system. If, for example, the notes in a staff are so low that they threaten to overlap the lyrics—but only in a measure or two—use this setting to move the lyric line out of the way only for the affected staff and system. (This setting corresponds to the positioning of the third of the four positioning triangles.)
The Staff System: indicator identifies the system by number. Click the Prev and Next buttons to its right to specify the system number. Set the staff number with the Staff: Prev and Next buttons (see above).
When the Staff and Staff System indicators identify the line whose lyric position you want to change, enter a number in the text box. This number, indicates how much higher or lower the lyric line should be in this system compared to other systems (for this staff)—in other words, how much higher or lower it should be than the Staff Offset baseline position. A larger negative number moves the lyric line farther down.
- Total Offset. This indicator displays the final position for the indicated lyric type, number, staff, and system, as measured from the middle line of the staff. Finale arrives at this figure by adding the Staff and Staff System values to the basic Piece Offset.
- Set Piece Offsets To Default Font. Click this button to tell Finale to automatically change the baseline-positioning values for all Verses, Choruses, and Sections in all staves. When this is done, each successive lyric of each type is neatly and evenly stacked. When Finale calculates these default positions, it takes into account the font and size you’ve specified in Document Options - Fonts.
You might click this button, for example, if you’ve just chosen a font for your verses that’s smaller than usual; Finale responds by moving all the Verse lyric lines closer together (than they were when a larger font was selected).
- OK • Cancel. Click OK to confirm the settings you’ve made in this dialog box and return to the score, where you’ll see the effects of your lyric line positioning (if you’ve already added lyrics). Click Cancel to tell Finale to ignore any changes you made in this dialog box. You return to the score.
Noteman says: To neatly stack all lyrics using the Set Piece to Default Font feature, first align the positioning arrows for each verse, section, or chorus (this button only resets the leftmost positioning arrow).