In particular situations, you may want to hide notational elements of your score for print. Most of the time, this can be accomplished by editing settings in measure attributes or by using a staff style. However, for some tasks, you need to hide something beyond the limits of these options; for example, in an orchestral score, you might need to hide the numbers above multimeasure rests in a piano grand staff and instead place the number between the two staves. For this, you'd use the technique of masking.

There are at least two ways to mask elements of your score:

  • Using shape expressions. This is the recommended method, as it is entirely accomplished within Finale and requires no external work.
  • Using the Graphics tool. You can import a graphic created outside of Finale and place it as a "mask" wherever needed.

When placing shape expression masks, you must be careful to attach the shape to the appropriate note, as it affects how the staff and notes are covered. If you want to cover the staff lines, as well as all the notes on a staff, you must select a note after the region to be hidden. If you select a note before the region to be hidden, the staff lines will be covered, but notes and expressions will “show through” your shape.

If you need to place more than one of these special shapes into your score, you must do so by using Expression Metatools. If you don’t, you’ll be resizing all occurrences of the shape any time you resize or reshape any one of them. For full instructions, see To create Expression Metatools.

Tip: Masking is only a technique, not a named feature of Finale. You won't find the term "mask" anywhere in Finale itself.