Using the Simple Entry tool , you can enter notes quickly and accurately with a mouse, computer keyboard, or with a MIDI keyboard. While using any of these methods, keyboard shortcuts are available to select tools from the Simple Entry Palette previous to each entry, as well as keystrokes you can use to edit the note you just entered, or any note in the score. These keystrokes also offer the capability to efficiently enter articulations and clef, key signature, and time signature changes. See Keyboard Shortcuts for a list of these keystrokes. You can also customize these keystrokes to your own preference in the Edit Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, and Finale includes a predefined Simple Entry Laptop Set.
Noteman says: See Tutorial 2: Entering notes for a step-by-step tutorial that explains how to enter music with Simple Entry.
Finale provides several methods for entering music quickly and accurately, one note or chord at a time. Another option, Speedy Entry, can be also be used to quickly enter notes with or without a MIDI keyboard.
For a hands-on Simple Entry tutorial, see EntryExercise.MUSX in the Finale/Music Files/Tutorials folder. (See Finale Installation Details for specific folder locations on your computer).
- Choose the Simple Entry tool . The Simple Entry Palettes appear. (If they don’t, you’ve probably hidden the palette. Choose Window > Simple Entry Palette and Simple Entry Rests Palette.) See Simple Entry Palette for more information on moving and resizing the palette.
- Click the desired note (rhythmic value) icon in the palette. Click additional tools as needed, such as Sharp, Flat, Grace, Tuplet, Dot or Tie. Click the staff. A note appears at the pitch you clicked.
- To change the rhythmic value of a note, click the icon representing the new value; then click the note.
- To change the rhythmic value of a rest, select the desired rhythmic-value icon on the Rests palette, and then click the rest.
- To change a note to a rest,
OPTION+click the note to select it. Type R. The note turns into a rest.
- To delete a note, click the Eraser ; then click the note. The note disappears. If you click on a notehead that’s part of a chord, only that note disappears. If you click a rest, it disappears.
- To move a note vertically, click and drag the note up or down. To move a rest,
OPTION+click the rest to select it, then drag it up or down. If you want to move a whole chord up or down, OPTION+click the chord, then press OPTION+A.
- To build a chord, click another pitch above or below the first note.
- To hide a note or rest,
OPTION+click the note to select it then press the letter H key. Press the H key again to display the note or rest again. See also Notes and Rests (Hide) Plug-in, Notes and Rests (Show) Plug-in.
- To flip a stem,
OPTION+click the note to select it then press the L key. This process freezes the stem up or down, so that it’s no longer free to flip if, for example, it gets transposed. To restore the note to its “flippable” status, press SHIFT+L.
- To make a note sharp, flat or natural, click the Sharp Tool , Flat Tool , or Natural Tool ; then click the note. A sharp, flat or natural appears next to the note, if needed by the key signature.
- To raise or lower a note by a half step, double-click the Half Step Up or Half Step Down icon; then click the note. The note is raised or lowered a half step. If appropriate for the key signature, an accidental will appear or change.
- To remove any accidentals from a note, click the Eraser Tool ; then click the accidental.
- To hide a courtesy accidental,
OPTION+click the note to select it then press COMMAND+SHIFT+-(hyphen). If no accidental is displayed, COMMAND+SHIFT+-(hyphen) forces a courtesy accidental to appear; for parentheses, press the P key.
- To tie a note to the next one, double-click the Tie icon ; then click the notehead. To tie every note of a chord, click its stem. Click the notehead (for a single note) or the stem (for a chord) to remove the tie.
- To flip a tie, press
- To dot a note, double-click the Dot icon ; then click the note. Click again to add another dot (you can add up to ten dots). To remove the dots, click the Eraser Tool ; then click the dot. All of the dots are removed.
- To change a note to a grace note, double- click the Grace Note icon , then click the note. Click the note again to restore it to full size. Press
OPTION+G when the grace note is selected to toggle between grace note and full size. If “Always Slash Flagged Grace Notes” in unchecked in Document Options - Grace Notes, press OPTION+G to cycle between full size, grace note, and slashed grace note.
- To create or break a beam,
OPTION+click the note to select it then press the / key. If the notes were flagged separately, they’re now beamed. If they were beamed, the beam is broken (and the notes are individually flagged, if they’re not beamed to any other notes). Use SHIFT+/ to restore the beaming to the defaults found in the Document Options - Beams.
- To flatten a beam,
OPTION+click the note to select it then press OPTION+/. If the beam was angled, it will now be flattened. If the beam was already flattened, the beam will now return to the default angle. See Flat Beams Plug-in, Flat Beams (Remove) Plug-in.
- To enter a tuplet, click the Simple Tuplet tool and the desired rhythmic duration icon, then click the staff. For more complicated tuplets, SHIFT-click the staff to display the Simple Entry Tuplet Definition dialog box.
- To enter multiple voices, see Entering multiple voices with Layers.
Simple Entry numeric keypad commands
All of the functionality that exists for entering notes with a mouse, and more, is available using your computer keyboard, and the Simple Entry caret. The Simple Entry caret works much like the cursor in a word processing program. While using your computer keyboard with Simple Entry, the Caret allows you to specify pitches, rhythms, and other entry items before entering.
You can also use modifier keystrokes to edit the note you just entered. In this section, you’ll first learn how to specify the next note to be entered using the Simple Entry caret, and then how to modify the previously entered note. The following instructions describe entry for standard notation staves. For information regarding entry into a tablature staff, see To enter directly into a tablature staff (Simple Entry).
- Choose the Simple Entry tool . The Simple Entry Palettes appear. (If they don’t, you’ve probably hidden the palette. Choose Window > Simple Entry Palette and Simple Entry Rests Palette.) See Simple Entry Palette for more information on moving and resizing the palette. Though the Simple Entry Palettes do not need to be visible to enter notation with the Simple Entry caret, it’s a good idea to display them at first until you have become familiar with the corresponding keyboard shortcuts and modifiers.
- Choose Simple > Simple Options, and then ensure Use Simple Entry Caret is selected. Click OK. When this option is checked, a vertical line appears. The caret also displays a note of the duration selected in the Simple Entry Palette, as shown in the above image. Accidentals, ties, dots, and tuplets can also be indicated on the caret before entering the note. If you do not see the caret, select one of the duration tools in the Simple Entry Palette.
- To choose the desired rhythmic duration for the next entry, click a duration tool in the Simple Entry Palette, or type the corresponding keystroke in the numeric keypad (1-8). The caret displays the chosen rhythmic duration. See the numeric keyboard below, or refer to the Simple menu.
The numeric keypad is the set of number keys on the right side of a standard desktop keyboard. The QWERTY keyboard is the letter keys and the numbers above them.
- To specify the pitch before entering, you can use the UP and DOWN ARROW on the computer keyboard until the caret displays the desired pitch. The note moves up and down in the staff diatonically. You can move the caret up an octave by pressing SHIFT+UP ARROW, or down an octave by pressing SHIFT+DOWN ARROW.
- Select a tool, or a combination of tools, in the Simple Entry Palette to specify additional properties of the next note to be entered. For example, to specify a dot and a sharp, click the Dot icon , and the Sharp icon , or press the corresponding keystrokes for these tools to select them. The tools selected in the Simple Entry Palette tell Finale what to add to the next note when entered. The mouse cursor displays this information as well.
- Press the
RETURNkey to enter the note. The note appears on the staff and the caret moves to the right. The note you just entered is selected automatically, so you can use modifier keystrokes to edit it (explained below). Notice the tools chosen in the Simple Palette are still selected, and will apply to the next note if you were to hit the RETURNkey again. To select a single tool (like any of the duration tools), and deselect all others, double-click the icon on the palette, or double-press the corresponding keyboard shortcut. For example, press the 5 key on the numeric keypad twice if you want to choose only the Quarter Note Tool for the next entry.
- Press 0 (or Tab) to enter a rest of the chosen duration.
- Hold down the
COMMANDkey and press a duration keystroke to specify a rest of that duration for the next entry.
- Type the letter name of a pitch, A through G, to enter it. The pitch appears in the staff of the chosen duration, along with any other items selected in the Simple Entry Palette. The caret moves to the right.
- To add additional notes above the previous entry, type the interval (1 through 8 or
COMMAND+SHIFT 9) on your QWERTY keyboard. For example, to add a third to the note you just entered, type 3. To enter a fifth, type 5. The interval entered is automatically selected, so, to enter a triad, you would type 3 for the first third, and then 3 again for the second. To enter an interval lower than the note you just entered, hold down the SHIFT key and type the interval (2-9).
- Also, you can hold down the SHIFT key and type the letter name of a note to add it to the note you just entered. To add a note a fifth or more higher than the note you just entered, hold down the SHIFT key and press the UP ARROW, and then type the note letter. To add a note a fifth or more lower than the note you just entered, hold down the SHIFT key and press the DOWN ARROW, and then type the note letter. Note that the caret position changes, and will apply to the next note entered as well. Use SHIFT+up/DOWN ARROW to move it to the desired octave in preparation for the next entry.
These shortcuts also apply to any selected note. (After entering a note, it is selected automatically.)
- After entering a note or rest, hold down
OPTIONand press a number (1-8) to change the duration of the note or rest you just entered (64th through double-whole note).
- After entering a note, you can use additional modifier keystrokes to add a dot, tie, accidental, to the note you just entered. Or, even change it to a grace note, flip the stem or break/add beams. To see a list of modifier keystrokes, choose Simple > Simple Edit Commands, and click Modify Entry.
- After entering a note, to move it up or down in the staff, hold down the
OPTIONkey and press the UP and DOWN ARROW. Hold down OPTIONand SHIFT and press the up or DOWN ARROW key to move the note up or down an octave.
- After entering a note, use the up and down arrows to adjust the caret pitch. Then, hold down
COMMANDand press Enter to add a note to the previous entry.
- After entering a note, press 9 to change it to the first note of a tuplet.
- Hold down SHIFT and click the score to open the Simple Entry Tuplet definition dialog box where you can specify more complicated tuplets. See Simple Entry Tuplet Definition dialog box.
- To move the selection forward or back a note, press the right and left arrow keys. To move selection forward or back a measure, hold down
COMMANDand press the right or left arrow key respectively.
- To activate the caret on an existing selected entry, press Enter.
- To move selection up or down in a chord or to the staff above or below, hold down
COMMANDand press the up or DOWN ARROW key.
- To change the pitch of existing notes, choose the Repitch Tool . Then, activate the caret and type the new note letters (or play pitches on a MIDI keyboard) to alter the pitch without changing rhythmic values.
- With the triggerIn Finale, the term "trigger" describes a keyboard shortcut that is used to display the Waiting for Input dialog box while entering music with the Simple Entry caret. Once displayed, a Metatool key can be used to enter certain markings, or the marking can be chosen from a selection dialog box. the same options for Expression entry. Press Alt+c for clef, Alt+t for time signature, or Alt+k for key signature. See Keyboard Shortcuts for more details.
Simple Entry numeric keypad commands
Using a MIDI controller for entry is an alternative to clicking notes onto the staff or typing them with your computer keyboard. To use an external MIDI device for entry, ensure you have properly configured a MIDI input device in the MIDI Setup dialog box.
- Choose the Simple Entry tool . The Simple Entry caret appears in the score.
If the caret does not appear, choose Simple > Simple Entry Options to display the Simple Entry Options dialog box. Select Use Simple Entry Caret and click OK.
- Make sure that Simple > Use MIDI Device for Input is selected.
- Activate the caret at the desired point of entry. Press LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW to move the caret left or right as needed, or press
COMMAND+UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW to move the caret up or down between staves.
- Choose a note duration tool in the Simple Entry Palette, or type the corresponding keystroke on the numeric keypad (1-8).
Note that you can also choose other tools, such as the Tuplet or Tie tool, to specify other properties for the note(s) you are about to enter.
- Play the desired note or chord on your MIDI controller. The notes appear on the staff and the caret moves to the right.
After entering a note or chord, use any of the available modifier keystrokes to change the entry. To see a complete list of commands, choose Simple > Simple Edit Commands.