Shape Designer menu

Expanded Shape Designer menu

How to get there

  1. Choose the Expression tool icon and double-click a note or measure. The Expression Selection dialog box appears.
  2. For a new expression, click Create [Category Name]. Select Shape and click Create. For an existing shape expression, select it from the Expression Selection dialog box, click Edit to open the Expression Designer dialog box, and click Edit. The Shape Designer dialog box appears.


  1. Choose the Text tool icon and select the ClosedhandleA small square which appears on currently "selectable" elements in the score. Handles allow you to select, edit and adjust musical elements in the score. of a text block.
  2. Choose Text > Custom Frame. The Custom Frame dialog box appears.
  3. Click Select. The Shape Selection dialog box appears.
  4. Select an existing shape and click Edit or click Create. The Shape Designer dialog box appears.

What it does

The ShapeDesigner menu contains a number of commands that help you create your own custom musical shapes. For example, it lets you specify how thick a line is, what kind of shading should fill a rectangle, whether a line should be dashed or solid, and so on. It also contains commands for manipulating individual objects in your drawing—for grouping them together, rearranging their front-to-back order, and so on. See Shape Designer.

  • Show. Use this submenu to display or hide helpful, nonprinting alignment aids. See Show submenu.
  • Send to Back • Bring to Front. Choose these commands if you’ve created objects that overlap each other to rearrange their front-to-back order.
  • Group • Ungroup. Choose these commands after SHIFT-clicking any number of objects to select them and group them into a single object. A grouped object behaves just like any normal object: you can change its fill or line thickness, drag its corner handles to resize it, drag it by the middle to move it around on the screen, and so on. You can even group grouped objects into still other groups, creating nested groups.

    Finale always keeps track of what objects were combined into grouped objects and can ungroup them in sequence. Click a group, then choose Ungroup; you’ll see by the appearance of many more corner handles that the grouped object has now been split back into its single component pieces. (Or, if you ungroup a grouped object, it will split into its grouped component objects.)

  • Select Font. Choose this command when creating or editing a text object and display the Font dialog box. Here you can change the font, size, and style of the selected text (or if your cursor is inside a text object, the text that follows the cursor). If no text object is selected, use this command to specify the font for the next text object you create.
  • Line Style. Use this submenu to determine whether the outline of a selected object composed of lines (a line, rectangle, polygon, and so on) is dashed or solid. See Line Style submenu.
  • Line Thickness. Use this submenu if you've selected an object composed of lines to determine the thickness of its outline (or the line itself). See Line Thickness submenu.
  • Arrowheads. Choose this command after selecting a line or curve to open the Arrowheads dialog box and define what kind of arrowhead appears.
  • Fill. Use this submenu to determine the shading of the hollow inside area of a selected enclosed shape (like a rectangle, ellipse, or polygon). See Fill submenu.
  • Bracket Style. Choose this command to display the Bracket Style dialog box to specify what bracket style you want when using the Shape Designer's Bracket tool.
  • Rulers and Grid. Choose this command to display the Rulers and Grid dialog box, where you can specify the measurement units used by the grid, rulers, and the H: and V: text boxes. You can also specify how far apart the tick marks on the rulers and grid should be. See Equivalents.

See also:

Shape Designer