Dashed lines

There are two ways to produce dashed lines of any length in Finale: Smart Shapes and shape expressions. In general, you should use a Smart Shape. A Smart Shape has three advantages: First, it expands and contracts along with the measures it affects. Second, it will automatically break into separate segments if it straddles a system line break. Third, there are three dashed-line Smart Shapes—one with a hook on both ends, one with a hook on the right side, and one without hooks, plus you can define custom lines as well. You place Smart Shapes into one staff at a time; they may be horizontal or diagonal, and you can control the length of the dashes.

If you want a dashed line to appear in many staves at once (such as a dashed barline), you can create one in the Shape Designer, where you can also specify the thickness of the line.

To draw a Smart Shape dashed line

  1. Choose the Smart Shape tool icon. The Smart Shape Palette appears.
  2. Click one of the dashed line tools.
    • There are three predefined dashed-line tools: one with an upward hook at the end, one downward, and one with no hook.
    • To create a custom line, see Custom lines.
    • To change the lengths of the dashes and spaces, select Smart Shape > Smart Shape Options and change the numbers in the Dash Length and Dash Space text boxes.
    • If you’re creating an 8va or 15ma marking, you’ll notice that there are Smart Shape tools specifically for these indications; click the appropriate tool. See 8va/8vb for more information.
  3. Position the cursor in the measure where you want the line to begin so that the cursor arrow points to the staff to which you’re attaching it.
  4. Double-click where the Smart Shape should begin; on the second click, hold the button down and drag to the right. Your double-click marks the beginning of the line; as you drag, you increase the line’s length. Release the mouse button when you’ve positioned the end of the line about where you want it.

Tip: To create a perfectly horizontal or vertical line, hold SHIFT while you double-click and drag. This constrains your dragging.

To move, reshape, or delete a Smart Shape dashed line

If the line is already selected, it displays diamond editing handles. If so, skip to step 3.

  1. Choose the Smart Shape tool icon. The Smart Shape Palette appears.
  2. Click the handle of the line you want to modify. The line displays diamond editing handles.
  3. Drag the right or left diamond editing handles to move its endpoints. Drag the square handle to move it. Press DELETE to remove it.