Default document

One of Finale's included music files is referred to as the "Default document". It is used in two situations: it is the document which appears when you choose File > New > Default Document, and it is the document used to create a Finale file when you import a MusicXML file or open a MIDI file. The file used as the default document is specified in the Preferences - New dialog box.

Noteman says: If the required default file is not in the Music Files/Default Files folder, Finale opens a completely blank, unformatted, one-measure document.

The Default document (called Finale Maestro Font Default) lets you start with a new untitled document that has a single blank staff. This file includes the default set of expressions, articulations, repeats, Smart Shapes, and other markings that can be found in the selection dialog box for these items. As long as you keep this default document in the Music Files/Default Files folder, every possible Finale parameter will always be set just the way you like it when you choose File > New > Default Document.

Finale comes with several different default documents. These are designed using either an engraved style or handwritten style font as the default music font for the document. The Finale Maestro Font Default and Finale Broadway Font Default are the engraved and handwritten files (respectively) that use a SMuFL-compliant MakeMusic and the former is set as Finale's default file automatically.

Tip: Finale also provides three documents based on MakeMusic legacy fonts; Maestro Font Default (engraved, Maestro font — Finale's longtime standard default document), Handwritten Default (handwritten, Broadway Copyist font), and the Jazz Font Default (handwritten, Jazz font). Use this file if you need to use the legacy fonts and libraries. If you want to automatically use these, or any other document, type its name exactly as it appears in Explorer next to Default Document in the Preferences - New dialog box.

However, you can customize this document to suit your own tastes. Do you prefer a different font for your lyrics? Do you frequently work with A4 paper? In any of these cases, the process for customizing the Maestro Font Default file is simple. Choose File > Open; in the Open dialog box that appears, navigate to the Finale/Music Files/Default Files folder, choose Finale Template File from the File Type drop-down list and double-click Maestro Font Default.FTMX file to open it. You’re now looking at a blank document. Make any changes to it you want. Change the lyric font, page size, add expressions, etc.. When you’re finished, choose File > Save, choose Finale Template File from the File Type drop-down list, name the file Maestro Font Default.FTMX and then save it (and replace the existing Maestro Font Default file). From now on, every time you double-click the Finale program icon, choose File > New > Default Document or Document with Setup Wizard, a fresh, untitled copy of this Maestro Font Default file appears on the screen, formatted according to your preferences.

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