Staff Attributes dialog box

How to get there

The Staff Attributes dialog box can be accessed in two ways:

  1. Choose the Staff tool icon. The Staff menu appears.
  2. Choose Staff > Edit Staff Attributes.


What it does

In the Staff Attributes dialog box, you can specify many staff-specific traits, including whether or not certain musical elements appear in this staff, such as measure numbers, default whole rests, time signatures, and repeat ending brackets. You can also define other properties of the staff, hide staves, and designate independent elements to the staff that are generally the same among all score staves (like the key and time signature). Other elements of staves, like the staff name, transposition, and clef, are part of Finale's instrument definition and available in the ScoreManager.

  • Allow hiding when empty. Use this option to control whether Finale removes the staff during the Hide Staff process. Select this checkbox if you want to allow Finale to hide this staff if it doesn't contain music. Deselect the checkbox to prevent Finale from hiding the staff—the staff appears, even if it doesn't contain music. For example, you might select this option for the Treble and Bass staves of a piano score, because scores usually display both staves of piano parts, even when other parts drop out. If these staves include a group bracket/brace, it is recommended to use the Only Hide if All Staves are Empty option (under When Hiding Empty Staves) in the Group Attributes dialog box for the group containing these staves.
  • Break barlines between staves • Break repeat barlines between staves. When staves are grouped, the barlines are drawn continuously through them (including the blank spaces between them). Select Break barlines between staves if you want barlines—both normal and repeat barlines—not to continue through to the next staff above the selected staff. If this staff isn’t part of a staff group, you won’t notice any difference. Group staves by selecting their handles with the Staff tool icon and double-clicking one of the selected handles.

    Select Break repeat barlines between staves if you want to break repeat barlines that would normally continue through to the next staff above this one. This option doesn’t affect normal barlines.

  • Display rests in empty measures. Finale automatically draws a default whole rest in every blank measure. Deselect this checkbox if you don’t want Finale to draw these "false" whole rests for this staff. You might wish to suppress them if, for example, you want to print out blank score paper.
  • Flat beams. Select this option to force all the beams in the staff to draw flat instead of at an angle.
  • Force hide staff: Cutaway • and Collapse • in Score Only (Collapse). Select this option to hide staves that contain notes (like a staff used for ossia measure source staves or if you’ve created a staff that includes playback effects such as written out trills or tremolos) or create cutaway scores. The word (hidden) appears in Staff Lists next to the staff name for any staves that are hidden. Choose and Collapse if you want to remove the staff from systems entirely. Choose in Score Only to collapse in the score, leaving the part as is.

    To hide staves without notes, removing empty staves from systems entirely, see To hide empty staves.

  • Ignore key signatures. Finale retains this setting for compatibility with older version files. Select this option if you want Finale to transpose all the notes in the staff to the key of C for the entire piece, regardless of any key changes that occur.
  • Redisplay Accidentals in Other Layers Within Measures. Choose this option to display accidentals on notes that appear for the first time within a particular layer within a measure. For example, if an A# appears in ClosedlayerAn independent overlay of music in the same measure. Each Finale document consists of four transparent layers, each of which can contain its own rhythmically independent inner voice. Only one layer can be active (frontmost) at a time, however; the layer selection buttons appear in the lower left corner of your Finale window, indicating which layer is active. Note that each layer may also contain 2 independent voices. 1 on beat one and in layer 2 on beat 3, Finale does not, by default, display the accidental on the layer 2 note. Choosing this option displays the accidental on the layer 2 note.
  • Independent Elements: Key signature • Time signature • Notehead font • Select. Independent means that these elements are allowed to vary from staff to staff. These options let you specify key signatures, time signatures, or notehead shapes for each staff independently.

    For example, click Key signature or Time signature if you want this staff to be in a different key or meter than the other staves in the piece. When you click the Key Signature tool icon or Time Signature tool icon, a 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. appears on every barline of each staff for which you’ve selected Key Signature or Time Signature. Click the handle to access the Key Signature or Time Signature dialog box for that staff alone.

    You can choose any font for your noteheads without affecting flags, rests, and accidentals on the notes in the staff. When the Notehead font checkbox is selected, Finale uses the font you choose for the current staff. When this checkbox is not selected, Finale uses the ClosedDefault Music FontThe Default Music Font defines which font is used for notational elements like noteheads, rests, tablature, accidentals, key signatures, time signatures, and articulations in a document. for instruments in the Standard Notation Style, or, for Percussion or Tablature Notation Style (see ScoreManager), whatever font set for Tablature or Percussion Noteheads under the Notation dropdown menu in the Document Options - Fonts dialog box. Click Select to display the Font dialog box.

  • Alternate Notation • Settings. Use this checkbox and click Settings to set alternate notation for the entire staff. See Alternate Notation dialog box.
  • Use Note Shapes • Settings. Use this checkbox and click Settings to open the Note Shapes dialog box, where you can define note shape appearance for the staff.
  • Full Staff Name Position • Set. Positioning for staff names is globally set using the Set Default Name Positions submenu. Use the Full Staff Name Position option to override the global positioning for this particular staff. To do so, select the Full Staff Name Position checkbox and click Set to display the Position Full Staff Name dialog box.
  • Abbr. Staff Name Position • Set. Like full staff names, the global positioning for staff name abbreviations is set using the Set Default Name Positions submenu. Use the Abbr. Staff Name Position checkbox and Set button to override the global position for this particular staff using the Position Abbreviated Staff Name dialog box.
  • Items to Display: Augmentation dots • Barlines • Chords • Clefs • Endings & text repeats • Fretboards • Key signatures • Lyrics • Measure numbers • Repeat Bars • Rests • Staff lines • Staff name in score • Staff name in part • Stems • Stem Settings • Ties • Time signatures in score • Time signatures in parts. These checkboxes specify which musical elements appear in this staff. For example, you probably wouldn’t want measure numbers to appear in both staves of a piano part; to omit them from the bass clef staff, deselect the Measure numbers checkbox. Click the Stem Settings button to the right of the Stems checkbox to customize your stem settings. See Staff Stem Settings dialog box.

    Tip: If you don’t want barlines to appear in a particular measure in all the staves in your piece, select Invisible in the Measure Attributes dialog box. Or, if you don’t want barlines to appear in your entire score, deselect Display All Barlines in the Document Options - Barlines dialog box.

  • OK • Cancel. Click OK (or press ENTER) to confirm, or Cancel to discard, the changes you’ve made and return to the score.

See also:

Staff Styles


Key signatures

Staff names

Beam angles

Hiding staves

Measure numbers