Recommended option settings


Possible spacing problem with Finale:

Here, the 16th notes in the second measure are spaced much wider than in the first, wasting space.

After applying my Proportionality tool with all options ON:

This fix is experimental. It may not work with all types of music, and spacings may come out too tight.

Please note that some inconsistent spacing may be caused by Finale leaving more space for notes with ledger lines. This problem is addressed also.

It is important to make the correct option settings for the type of music to be processed.

The origin of this problem

In the beat chart, Finale stores two separate spacings for the whole measure:
a) the 'normal' spacing of the beats' "Positions"
b) the 'minimum' spacing of the beats' "Minimum Positions"

While a) is used to provide for proportionality and clarity, b) is used to prevent collisions.

What happens is that in measure 1, Finale spaces according to a), while in measure 2, it suddenly takes b) into account so as to prevent collisions of accidentals.

Unfortunately, the way Finale displays spacings according to b) can be rather loose and waste space in some cases. Because a whole measure either takes the b) values into account or not, spacing could be inconsistent throughout a series of measures.

The duality of having "Positions" and "Minimum Positions" enables Finale to properly shrink and stretch a measure. This works very well in most cases, and will only rarely result in unwanted spacing.

The on-line help is wrong ...
Finale's help texts say that Minimum Positions have to "fall within the specified Position Range for that beat". This is incorrect. Minimum Positions are totally independent and add up to a different measure length than the other spacing fields do.

Recommended option settings

I believe my attempts to figure out some apparently undocumented specialities of Finale have had reasonable results. However, there may be important details missing here, and some statements may not be exact or only true for the special cases which I examined.
Thus, both the information given here and the preliminary plug-in release have to be used carefully.

I do NOT speak of a bug in Finale, but only of special behavior which may result in spacing problems in some cases.