When changing music notation software programs, it’s important to note that each program saves files in their own native file format. For Finale, the extension is .musx (or .mus for files created in Finale 2012 and older). These file extensions can only be opened in the application from which they were originally created.


To import files made in other notation programs into Finale, you’ll need to first export the file to a MusicXML file format from within the original application. MusicXML is the standard open file format for exchanging digital sheet music between notation programs.


Please note that this does not apply to other MakeMusic notation programs such as PrintMusic, SongWriter, Allegro, or NotePad.


To determine whether the notation software you were previously using supports MusicXML exports, please consult this list: MusicXML Software (https://www.musicxml.com/software/).


Once you’ve converted your original files to the MusicXML format, you can then open them in Finale by following these steps:

  1. Choose File > Import > MusicXML.
  2. Locate the newly-created MusicXML file and click Open.
  3. Choose Document > Manage Parts. In the dialog box that appears, click Generate Parts.
  4. Choose MIDI/Audio > Reassign Playback Sounds.
  5. Choose File > Save As to save the new document as a Finale file and give it a new filename. This new file will have the .musx file extension.


Special Notice for Encore Users


Prior to 2009, Finale used to be able to import files created in Encore directly. For recent versions of Finale, however, Encore users who want to open their files in Finale must first export them to MusicXML from within Encore, then import the MusicXML file into Finale using the same steps described above.


The ability to export to MusicXML was added in Encore 5. Encore is not currently available for download, but MusicXML import/export features will be accessible with the anticipated release of Encore 6. For up-to-date information on the release of Encore 6, please refer to the Passport Music website (https://passportmusic.com/).