New post

Does there exist any way to select tools from the Main Tool Palette without using the mouse? For example, pressing "F6" (or something like that) to activate the Articulation Tool, or Expression Tool, or Smart Shape Tool? I know there are many keyboard shortcuts within these tools, and I know that there may be a way through MacOS to program in my own app-specific shortcuts, but I would love to know if there is a Finale-native method for doing this. In Pyware, for example, instead of pointing and clicking on a tool every time you need to use it, the most popular tools can be accessed just by using the F-keys. Thanks for any feedback.


Date Votes

1) Finale comes with the option of programming tool metatools on the 8 shortcuts







Ctrl-; (semicolon)

Ctrl-' (apostrophe)


There are only 8 shortcuts, so you can only program shortcuts to 8 tools.

These keyboard shortcuts are document specific. In different documents you can have shortcuts to different tools.


Link to the manual: 



2) Indeed you can - via the Mac OS control panel Keyboard program your own shortcuts to any item in any menu, e. g. to the tools in Finale’s Tools menu.

These Mac OS keyboard shortcuts are program specific (not document specific).

Comment actions Permalink

Finale's TGTools plugin has a keyboard remapper plugin (TGTools->Options->Keyboard Remapper) that allows you to assign any key plus Ctrl,Shift,Alt,F1,... to any menu entry (and thus all tools). But if I remember it correctly it is only available on Windows.

Comment actions Permalink

Hello everyone, and thank you Jan and Peter for your comments. I have successfully programmed in shortcuts through MacOS's System Preferences and the increased productivity is fantastic! In case anyone is curious what shortcuts I mapped...

F2 - Staff Tool
F3 - Measure Tool
F4 - Expression Tool
F5 - Articulation Tool
F6 - Draw a slur
F7 - Draw a crescendo
F8 - Draw a decrescendo
F9 - Toggle between concert/transposed pitch
F10 - Activate JW Staff Polyphony Plugin
F11 - Show Active Layer Only

Does anyone care to share their shortcuts? Thanks again!

Comment actions Permalink

Matt Sadowski,


In your first post you specifically asked for shortcuts to select “tools from the Main Tool Palette”.

I, too, have shortcuts to the items in your last post.

Not the same hotkeys (to each his own…), but to the same tools.

I also have shortcuts to some other tools I use often:

- Page Layout Tool

- Resize Tool

- Special Tools Tool


Beware that Finale comes with some ready made tool shortcuts:

- You are in the Hand Grabber Tool as long as you hold down ⌥⌘ (Option-Command), but on a track pad you can also navigate by swiping with two fingers.

- You can get to the Selection Tool by hitting the escape key (in some contexts you must hit escape more than once before you end in the Selection Tool). Another shortcut to the Selection Tool is ⇧⌘A (Shift-Command-A), this shortcut is shown in the Tools menu.


In your list of items with your custom shortcuts I can see a few that are not “tools from the Main Tool Palette”, such as e. g.

- Show Active Layer Only

I, too, have a shortcut to “Show Active Layer Only”, and also to

Document menu > Page Format > Parts…

Comment actions Permalink

Thank you Peter Thompson for this 

2) Indeed you can - via the Mac OS control panel Keyboard program your own shortcuts to any item in any menu, e. g. to the tools in Finale’s Tools menu.

These Mac OS keyboard shortcuts are program specific (not document specific).


This was EXACTLY what I needed- and it is insane that Finale doesn't have it in their help manual. I am coming back to Finale after a decade of preferring Sibelius, and this was the kind of thing that drove me away in the first place. 

sidenote- I moved from MOTU Mosaic to Finale 1.0, so I have been around the block more than once. 

Comment actions Permalink

How do you tell Mac's short cuts to pick Draw A Crescendo?

Crescendo is buried in a folder.So I assigned Smart shape-Crescendo to Ctl-Opt C, this shortcut shows up in Finale's Menu.

AND that menu flashes when I press Ctl-Opt C.

BUT I cannot draw a crescendo after pressing this, nor while holding it.

What steps exactly did you take to record and more importantly to use this shortcut?











Comment actions Permalink

Burt Goldstein,


No need to use Mac OS for drawing a crescendo hairpin.

Finale has the option of programmable metatools.

Some metatools are program specific, other metatools are document specific.


The metatool for drawing a hairpin is document specific.

To program a crescendo metatool in the currently opened Finale document:

In this example let us say that we will program the letter V key for the metatool.

Switch to the Smart Shape Tool, and click the Crescendo sub-tool icon.

Hold down the Shift key, and hit the letter V key.

Finale displays a dialog box that lets you save the metatool in the current Finale document.

From now on, when you are in the Smart Shape Tool, you do not have to click the icon for the Crescendo sub-tool (= you can stay in the Slur sub-tool).

Just hold down the letter V key, double-click and draw.

Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.