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I (currently) have Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1, Finale 2012a and am contemplating upgrade to Finale v26, then Windows 10

  1. Regarding hyphens/word-extensions in repeats and codas: It would be nice (if it's not too difficult) for Finale, when analyzing D.C.'s, D.S.'s, codas, and repeat section-beginnings and repeat endings, to notice when notes at the beginning of the bar in question don't have assigned lyrics and see if the lyric syllable begins elsewhere in the piece and intelligently add hyphens and word-extensions. Of course, if that's too logistically problematic, you can instruct users to use a dot or an invisible character as the "lyric" for the first note--to which Finale would then add the needed hyphens/word-extensions.
  2. Regarding hiding empty staves: Finale allows "empty [note-less] staves" on a system to be hidden. It should, if it doesn't already, allow Page View to intelligently "collapse" systems with empty staves vertically and fit more systems on a page when possible. Many full-score professional transcriptions will have a few systems on a page in sections where the whole band plays, but several systems on a page representing a section with only a few instruments playing--making the most efficient use of the paper.  I think this "vertical collapse" is supported by Finale 2012, but chord-name elevations are not adjusted to deal with "hidden" staves on top of a system--causing the symbols to sometimes be displayed up in the previous system. So maybe there should also be an option in Finale to have all chord names/symbols automatically displayed above whatever stave is the topmost visible one for a given system; a similar option already exists for repeat-ending notation, after all.
  3. Regarding notes near the top or bottom of a page: When setting size/margins for page and system, there ought to be a way for Finale to intelligently account for very high notes in the top stave of the top system and very low notes in the bottom stave of the bottom system, so that one doesn't have to play around too much to keep notes from being "chopped off the page" vertically.
  4. Regarding tab staffs, note notation, and stemming: I would like it if, when one selects a staff with more or fewer lines than five (i.e., 6 for guitar-tab or 4 for bass-tab), the Score Manager intelligently figured out where to vertically position the rests, "stem flips", time signatures, repeat symbols, and so on. It is already possible to use Score Manager to manually re-position where rests and stem flips vertically occur, but it's a little tedious to have to do it with every new staff, and it doesn't work for time signatures, repeat symbols, etc. Also, the option to display notes as X's works funny on notes on tab staff: they're displayed on "ledger" lines (which shouldn't happen with tab!), and using "rhythmic notation" on notes/chords in layers besides layer #1 (on any kind of staff) doesn't work right! (What's up with that??) Finally, it should be possible to adjust stem-lengths for stemmed tab-notes without the (absolute) vertical position of the stem's far ends being fixed (fixing them prevents the possibility of "diagonal beams"). Adjusting the length of regular "notation" notes doesn't have this issue, but allowing the vertical position of a tab-note/chord's stem to vary with the height of the numbered note/chord is only possible if the stem height is unadjusted--in which case the stem is often too short to properly accommodate notes with lots of flags/beams (i.e., 32nd notes). In short, there should be an option to adjust the "relative" height of tab stems' far ends (compared to the tab numbers).

 

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Perhaps, when Finale reconstructs its underlying architecture (which a recent blog suggests it is doing) some of these features--some not even available in Dorico, which has been designed to make such features possible--may be possible in Finale; but one must realize that one of the penalties one pays (at least in Finale 26 and earlier versions) for the high level of granular control is the loss of many automated features.

 

Even should Finale implement more automated features, it would be a mistake for it to give up the possibility for fine granular control of virtually every aspect of the score. So the challenges ahead for Finale are not insignificant.

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2. Basically you want Chord Symbols to operate on a *Score List*. That's a good idea as far as organization, but it could cause issues with having different chords on different staves, and having multiple chord lines on a particular staff vs. a single chord line on others. All of the other requests are already possible with the Staff Tool.

 

3. You can adjust system margins to account for those extreme notes. Select the Page Layout Tool and drag the top-left handle of a system to adjust the Top Margin, and drag the bottom-right handle to adjust the Bottom Margin. You can also adjust the margins numerically by right-clicking on the system handle and choosing *Edit Margins...*

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Regarding #2: George is right, chord symbols connected to staff lists would be a good idea (Finale terminology is "staff list", not "score list").

 

Robert - perhaps you could explain: what should happen to the chord symbol's transposition? There are scores where there aren't any untransposed chord symbols and different arbitrary transpositions occur (e.g. Piccolo flute in Db). Should the chord symbols be written in the source staff's transposition or in the now leftover-topmost target staff's transposition?

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Hi Harald,

 

I'm actually referring to *Score Lists* which operate slightly differently from *Staff Lists*.

 

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I assume that "Feature Requests" is not just for asking "how to" use an existing feature or  finding "if" a feature is present already, but also for "recommending" new features for future versions. Right?? I mean, do Finale's people check this forum for ideas for new features? Otherwise, the forum's name should be "Feature Help".

 

Regarding issue #2: Your suggestions above seem useful and I'll have to try them out, but I just want to explain where I'm coming from. I sometimes like to emulate the full-score sheet music style that is used in transcriptions of, say, Led Zeppelin albums, where each instrument/vocal is represented with notation staffs (and accompanying tabulature staffs in the case of lutes like guitar and base)(I already know how to do this), where only the staffs in a given system with notes/chords present are displayed (with vertical collapsing and/or more systems when possible on a page)(this is more important), and--this is the most important part--chord symbols are always above the topmost visible staff of any given system, and represent the overall harmony of the piece (not necessarily what any one instrument is playing). There are also simpler situations, like 3-staff vocals/treble/base sheet music, where it would be convenient to have the vocal staff hidden on systems without vocals (and the same vertical compression and possible additional systems on the page there), but with chords always above the top visible staff of each system regardless. Finally, in the "Category Designer" dialog that features "Score List" creation, where is the orientation of chord symbols affected? (Remember, I want , for all systems, the chord symbols over to topmost visible staff of each system, no matter which staff it is for a given system.) Is there something I have to do besides invoking the dialog and creating the "score list"?

 

Regarding issue #3: I already know how to adjust margins for systems and pages manually; I'm just saying it would be nice if Finale figured out when notes vertically exceeded system/staff/page margins and auto-adjusted for that--not only to keep notes from being chopped of the page, but also--now that I think of it--to ensure that notes belonging to one staff/system didn't vertically overlap another staff/system or its notes (something very ugly). One can always adjust for these collisions manually, but it's kind of tedious, especially when changes to the score force re-adjustments and new adjustments. Recent versions of Finale apparently auto-account more multiple expressions in the same place to avoid collisions (horizontally and vertically), so it would be nice if Finale also handled these staff-and-system issues too. Then again, maybe it's like issue #1 (lyric-syllables over coda and repeat jumps)--possibly "too complex" to automate (??).

 

(BTW, I take the point that it can be hard for Finale's people to design a a product which handles elaborate automation while simultaneously allowing granular manual control. I'm a programmer myself!)

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Robert, you misunderstand what I said about chord symbols. I was merely comparing your request to existing functionality, not that that functionality exists. Nevertheless, you can still achieve what you want currently using staff styles to hide and display chord symbols as needed.

Regarding the Feature Request forum: Make music staff used to comment and vet requests, now they merely monitor. For the most part, it is a place for users to discuss features.

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George: "I'm actually referring to *Score Lists* which operate slightly differently from *Staff Lists*"

Sorry, of course you're right. In JWLua (and thus most likely in Finale internally), there are only staff lists and in the German version which I use score lists and staff lists are both translated as "Stimmenliste".

 

Robert - I fully understand the musical situation, but what do you imagine concerning the transposition issue?

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