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Good evening

I am a Finale user since 2000. I use it for transcribing scores for my amateur orchestra.

I have lost a lot of time in learning and using your interfaces in Pickup notes and Chord Tool.

On Pickup note (Anacrusis): It is literally a big pain to insert an anacrusis in a score having a repeat section. Everything has to be done in a dirty way, which includes introducing errors in the count of bars.

Even worse is Chord Tool interface. I have to report several deep deficiencies:

  1. Notation is intended for guitar players, excluding all of us which are not; this is so evident that you even show the fretboard immediately after the chord definitions.  We, classical musicians, we use basso continuo (figurated bass) chords. 
  2. Terminology is not standard, beginning by the fact that there is no notion of "suffix" in chords terminology.  
  3. Entering a chord is a nightmare. Let's say I want to enter a 6 over 4 chord. I go through a list of 259 chords, to find that chord 220 is the 6 over 4 I need.
  4. Defining my own chord with the Chord Suffix Editor is not intuitive. Just try to read your own manual of the Suffix Keynumber Offsets dialog box. Do you really understand it ?

Upgrades required

1) Completely revamp your Anacrusis (Pickup note) interface. It should be as easy as

1a) Right-click + "Pickup note - Define current measure as a Pickup note bar",

1b) Right-click - "Pickup note - split current bar", to use it in a Repeat using the beginning Pickup note bar.

1c) Bar numbering should stay still unsplit.

2) Completely revamp your Chord tool, giving us the choice of:

2a) Using Guitar Chords, Basso Continuo Chords, and any other convention at our choice. Do not use guitar interfaces unless requested by guitar musicians.

2b) Use a pentagram to place our chord, for example let us enter a 6 over 4 encoded as three notes G, C, E knowing that the lower C is the tonality fundamental.

2c) Do not use the "suffix" term, as there is no notion of suffixes in chords theory

2d) Have a checkbox, that when checked, resolves the chord by explicitly showing all chord notes as they will be played

Don't let MBAs design your interfaces. Let musicians do it. 

I use Finale 26.3 and Windows 10, but this is common to all versions and OS.


Thank you for your kind attention


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Neither the Chord Tool nor figured bass are suitable stand-ins for harmonic analysis. It Finale needs a tool for Harmonic Analysis, it should be a separate tool rather than contorting the Chord Tool to do something it was never intended to do.


I do not find using the Time Signature Tool and the Measure Tool a burdensome way to set a playable pickup measure.

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I agree with Adrian on this one. The time signature and measure tools are perfectly adequate for pickups, even with repeats.


Use the figured bass as designed for the harmonic analysis. All that most guitarists need are the chords.

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Welcome to the forum!


I am not sure I understand everything in your post.

I could be wrong, but it sounds like there are some Finale features you do not know (yet).


1) Pickup Measure. The feature Pickup Measure is a very old part of Finale. It is still a part of Finale, to ensure backwards compatibility when opening old Finale documents.

And the feature has its shortcomings. Playback is not correct; the pickup measure plays back as a full measure - since the Pickup Measure is created by inserting invisible “placeholder rests” at the beginning of the measure.

Today we have a better solution that plays back correctly:

Use the Time Signature Tool, and create (e. g.) a 1/4 measure, displaying as 4/4. You can exclude the measure from the Measure Numbering, either in the Measure Attributes, or by editing the Measure Number Region.

When you need to split a measure - to create a repeat section that includes the pickup measure - use the plug-in Mid Measure Repeats. The plug-in does all the work for you, including getting correct measure numbering after the repeat.


- Your idea (of a more user friendly shortcut to pickup measures) sounds like a good feature request.


2) Chord Tool.

I am not sure what you mean by your words “Notation is intended for guitar players”. To me it seems that chord symbols (e. g. Dm7) are the same, no matter what instrument you play. There may be some “variations on the theme” (like Dmi7 or Dmin7), but am not sure that these variations are “instrument specific”. Would you say that (e. g.) Dm7 is guitar specific, while Dmin7 is piano specific?

Finale comes with libraries you can load (File menu > Load Library…). Among them are several libraries with chord suffixes, including a library for Figured Bass. You can also create and save your own, custom libraries.

* Have you tried the Figured Bass library?


We can not talk about things without giving them names.

Finale is a layout tool, and we need names to describe the layout - “Finale-speak”.

* If we are not allowed to use the word “suffix”, then what name should we use instead?


Your request 2b) is not clear to me.

From your description it sounds like a time consuming way of entering chords.

Please explain.


For me, the entry of chord symbols is fast. I often use the entry method {Type Into Score} and the “colon shortcut” where I can enter (e. g.) Dmaj7(add13) by typing D:10 (type only four characters, to get a chord symbol of twelve characters).


I think we can all agree that creating a new suffix with the Chord Suffix Editor is time consuming.

It is a powerful tool that gives a lot of control of the layout, but the Chord Suffix Editor’s user interface is not particularly user friendly.


Your request 2d) is not clear to me.

* Are you talking about layout? or user interface?

Please explain.

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(To the two first answers) Gentlemen, I have read your comments, but it seems that you dismiss my request without understanding the reason of my feedback

  • I am not asking for a tool for harmonic analysis. I am asking a tool allowing me to easily enter a basso continuo chord in the notation we use in classical music.
  • I am not saying that the pickup measures are not adequate to do the job. I say that the interface is very difficult to use.

I don't want to start a discussion. I want to give an useful feedback to the Finale Product Manager so he can orient the product roadmap in an efficient way, both technically and marketing. 

Thank you for your kind comments. 

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To Peter Thomsen

Thank you for reading and analyzing my request.

1) I use the Time Signature Tool. I learned to use it, but it is very difficult to use, and it is a frequent source of questions in the French Finale group in Facebook.

2) Notation is intended for guitar players, because their fretboard does appear in the Chord Tool. If it was created with that purpose, it is OK.

3) Yes, I have used the Figured Bass Library, and I find it very heavy to use, hence my comment on that for entering a 6 over 4 I have to read 259 chords just to find that the one I need is number 220.

4) I agree that the Chord Suffix Editor is really a huge loss of time.

5) Dm7 and Dmin7 do not mean anything to me. This is the point. Finale assumes the basso continuo notation used since more than 300 years is an option..

6) 2d) refers to the user interface.

Again, I do not want to discuss. I just want to provide useful feedback.

Thank you for your kind attention.


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Thanks for your reply. Now I understand a little better.


… I do not want to discuss …


This is a user forum where users can discuss feature requests - to get better feature requests.


… I just want to provide useful feedback …


To give feedback, contact MakeMusic directly.

* But is your feedback useful if it is misunderstood?

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To Peter Thomsen

Thank you again. In fact, yes, I had contacted Finale, and my interlocutor suggested me to write my change requests in this forum. 

I have a long experience working for software editors (LHS, Informix, Microsoft, and Unisys), so I master professional software development processes. I did not notice that it is a discussion forum, not a change request tool, hence my surprise.

Greetings from Southern France



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