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This is a feature request to solve one of the main (and basic) notation problems in Finale that all the users have had since the beginning. The problem is that dynamics and hairpins collide and do not align automatically when one writes them.

I know that some plugins are helping with this issue but they don't fully solve it. Since dynamics and hairpins are basic parameters of music, any notation software should include a native system for writing them effectively without recurring to third-party plugins and without the need to constantly correct collisions of dynamics or different spacing between score and parts.


The origin of the problem is that in Finale dynamics are part of a tool (Expression tool) and hairpins are part of another (Smart shapes), while musically they represent the same parameter. This is a problem of software architecture or "philosophy".

For Finale, hairpins are lines attached to a measure and dynamic signs are text expressions attached to a note or a point in a measure.

Finale made some huge improvements but it's almost scandalous that musical dynamics are treated as separate parameters and users fight with their position all the time.

Concerning that, Dorico has a brilliant solution: a sort of dynamic "line": the user taps Shift + D over a music duration and writes something like p<f>p and the software manages everything with no collisions. Moreover, if one drags a dynamic sign the hairpins stretch attached to it.


Somehow, the Smart shapes tool in Finale already contains a way to create lines attached to a text using the Custom line tool. One can attach a line to a text (avoiding collisions with it and fine-tuning its position) and move the endpoints to any point in the measure.

So far, with a custom line in Smartshapes, one can only create lines, dashed lines or copy a character. If the Makemusic team would add the possibility to create the two hairpins for crescendo and diminuendo, this would come close to solving the problem. All we would need is to create the different dynamic text marks at the beginning and end of the hairpins.

Of course, it would be inconvenient for the user to create a line for each combination of dynamics, but in Finale’s code, there are already almost all the elements to finally solve this problem!


So, what is my Feature request?

To maintain the backward compatibility with earlier versions of Finale, I propose to add an all-new tool called Smart Dynamics Tool, a tool designed specifically for writing dynamics attached to hairpins and moving them.

This tool would be an evolution of the Custom Line Tool with some modifications. The user should be able to select any dynamic mark at the beginning and end of the hairpin. The endpoints of the line could be attached to points in the measure, beats or notes exactly as in the Custom Line Tool (or the Glissando tool).

Once created, the “dynamic line” with attached hairpins, could be dragged just like a custom line, with no collisions and no need to further edit the line in parts.

Ideally, the positioning and the staves assignment functions of the Expression tool should also be retained for the Smart Dynamic Tool.

If you think about it, many elements are already present in the software, the Finale team should only put the pieces together!


Alternatively, if the team cannot add a new tool, I suggest giving the user the option of creating lines such as hairpins (in addition to normal and dashed lines) in the Custom Line Tool, so that one can easily create dynamics without collisions.


This would really help a lot!


Thank you in advance!


Finale 27.2, macOS 12.4 (Monterey)


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