Tips & Tricks
- Category: Longer Texts
There is no user interface to the keymap at this time. Editing the key map requires a fairly high level of technical expertise. You must know about ANSI character codes and virtual-key codes. Also, in order to edit the key map you will need to edit your FINALE.INI file directly. [No longer necessary; FinaleTweak takes care of all the difficult stuff described below. Available for download here.] All the normal caveats about editing an INI file apply (make backups, etc.), and will not be delved into here.The key map is a table of over 100 values stored in FINALE.INI under the section header [SpeedyKeys]. The beginning of the table looks like this:
SK000=59 0 -1 -1 -1 5
SK001=65549 0 0 -1 -1 34
SK002=65582 0 -1 -1 -1 23
... (and so on)
Each SK<number>= line represents a keystroke and its associated action. When a keystroke is processed, the key map is scanned in numerical order using the number suffixed to "SK" for ordering. As soon as a match is found, the scan terminates and the associated action is performed. Because the table is scanned in order, it is possible for a key event to have more than one action associated with it, depending on the states of the modifier keys. Specific cases can be handled first, then more general cases. (Note that because of how Windows writes keys to an INI file, the physical order of the keys may vary. It is the numerical order that is important.)
Each line in the table contains six values, defined as follows:
- The keyboard virtual-key code or ANSI character code (see explanation below)
- The state of the control key (0 = not pressed, 1 = pressed, -1 = don't care)
- The state of the shift key (0 = not pressed, 1 = pressed, -1 = don't care)
- The state of the caps lock key (0 = not locked, 1 = locked, -1 = don't care)
- The state of the num lock key (0 = not locked, 1 = locked, -1 = don't care)
- The action code (see explanation below)
Keyboard virtual-key code -- Finale needs to detect keyboard events both at the virtual-key code level and the ANSI character level. The virtual-key code is required, for example, to distinguish between the '*' from the numeric keypad (which toggles the accidental on/off) and the '*' above the '8' key on the US keyboard (which inserts a double-whole duration).
Values in this field less than 65536 are ANSI character codes. Values greater than or equal to 65536 are virtual-key codes. To determine the actual virtual-key code, subtract 65536 from the value in the table.
It is necessary to have knowledge of the virtual-key codes to edit this table properly. These codes differ among various international keyboards, and can often not be guessed at either by the characters on the keycaps or the position of the key on the keyboard.
However, the predefined virtual-key codes (VK_*) in Windows can safely be used. These codes and their values are found in the technical documentation for the Windows PDK. If the key isn't available as a virtual-key constant, you must have access to the appropriate technical documentation for the specific keyboard driver.
ANSI character codes (65 = 'A', etc.) are well documented elsewhere and will not be described here.
Action code -- the last value in the table is an action code, corresponding to a specific Speedy Entry action. The symbolic names for the actions are as follows (the symbolic names are for the most part self-explanatory given a solid understanding of the operation of the Speedy Entry tool):
SP_CMD_NULL_COMMAND = 0,
SP_CMD_FLIP_HIDE_ENTRY = 1,
SP_CMD_NAV_PREV_LAYER = 7,
SP_CMD_NAV_PREV_MEAS = 9,
SP_CMD_EDIT_NOTE_UP_HALF_STEP = 19,
SP_CMD_EDIT_DELETE_ENTRY = 23,
SP_CMD_EDIT_TIEDIR_FLIP = 35,
SP_CMD_DURATION_128 = 39,
SP_CMD_OCTAVE_DN = 57,
SP_CMD_PITCH_LOW_C = 60,
SP_CMD_PITCH_MID_C = 67,
SP_CMD_PITCH_HI_C = 74,
SP_CMD_OPEN = 81,
SP_CMD_START_TUPLET_ASK = 83,
SP_CMD_EDIT_FLAT_BEAM = 100,
Using this information, you can decode the first three lines of the sample table above as follows:
|SK000=59 0 -1 -1 -1 5|
|-- 59 is ANSI code for semicolon (;)
-- control key is not pressed, other modifiers don't care
-- action code is SP_CMD_GRACE (toggle grace note)
|SK001=65549 0 0 -1 -1 34|
|-- 65549 is a virtual-key code; subtract 65536 to get 13, virtual-key code for the Enter key (VK_ENTER)
-- neither control nor shift pressed, other modifiers don't care
-- action code is SP_CMD_EDIT_ADD_NOTE_TO_ENTRY
|SK002=65582 0 -1 -1 -1 23|
|-- 65582 is a virtual-key code; subtract 65536 to get 46, virtual-key code for the Delete key (VK_DELETE)
-- control key is not pressed, other modifiers don't care
-- action code is SP_CMD_EDIT_DELETE_ENTRY
- Category: Longer Texts
With every new Finale release, many new productivity enhancements are added to Finale, so it's easy to miss a few of them. Although these are all explained in the manuals, here are a couple of very important productivity enhancements in the latest releases of Finale:
- Since Finale 2005, you can use FinaleScript to create sequences that access any menu commands in Finale.
- Since Finale 2005, you can use shortcut keys to zoom in and out, navigate screens right/left in Scroll View, and to fit window.
- Since Finale 2005, you can record any continous data in Hyperscribe.
- Since Finale 2004, you can find out which note an articulation is connected to by holding down Ctrl[Win] Option[Mac] while clicking on an articulation handle. You can also now find out which measure(s) a smart shape or staff expression is connected to using the same technique.
- Since Finale 2004, you can optionally display Hidden Notes in grey. The grey level can be adjusted in the Program Options.
- Since Finale 2004, you can use both the computer keyboard and MIDI keyboard for input in Simple Entry. You can also use Simple Entry to add elements like articulations and clefs.
- Since Finale 2003a, you can create both crescendo and diminuendo using only one of the hairpin tools. Drag in the oposite direction to create the other type of hairpin. Same technique also applies to the lines with hooks.
- Since Finale 2003, you can set groups to use a certain kind of Group Optimization.
- Since Finale 2003, you can find out which note a note expression is connected to by holding down Ctrl[Win] Option[Mac] while clicking on a note expression handle.
- Since Finale 2003, you can let the Staff Attributes control things like stem directions and lengths, beams or no beams and augmentation dots. You might find this useful when using Staff Styles.
- Since Finale 2002b, you can create any type of smart shape by using smart shape metatools.
- Since Finale 2002, you can align and resize hairpins (crescendi and diminuendi) to conform to the same position. Select multiple hairpins within the same staff (=horizontally) or measure (=vertically), display the contextual menu and select Align Horizontally or Align Vertically.
- Since Finale 2002, the Speedy Entry keys can "look back" at the previous measure if the current measure is empty. When you move to a new measure, just use the Speedy modifier keys as you would normally do, and it'll affect the previous measure's last entry.
- Since Finale 2002, you can reprogram keys on your MIDI keyboard to act like some of the Speedy commands. Use the Speedy/Speedy Options... dialog box to define the functionality you need.
- Since Finale 2002, if you accidentaly click a note at the wrong pitch in Simple Entry, just drag the note to the place where you want it.
- Since Finale 2001, you can use any font/character/size for individual accidentals with the Accidental Mover Tool (in the Special Tools).
- Since Finale 2001, you can play a 3-note cluster on the MIDI keyboard in Speedy Entry to create a rest.
- Since Finale 2001, you can use shorcut keys to select layers.
- Since Finale 2000, you can drag-enclose multiple notes in the Articulation Tool while holding down a metatool key (or the Delete/Clear key) to create (or delete) articulations on each of these notes.
- Since Finale 2000, there are some metatools available for the SmartShape tool ('S', '<', '>'). Hold any of these keys down while creating a new smart shape.
- In all Finale versions, the Edit Frame dialog is available while holding down Ctrl[Win] Option[Mac] while clicking at a measure in Speedy or Simple Entry (in Fin2002 and later, this is only available in Speedy Entry). Remember that the Speedy frame must be closed before clicking on the measure. Although this dialog box is very technical, it might be needed for operations such as:
- Accurately position horizontally-displaced notes.
- Create 256th-notes, 512ths, even 1024ths.
- Beam together voice-2 notes launched from different voice-1 notes.
- Hide the ledger lines for a single note.
- Nest or un-nest tuplets in voices one and two.