Top 7 Tips
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Here's a list of some basic tips to increase your productivity in Finale. For additional tips, make sure that you read the chapter Making the Most of Finale in the Finale Installation & Tutorials.
1. Read the Manual
Don't use the Finale documentation just when you need to find a specific topic. Make sure that you read some sections of the manual "as a book". Finale is a well-documented program but also with a lot of hidden power, so a trial-and-error approach to Finale will probably make you miss many of the hidden gems. Sections specially worth reading are the beginnings of all chapters describing the Finale Tools (where the different mouse/keyboard combinations are described).
2. Use Metatools
The metatools feature in Finale is a tremendous way to work fast and save time. Use them as often as possible and learn all different mouse actions that can be combined with the metatools. Also, don't forget that some tools, like the SmartShape Tool, also have predefined metatools.
3. Relearn New Versions
For each new Finale version, there are almost always some additions that can make your work more productive, even if it sometimes mean that you have to "relearn" some parts Finale and adjust your workflow. Read the "What's New" chapter carefully for each new update, and try to plan ahead how the new additions could improve your productivity. Do some training on the new features so they feel as the new natural choice.
4. Learn From Other Users
A great source to get more productive is to learn from other users. Get connected and discuss with other users through web forums and/or e-mail lists. Try to answer questions, specially if that means you'll have to learn more to actually be able to answer...
5. Get Involved
One key to productivity is to get the Finale software to work as flawless as possible. Make sure to report bugs you find (no matter how small) to tech support, so MakeMusic can start to plan a fix for it.
Also, make sure to send in your new feature requests to tech support. Include examples on where the feature would be useful. MakeMusic seem to plan some of the future features based on the number of request they receive for a specific feature, so even if another user already have requested a feature, you should let MakeMusic know that you also need that specific feature. Contacting tech support is the only valid entry for feature requests.
6. Revisit the Tutorials
A good way to get "new ideas" is to go back and read the Tutorials once in a while. The Finale Installation & Tutorials book contain a lot of useful tips on how you actually work with Finale, not just how to use the tools.
7. Watch the Quickstart Videos
Make sure to look at all the Quickstart videos that are included in Finale! A great resource to give you a good understanding on how to use Finale. Even revisit them occasionaly might be useful, since there is lots of info covered here!