What is Font Annotation?

Fin2002FANFont Annotation was introduced in Finale 2001, but in there it's only used for a few elements in the Selection Tool.

In Finale 2002 however, font annotation is used both for the new Engraver Slurs (to calulate how the arc of the slur should be drawn) as well as in the Selection Tool (to determine the boundaries of a selected object).

Font Annotation is small data files that are loaded by Finale during startup and contain individual character information for a font, such as the true character boundaries. Font Annotation files are platform independent and aren't connected to any specific font rendering system (such as PostScript, TrueType etc.).

If you only use the "standard" music fonts that comes with Finale (such as Maestro, Jazz, Petrucci, Seville etc.) there's little need to worry about Font Annotation, since Finale 2002 includes Font Annotation files for all these fonts. It even includes Font Annotation files for some of the most common text fonts.

However, if you use custom music fonts, you should also create your own Font Annotation file - or download an existing FAN file for the font. Otherwise the engraver slurs will look incorrect, and the selection rectangles in the Selection Tool will display an incorrect area.

Please note that Finale 2002 (but not Finale 2001) defaults to the Maestro font annotation if a font has no font annotation data mapped to it.

How do I create my own Font Annotation (FAN) files?

To create a Font Annotation file for a font, start the FAN editor by pressing the Font Annotation... push button in the Options/Select Default Fonts... dialog box. You can create FAN files in Finale 2001 and later versions.

Zoom in to at least 400%, to get good accuracy during editing.

Resize the Font Annotation editor window to increase the character editing area. Move the visible editing area by using the temporary hand grabber.

Start creating a new FAN file by pressing the New push button. Select a font among your installed fonts.

Make sure that each character in the font get correct bounding rectangles and baselines. Do it by moving the mouse pointer over a line until a double-arrow mouse pointer is shown. Drag the line to a new location.

  • The bounding rectangle is red in the editor and should go exactly around the edges of the visible character/symbol. This rectangle needs to be adjusted for just about every character/symbol in the font.
  • For text elements in symbol fonts (such as text characters), you may also need to adjust the baseline. (That's the green horizontal line.) The baseline should normally not be a problem in text fonts.

Don't forget to save your work!

How do I install a FAN file?

If you have downloaded a FAN file and want to use it in Finale, make sure it's placed in Finale's Font Annotation folder. You also need to restart Finale, since the Font Annotation is only read during Finale's startup process.

Please note that you must have the font installed on your computer that the FAN file is describing, otherwise the FAN file will be of no use.