Besides the Patterson Beams, TGTools, and JW plugins included in Finale, I
use 3rd party plugins to

1. Copy arbitrary combinations and patterns of expressions, dynamics,
articulations, and other elements in a repeated fashion, independent of
barlines, both vertically and horizontally.

2. Mass Relink, which can relink the score to the part's settings or vice

3. Autocreate multimeasure rests with many more options than Finale has,
including the ability to add extra space for clef changes or force the
creation of multimeasure rests in places where Finale won't create them.

4. Maintain multiple sets of note spacing settings per measure region and
per part. Then a single invocation of the plugin spaces the music according
to those settings, taking into account the current part. Even better, by
means of a nifty trick that someone suggested on this list. the plugins can
get tighter spacing with ledger lines than Finale does.

5. Designate certain text expressions as titles (i.e., for movement titles)
or footnotes or headnotes. Then invoke a plugin than finds them in every
part and correctly positions them. This is *way* better workaround than
Finale's Page Titles for this kind of thing.

6. Mass align and move dynamics and hairpins. (TGTools Align/Move is
included in Finale but the version in the full TGTools is much more

7. Quickly repair common screwups in Finale, such as restoring lost note
spacing from a saved copy or moving expressions and endpoints that have
lost their notes due to Speedy edits.

8. With one simple menu click, start a new movement. That is, show full
names, indent the first system, restart the measure numbers from 1, twiddle
the measure bits in the current and preceding measure as needed. With one
menu click that has no dialog box.

9. Transfer page layout from one document to another and/or one part to
another and/or within a single document or part. Including (optionally)
system baselines for expressions and lyrics.

10. I recently discovered the JW Change plugin that can do so much that I
have only begun to digest all the ways in which I might use it.

11. TGTools has an option to proportionally expand or contract the staves
in a system. This saves me hours, especially on large multistaff scores
like orchestra scores. Then once you have that system perfectly fitted to
your margins, you can copy the staff layout to page after page and make
only minor tweaks thereafter.

12. Fix the focus problem with modeless plugin windows on Mac (Fin25.4 and

There are doubtless many, many others, but those come to mind right now.

When I sit down to work on plugins, I try to think of every pain point in
using this beast of a program called Finale. Sometimes I note the pain
points as I work on a piece. Either way, after 20 years of this I am just
about out of ideas. I've addressed every pain point I can think of that a
plugin can address. There are a few that are intractable in current Finale,
but even for those I've tried to develop palliative workarounds. (Like
using expressions for movement titles.) Sometimes it takes years for me to
realize a plugin can even do something. Like for years I thought plugins
could not relink scores and parts, since linkage is not visible to plugins.
But then I thought of a way that works for most unlinkable items.

If you want to share your pain points, I'll tell you if there is a plugin
solution I use. Because there probably is. (Other than playback. I don't do
much with playback.)

On Sat, Jan 26, 2019 at 6:09 AM Lawrence David Eden <>

> This is an interesting discussion….I am interested in hearing what 3rd
> party plugins are you referring to, Robert.   I am always looking for ways
> to automate Finale.
> Larry Eden
> > On Jan 25, 2019, at 11:03 AM, Robert Patterson <
>> wrote:
> >
> > I would be very interested to know more specifics about the things that
> are
> > "well beyond Fin/Sib". Graphically, I know about flexible slurs, and I
> > would be curious to know if lines (like 8va) also have multiple
> inflection
> > points.
> >
> > Beyond that, I would be curious to know what makes Dorico so much more
> > superior for part layout.
> >
> > Do you use any 3rd party plugins with Finale? In my experience, working
> > without key 3rd party plugins in Finale is the slag mines. But I've
> > developed a workflow using several key plugins that is very fast for many
> > of the things you mentioned. In fact, it is difficult to imagine them
> being
> > much faster.
> >
> > ymmv
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 2:38 PM Craig Parmerlee <>
> wrote:
> >
> >> I would also note Sibelius 2019 was announced this week.  It seems to be
> >> roughly the same magnitude of the Finale 26 release.  I am sure the
> >> improvements are welcome, but really, this is a minuscule amount of
> >> improvement for a paid release.  Dorico is adding capability 10-to-100
> >> times faster than either Finale or Sibelius.
> >>
> >> Dorico has a steep learning curve, and it is getting steeper all the
> >> time as layers of capability are added.  It still lacks a few things
> >> that the other programs have. For example, there is not yet any
> >> automatic way to have a single line in the score (e.g. FHorn 1&3) break
> >> out to separate parts for Fhorn 1 and FHorn 3.  And Dorico's automatic
> >> playback isn't as advanced as Finale Human Playback.  But Dorico already
> >> does some things that are well beyond Finale and Sibelius.  Moreover,
> >> the architecture is more elegant, particularly in the ability to lay out
> >> music intelligently in a minimum amount of time.  On the playback side,
> >> many people are using Note Performer with Dorico and claiming very good
> >> results.  I don't care that much.  The playback is good enough for what
> >> I do.
> >>
> >> I still have Finale 25 installed in case it is required for a
> >> collaboration, but I am doing all my new projects in Dorico now.  I find
> >> a typical project is taking about half as long with Dorico as I would
> >> have spent in Finale.  Much of that comes at the back end where I had to
> >> spend hours in final editing of part layouts.  With Dorico I typically
> >> spend about one minute per page for part layout -- sometimes no editing
> >> at all. But Dorico also provides big opportunities for time saving
> >> during the note entry and harmonization processes.
> >>
> >>
> >> On 1/22/2019 8:21 AM, David H. Bailey wrote:
> >>> Hello Finale and Sibelius Friends,
> >>>
> >>> I'm forwarding this message to both the Finale and Sibelius groups, in
> >>> case anybody is interested in exploring Dorico.  Using the code
> >>> DORICO30 you can get 30% off of either Dorico 2 or Dorico Elements 2
> >>> (a lighter version of Dorico) for this week only apparently.
> >>>
> >>> Both of those programs also have free demo versions you can download
> >>> and explore.
> >>>
> >>> I'm not trying to push it on anybody but I know some people might be
> >>> curious.  Version 2 brought many major improvements over version 1.
> >>>
> >>> I freely admit that I am still not very fluent in Dorico, knowing that
> >>> it will take me a lot of work to master it, but I also know there are
> >>> people in both Finale and Sibelius groups who have taken to Dorico and
> >>> are doing major projects in it.
> >>>
> >>> There is a forum at for people who want to get a sense
> >>> of how users are faring with the product.
> >>>
> >>> Dorico still uses their elicenser software or their extra-cost USB
> >>> dongle, so for people who are vehemently opposed to such anti-piracy
> >>> methods, nothing has changed and you probably won't want to explore
> >>> Dorico beyond the demo versions (I don't know if those have any
> >>> anti-piracy methods since they're freely distributed by Steinberg.)
> >>>
> >>> However, given the lack of forward motion in Sibelius and the lack of
> >>> substantive improvements in Finale beyond the automatic stacking of
> >>> articulations, Dorico may well be the future of professional level
> >>> computer notation software.
> >>>
> >>> Just wanted to let you all know,
> >>> David H. Bailey
> >>
> >>
> >> ---
> >> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> >>
> >>
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