Join Rick Schmunk for an in-depth discussion in this video Score formatting: Size and spacing, part of Finale 2014 Essential Training.
As I enter the notes, expressions, and other musical details into a score, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about how the score looks. I've learned from experience that if you start adjusting things as you create the score, you'll likely end up moving them again later, to accommodate something else. So, please go ahead and open up the 806 format start file. So, the first thing that I'll do when I get ready to start formatting a score is take a look at how the note size and staff size and those kinds of elements look on the page.
As I said to you in an earlier video, those musical elements are sized based upon a folio page size. Which is actually 9 by 12. And often times the notes sizes and other things like that end up looking a little bit big on the page when you actually print it. So, we can adjust that by using the Percentage tool. So, I'll enable that by clicking the tool up on the main tool palette and remember that you can change the size of things like a note by clicking on a note. And choosing a different percentage or clicking in a staff which will resize the entire staff.
Or the one that I like to use a lot is to click in the upper left hand corner of a page and resize the entire page. Now, in this case, I'm going to do it page one through the end of the piece. And to get this to be more in line with what we would like to see on an 8 and a half by 11 page size, I usually resize to 85 to 90%. Let's try 90 here. And I'll click OK. And immediately, it looks like I've got a little bit more room on the page. Things are looking pretty good. Now I can scroll up and down.
And that's looking a lot more the way I want it to look when I go ahead and print this. Okay, so next thing I might do is set the number of measures per line. Now, if I look at the first system here I've got multi chorder notes and things like that so four measures plus the first thing complete measure look okay and on the next line it's four. And as we start moving to the second page, I'm seeing things like 16th and 32nd notes, so it's getting a little bit busier, so three measures per line looks good there.
Now, I'm actually going to zoom back out so I can see more of the score at the same time. So I'm going to use the key command Cmd+-, that would be Ctrl+- on a PC, and this way I can see the entire page, and I can actually see about three pages simultaneously. Looks like three measures per line's looking good. I've only got two here on the second system. And so I'm going to want to make a change there. Now, I can just go to the Selection tool and go to the next page and click the first measure there and use my arrow key to move that up but I might end up with similar problem all the way to the end with not having the right number of measures.
So, I'm going to actually going to Shift select that first measure and then I'm going to use a key command to select everything to the end of the score. And on a Mac that would be Shift+Cmd+End. And on a PC that would be Shift+Ctrl+End. Okay, now I'll go up to the Utilities menu and I'm going to choose Fit Measures. And I'm going to choose this Lock layout with three measures per system. And now I can kind of page or scroll through the score real quickly. Just double check. It's looking good. Good. Good. This might be a little bit crowded, but it's looking okay so far.
That looks good. Got a problem with that displaying. Let me go Cmd+D to get that to redraw. That would be Ctrl+D on a PC. And then it looks like I've got some empty measures. I'm going to use that key command to select to the end, which is going to be Cmd+Shift+N, Ctrl+Shift+N on a PC and I'll hit my Delete key to get rid of all those empty measure. And now I'm just going to hit the Go to the end button and double check. And it looks like I've got a little bit of crowding going on here. So, I'm actually going to take this measure here at the end of that line and I'm going to press my down arrow to move that down.
And then I'm going to take these two measures, and do the same thing. And move that onto the next page. And that's looking less crowded. That looks a little empty there. But I'm going to put up with that, so that I can get these more evenly spaced as we go to the end of the score. And now that I've got that fixed, I want to take a look at the general spacing between the staves and the systems. So, I'm going to jump to the beginning by hitting this button down here, in the bottom of the window, so I can go to the beginning. As I look at this first system, I'm a little bit crowded up against the top.
So, I'm going to go to the Page Layout tool. I'm going to close that dialog for the moment. And I'm going to click in the middle of that system and just pull it down a little bit till I get a little bit of better spacing between the title information and that first expression. And now that first page is looking pretty good. The systems are nicely distributed across the page. But as I look at the second page, it looks like that first system is crammed up against the top and the other one's more towards the bottom. So, I'm going to click and drag the bottom stave up a little bit.
And I'm going to do that because I know if I start pulling the top system down, I actually might end up pushing this bottom system on to the next page. I'm going to pull this one up a little bit first. And then I'm going to grab and pull down that one. And we're only going to be able to get about two systems per page anyway, so I want to distribute those a little bit more evenly and get the top system away from the top margin here on the page. And that's looking a little bit better. Now, I want to get this layout that I've got in general to flow through to the rest of the pages.
So, I'm going to go onto one of the handles for that system and I'm going to right click on that, and I'm going to choose Edit Margins. Now, in this dialog, the values here are talking about the little dotted lines that are going around that system. So, this top dotted line is almost a quarter of an inch above the top staff. And this one on the bottom is about 3.5 inches from the bottom of that. And then we look at the left and right, and see that they're flush to the margins.
The one that I like to use a lot though is this Distance Between Systems. And that's actually the amount of space that's above a system. And right now, it looks like it's at about 0.43 inches. So I'm going to experiment. And I'm actually going to clear that. And I'm going to type in 0.45, just to get an average. And then I want this to flow through to the rest of the score. So, I'm actually going to say, change system three. And I don't know what the last system is. And so, I'm just going to type 99, because I probably don't have 100 systems in this particular score.
And then I'm going to click Apply. Now, you'll notice that the system on the next page over, it's moved down. And the other systems have lined up accordingly. And that's starting to look pretty uniform and pretty good. Now, I might like to move the bottom systems down a little bit, but that's not a bad place to start. Now, let's just experiment one more time. Let me try doing that with 0.5 inches between systems. And again, I'll go 3 through 99, and I'll click Apply. You'll notice that that one moved down a little bit. And this is looking pretty good as well.
Okay, so this is a, at least a base line to start from. Now, the next thing I want to do is take a look at the spacing between the staves within each system. And, as I look at the first one, it looks pretty good, second one looks pretty good. I get to the third one. I'm starting to get a little bit of problems here between the oboe and the B flat clarinet part. So, I'm going to go to the Staff tool. And when I do that, I get these little positioning handles on the staves. Remember that I can make a global positioning move by clicking out to the left of the staff name.
And that selects that stave for the entire document. And now I can just click and drag on that positioning handle to create a little bit more space between that one and the one above it. So, that looks pretty good, I'm not sure that I want that on the first page, but that definitely looks better on the second page. So, I'm going to Undo that and this time I'm going to do it just for this single system. So, I'm going to click out to the left here just to lose that selection. And this time I'm going to grab the positioning handle on that staff without selecting the entire staff for this entire score.
And I'll just pull that down and notice that it's only changing the amount between this staff and the one above it. Now, by doing that, it's also pushing this down but that's just a result that's going to happen. Okay, so that's looking a little bit better, I'll look at the next system. It looks like there's a little bit of collisions happening in this area, that's a little tight, so I'll pull down the horn part a little bit, create a little more space. And I'll go to the next page. Check that out. That's looking okay. Again, on that system maybe a little bit more room between clarinet and the staff above.
That's okay. The horn is a little tight there. So, you can see that it's just a matter of quickly paging through the score and finding any problems and making some small adjustments. And that's starting to look pretty good. So, now that we've discussed how to set the number of measures per line and how to adjust the distance between staves and systems, you know how to format the basic layout for your scores. In the next video, we'll take a look at how to fine-tune the placement of expressions and smart shapes.
- Creating and opening Finale scores
- Entering and editing notes
- Copying and pasting selections
- Adding lyrics and chord symbols
- Notating music on the grand staff
- Using layers to notate polyphonic music
- Recording notes in real-time
- Working with small and large scores
- Creating and customizing expressions
- Exporting scores
- Scanning music
- Adding audio and video to Finale scores
Skill Level Beginner
What was updated in the course on 01/23/2017?
The following videos and topics were part of the course update: creating large time signatures, Aria Player and Human Playback updates, using ReWire with Pro Tools, using ReWire with Logic, using ReWire with Ableton Live, and XML 3.0 compatibility.