Customizing Finale Shortcuts using Metatools

What are Metatools?

Finale has a number of tool specific shortcuts that are used to assign markings using single key + mouse click combination. These are called Metatools. For example, using the Staff Tool, Slash Notation can be added simply by selecting a number of measures, then single clicking on the bars while holding down the letter S on your keyboard. Another example, would be to add Rehearsal Letters, by choosing the Expression Tool, then single clicking while simultaneously holding down the M key.

You can easily view the Metatools for a selected tool from it's dialog menu. Here with the Expression Tool, we can see the various Metatool key commands for dynamic markings in the top right of the box for each individual marking. Note, not all Markings have Metatools assigned, only ththosee commonly used

Expression Tool Selection Dialog 

Programming Metatools

In one of our workshops this fall, someone inquired as to how you can edit Metatools. The process for the Expression Tool is to open the selection dialog, select the marking you'd like to add a shortcut too, then press Shift + (Your Selected Key).

For example, let's say I'd rather use Measure Numbers for rehearsal markings than Rehearsal Letters in my piece. I want to add the Measure Number rehearsal marks quickly and easily, but there is no Metatool assigned by default for numbers. Let's say I want to reassign the default Metatool which is the letter M. To do so, I open the dialog, select the <Measure Number> marking then press Shift + M. The measure number marking is added to the score and the new Metatool is ready to use. 

Metatool Animation

The letter M is now reassigned and will add Measure Numbers to my piece when I single click holding down the M key. 

As a final note, Metatools are saved only in the specific document you are working on. Customized and reassigned Metatools will be retained when you re-open a saved document. If you create a new document, even if Finale remains open in the same session, the Metatools do not carry over.

To learn about other available Metatools and how to customize them, check out this page.



Training Subject
Finale Notation
Creative Technology Center Knowledge base
Last modified
Thu, Apr 14th 2022