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Author Topic: Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks  (Read 1027 times)

ShyYoshiGuy

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Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks
« on: January 06, 2019, 03:03:52 AM »

So I’ve heard you’re stuck with Finale NotePad (often nicknamed “NopePad”). NotePad is inherently very annoying, but at least we’ve created several work-arounds here at NSM. There’s no more time to waste, let’s get to it!

Aw man! I can’t figure out how to add tempos!
Oh yes, for some reason, you can’t add tempos in NotePad without some help. Seems kinda like an essential thing, I digress. There’s a solution. Quoted here is Th3Gavst3r’s topic which helps you with that.

The dropbox folder
TheMarioPianist's Thread.

It's time to speed up the arranging process.

Included are Quarter, Dotted Quarter, and Half Note markings ranging 1-300 bpm.
To use them,
1) Go to the dropbox folder and download the template with the time signature your piece starts with.
2) Open it in NotePad, activate the Expression Toolp, and double click on the measure you want to add a tempo marking to.
3) Scroll down through the expressions and select your tempo.
(there are 900 of them you can't miss it)

This method even allows tempo changes in the middle of the piece, which is awesome. Also included are most of the default expressions available in the full version of Finale, such as the Swing! tempo marking, rehearsal marks, extended dynamics options, and more.

Please note: This does not "install" tempo markings into NotePad. The markings will only show up if you are editing one of the template files.

Basically an upgrade to TheMarioPianist's Thread. Good inspiration that.
Thank you Th3Gavst3r!
Note: This will only work if you use his template from the beginning. If you forgot/didn’t-know to use his templates, you can copy your music into the template. (If you don’t know how to do that, read the next part.)

Oh no! I need to copy my sheet into another sheet, but I don’t know how!
Don’t worry. You won’t need to copy every single note individually into the sheet, thankfully. Wow, that’d be a nightmare.

1. Press the “Restore Down Button” in the Finale NotePad program. (There’re six buttons in the top right. Minus, rectangles, x, minus, rectangles, x. Hit the rectangles button in the lower (and smaller) set.)

2. In the “File” tab, select the other file. (If you’re lucky, the file will appear in the set of four files it gives you. If not, use the “Open” command.)
2b. Feel free to re-adjust the tabs. It gets a little crowded.

3. Some of the few keyboard shortcuts NotePad gives you are Ctrl+A, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V (thankfully). Use Ctrl+A with the Selection Tool to select all of the music, or alternatively if you only want to copy one staff or an excerpt highlight it with your cursor. Use Ctrl+X, +C, +V to cut, copy, paste respectively the music into the other sheet.

Oh wait! My measures are too small and all the notes are squished together!
Yeah, that’s a major problem. While this solution isn’t exactly the best, it at least works.

1. Locate the misbehaving measure.
2. Ctrl+X its contents into the clipboard using the Selection Tool.
3. Throw in as many 16th or 32nd notes are required to get the correct spacing (using the Simply Entry tool).
4. Ctrl+V the contents back into the measure.
5. Rinse and Repeat throughout the pesky measures. (Preferably in chronological order in the piece. Generally they tend to fix each other that way.)


There’re probably more “Tips and Tricks” I’ve forgotten to mention. Feel free to correct any mistakes I made (Notepad mistakes as well as grammatical or spelling mistakes), or ask any questions about the frustrating program that is NotePad.


2021 Addendum:
Huh? How am I supposed to do this?
It's highly recommended you arrange the entire piece in MuseScore first and then import into NotePad. Not only because NotePad is unfortunately weirdly annoyingly frustrating to use, but also since NotePad is actually able to import many features that it cannot create itself! (See next section for a list.) To do this:

1. Make the entire arrangement in MuseScore. Don't worry about formatting.
2. On the upper ribbon in Musescore: File > Export... > Save as type: Compressed MusicXML File (*.mxl)
3. On the upper ribbon in NotePad: File > MusicXML > Import...
4. Open a template and immediately change the key signature. (Failure to do so will result in transposing the entire piece)
5. Use Ctrl+A, X, C, V to copy-paste the whole sheet over.

Finally, a list of things you need to remember to change:
 - Song Title and Game Title
 - Composer and Arranger information
 - Copyright:
[Company/ies] © [Year(s)]
https://www.NinSheetMusic.org/
- Tempo
 - Dynamic at beginning
 - Removing stray measures after the end of the piece
 - Ensuring the repeat markings are in order (rarely an issue)

Hold on! Is this even possible in NotePad?
Things you 100% cannot do:
 - Spacing, formatting, system distribution, page distribution, any of that
 - Change time or key signatures
 - Change staves (Add, remove, modify, change clef)
 - Pickup measures
 - Compilation sheets
 - Tremolos (Importing these gave me an error message last I checked)
If any of these need changing, either wait for an Updater to do so in submissions or (in the case of signatures) use this thread to ask for a template file (or to make changes if you've already imported).

Things you can do only through importing from MuseScore:
 - Grace notes
 - Courtesy accidentals
 - First and second repeats
 - Transpose (easily, anyway)
 - Paste half, double duration
For these, this is where your original in MuseScore comes in handy. It's best to copy entire measures instead of individual parts. So, for each measure you'd like to modify, make sure both files match. Make all the changes you'd like (adding a grace note, making a certain section go up a semitone, etc.), convert the file to .mus (process in previous section), and copy the given measures into the new sheet.

Things you can surprisingly actually do:
 - Beaming (Use the / key to part/unite the selected note with the previous note)
 - Slurs (Use the Slur Tool (Metatool: 'S'))
 - Layers (1 2 3 4 in the bottomleft)
 - Tempos & Swing (Appear in the Expression Toolp upon opening Th3Gavst3r/TheMarioPianist/Olimar12345's templates shown in the first section)

For this last section here, I'd really appreciate anyone telling me what other things you 100% can't do, can import, and can do within NotePad.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 08:31:05 PM by ShyYoshiGuy »
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Brawler4Ever

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Re: Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 06:39:19 AM »

Oh no! I need to copy my sheet into another sheet, but I don’t know how!

Some other tips for this section: Ctrl+A is select all. When you do that, it automatically selects all of your staves, allowing you to easily copy and paste. You can also select "Select All" under Edit.

You also have the option of selecting the entirety of a single staff. Just left-click to the left of the staff before the cleft sign, or on the cleft sign. You can also hold shift and select the left side of the other staff (in a piano arrangement) as another method of selecting the entire sheet, minus miscellaneous text.

Oh wait! My measures are too small and all the notes are squished together!

If I'm thinking of the right thing, another solution for this issue is using a dotted whole note. Put that anywhere in the measure in question and it should automatically spread it out. This will work on almost any arrangement, depending on the Time Signature. If it's 6/4 or something like that, you might have an issue. If it's 4/4 or 3/4, then you won't actually be able to put the note in the measure (which is good). You'll get an error ding but the measure will fix itself.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 06:52:44 AM by Brawler4Ever »
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ShyYoshiGuy

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Re: Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 07:10:16 AM »

Thank you for your feedback, I was getting a little worried there. Ok, I didn’t know you could do either of those things, that’s cool. I’ll edit the OP accordingly tomorrow. I also noticed some mistakes on my part, so I’ll fix those too.
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LeviR.star

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Re: Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 01:34:23 PM »

Finale NotePad (often nicknamed “Nopepad”)

Not really, but it can stick.
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ShyYoshiGuy

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Re: Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 02:40:48 AM »

You can also hold shift and select the left side of the other staff (in a piano arrangement) as another method of selecting the entire sheet, minus miscellaneous text.
If I'm thinking of the right thing, another solution for this issue is using a dotted whole note. Put that anywhere in the measure in question and it should automatically spread it out. This will work on almost any arrangement, depending on the Time Signature. If it's 6/4 or something like that, you might have an issue. If it's 4/4 or 3/4, then you won't actually be able to put the note in the measure (which is good). You'll get an error ding but the measure will fix itself.

I don't know what you mean with these. I tested both of them and neither worked.

Edited the OP, sorry for taking too long.
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ShyYoshiGuy

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Re: Finale NotePad: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 08:32:03 PM »

I've added a 2021 Addendum. Just includes a little more of the process.
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