Friday, June 19, 2009

Adding multiple-measure ossias in Finale

There appears to be no way to add multiple-measure ossias in Finale. An ossia measure is an alternate measure, meaning a bar that illustrates a different way of playing a passage, or that suggests how ornaments might be performed, or that explains how "swing" notes should be performed, etc.

Finale has a handy feature called an "ossia tool," but it has two flaws: It only allows you to add a single ossia measure at a time, and it does not include ties. This last is obviously a glitch, and I see they finally fixed it in Finale 2009, although I believe they still don't allow you to add multiple ossia bars (i.e., alternative version of bars 23-25).

The workaround is to create a graphics file of the multiple ossia measures, and paste it in the desired location on the page.

1. Notate the ossia bars somewhere. This could be at the end of your file (i.e., on an extra page), or in a different file. If your ossia bars are on only one staff (as opposed to all staves), you may wish to optimize staff systems for those bars so that only the desired bar is shown (Page Layout Tool/Page Layout Menu). Don't worry about the size; you can adjust that later.

2. Use the Graphics Tool to select the ossia bars (double-click and drag), then choose "Export Selection" from the Graphics menu, and choose the desired format from the dialogue box (EPS, PICT, TIFF; DPI resolution, etc.), and save it to your desired location (some place you can easily find it!). Make sure you choose a very high resolution for best print quality.

3. Go to the page on which the ossia measures will be placed, and choose "Place Graphic" from the Graphics menu (Graphics Tool). It will then ask you to locate the graphics file, and once you do this, click Okay. The ossia measures should show up somewhere on your page; now you just grab the image (click and drag) and position it wherever you wish. If you want to reduce the size, which is common for ossia bars, control-click the graphics image on your page and choose "Edit Graphic Attributes," then enter the desired height and width percentages in the "Scale" section.

• Only thing to add is that this is now attached to your page, so if you change the measures on that page in any way you may have to manually reposition the graphic file.