Large Brackets in Finale

If you need to create large brackets that span multiple staves, using the default fonts may not be a good idea as they look too fat at that size:

Image 1:Standard large brackets

So you either need to create your own bracket shapes with Finale's Shape Designer, use vertical slurs or 3rd party fonts. Here are some font recommendations for thin large brackets:


Image 2: Large bracket fonts

The two XITS Math brackets above are the most flexible brackets and can be scaled to any size and thickness.
They are built of multiple elements: one at the top, one or several in the middle and one at the bottom.
Make sure to reduce the line spacing when building the expression, otherwise you will see gaps between the elements (see image 3).
If you use the curly middle element, add a some space before the other elements, otherwise they won't align.
A Finale library with two XITS Math brackets can be downloaded here (the free XITS Math font must be installed!).

Image 3: The XITS Math bracket elements

If you're looking for alternative text fonts with thin large brackets, search for fonts with the tags condensed, ultra light, tall, thin or hairline.

The last bracket in the image 2 is a vertical Finale slur. Better use them with caution as they behave differently from expressions or articulations and are sometimes a bit awkward to assign to note clusters.
If you prefer the slur or even the piano brace look, you can also use Finale's Shape Designer and add the curves, slurs or brackets as scalable vector elements (Image 4).

Image 4: Scalable slurs in Finale's Shape Designer

These fonts are available for free:
  • MusikDingsSerif
  • Chaconne/Kousaku (comes with the Japanese Finale release)
  • OstrichSans-Light
  • Lato Hairline
  • XITS Math
  • Links to all fonts can be found on our Music Font Links page.

    Large square brackets can be easily created with Finale's custom line tool (Image 5).
    You can adjust the thickness and hook lengths in the dialog, and the size when placing the bracket on the score.
    Small square brackets (e.g. for string double stop markings) are also available in Finale's EngraverFontSet font.

    Image 5: Square brackets created with the custom line tool


    (c) 2014-2017 Jan Angermüller