To get the best results with the Perfect Layout plug-in it's important to use Finale®'s expression categories correctly.
The same goes for Finale®'s other default categories:
1.) Dynamics/Niente Circle
: Keep dynamics only in a category with the keyword "Dynamics" (or Dynamik or dynamiques or dinamiche from the international editions of Finale). It's also possible to combine words like "Percussion dynamics" or "Above Staff Dynamics" - as long as the main keyword is found.
2.) Expressive Text
: Expressive text expressions are partially taken into account in alignment. Especially in combination with dynamics or hairpins on the same measure position the expression will be aligned horizontally and/or vertically.
3.) Rehearsal Marks/Tempo Marks/Tempo Alterations
: Elements in these categories are taken into account for vertical and horizontal alignment above the staff. Rehearsal Marks can also be placed at different positions at the beginning of a staff (see alignment tab
4.) Technique Text
: Expressions in this category are not
5.) "Cue"-Keyword (user-defined)
: see Layer/Cues tab
6.) "In Parts Only"-Keyword (user-defined)
: see Reset/Hide tab
If you use expressions with numbers
only, the plug-in can move them into the Rehearsal Marks category, if these options are checked.
Numbers with rectangular expressions can be automatically moved (Option "Move Number Expressions with Non-Circular Enclosure to Rehearsal Mark Category
"). Numbers with circular enclosures are typically fingerings and will not be moved automatically.
Measure number expressions can also be moved automatically: the plug-in compares the expression number with the measure that the expression is used in and if it fits, it will be moved (Option "Move Measure Number Expressions to Rehearsal Marks Category
For best alignment use as less expressions in one measure position as possible
E.g. "più f" or "pp sub." should be a single expression. The horizontal alignment (not centered as in standard dynamics, but left- or right-aligned) is automatically applied in these cases.
The same goes for tempo marks and rehearsal texts:
If you have for example the four above staff lines "M" (=Letter M), "Andante", "q=100" and "Verse" don't use four expressions on top of each other, but only two: use the rehearsal mark M plus a single expression for the text.
The Perfect Layout plug-in has a few cases where multiple expressions are aligned correctly, but it becomes difficult if it is more than two of the same type.
If you have imported a document through MusicXML
, it performs an automatic category assignment if the whole score is processed with the Perfect Layout plug-in:
If the plug-in detects typical keywords, it suggests to move the expressions to the corresponding category.
This works very good with dynamic expressions and also with a few standard expressions from the other categories. But especially if you use less common or foreign texts, the automatic category detection does not work.
In this case it is important that you move the expressions to the correct category before applying the plug-in. Otherwise not all features will work.