One way to save lots of time with Perfect Layout is to do "batch processing". For example if you have a huge score and many extracted parts and you want to process it overnight, this is the solution.
Attention: this is technique is a bit advanced, so take your time in reading this short tutorial.
There are several ways to achieve this:
1.) JW Lua has its own batch processing function.
2.) Write your own JW Lua script that loads documents (for example in one folder) and applies the plug-in.
3.) Finale Script can also call Perfect Layout as it is available in Finale's plug-in menu structure.
We will describe the first solution ("JW Lua") here.
a.) Select the correct plug-in settings
First you need to make sure that the correct plug-in options are selected.
You can't select different settings for each file - all will use the same settings.
So run the plug-in on a short test document (e.g. a single staff default file, so that you don't have to wait too long) and set all Perfect Layout options as you need them for the batch processing. The settings are automatically saved when you apply the plug-in and will appear again the next time you call the plug-in.
But ALSO SAVE THESE SETTINGS MANUALLY by selecting "Save As
": you need to restore your settings later after the batch processing has been finished.
b.) Hide the user dialogs
Batch processing means processing without any interruption through user dialogs. So you need to hide all user dialogs first.
(1) Gold Edition
In the Gold edition it's easy: go to the "General" tab and check "Bypass All Warning Dialogs
", "Bypass All Plug-in Cancel Dialogs
" and "Bypass Main Dialog
JW Lua's own batch processing function doesn't save the files after processing.
To have this automated check on the "General Settings" tab "Save Document Automatically After Prcoessing with 'PL' ending".
This step should be done DIRECTLY AFTER you have saved all other settings with "Save as" in the previous step. Then click on "ok" to fix these settings internally (and start the plug-in).
(2) Silver Edition
In the Silver edition this feature is officially not supported, but you can hack it at your own risk:
Open the Perfect Layout settings file JALAYOUB.ini (Silver400) or JALAYOUH.ini (Silver) in your Finale configuration folder (e.g. for Finale 2014 it is c:\users\YOURNAME\appdata\roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 2014.5).
Then search for the entries "BypassAllPluginCancelDialogs
" and "SaveDocToPL
" and set their value to "true
" (instead of "false
"). Then save the file.
c.) Run the batch processing
1.) Open all the files that you want to have processed in Finale.
2.) Instead of calling ES Perfect Layout
in Finale's plug-in menu, click on JW Lua
in the same menu folder and go to the "Explorer
3.) In the tree "Menu" select ES Perfect Layout
, then click on "Run Multi..." (see image 3a).
4.) In "Selected Regions
" select "Always Select Full Document as a Region
" (in batch processing mode the plug-in always processes the whole document).
5.) Click on "All
" to select and process all files, then click on "Run
" (see image 3b).
Now all files will be processed.
d.) Restore the user dialogs
Delete the settings file JALAYOUB.ini (Silver400) or JALAYOUH.ini (Silver) in your Finale configuration folder (e.g. for Finale 2014 it is c:\users\YOURNAME\appdata\roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 2014.5).
If the .ini file is missing, the plug-in will create a new one with the default settings.
If you have made a copy of your settings file, you can also either rename it to JALAYOUB/JALAYOUH.ini or load it when you run the plug-in the next time.
Image 3a: Batch Processing with JW Lua
Image 3b: Select the files for batch processing
Finale might crash during the batch processing: we have been using batch processing on a daily basis now for three years for testing the plug-in with our ca. 11.000 Finale test documents.
It's likely that after some time, a Finale crash will occur. We assume that it has to do with a missing memory garbage collection that we can't influence.
This crash can occur at any time. It seems to depend on the complexity, size and number of files: the smaller the files, the more will be processed.
Our experience with our own JW Lua batch processing script is that up to ca. 2500 files can be processed, if they are rather small (less than 200kB).
But only very few (ca. 10-30) can be processed if they are huge (>5 MB).
If such a crash occurs, it doesn't mean that your original document can't be processed. Just remove the files that have already been processed and start the batch processing again. It will ALWAYS work like this.