FAQ

Installation

  • Finale® 2014, 2014.5 or Finale® 25 for 64bit Windows 7, 8, 10 (MacOS is not supported in the first release, but is to be supported in the next release)
  • Windows Powershell must be installed (usually is in Windows)
  • Minimum 4 GB RAM, for huge orchestra scores exceeding about 20.000 frame assignments 8-12 GB RAM and Finale® 25/64bit are required, otherwise the plug-in may run out of memory.
  • About 70-100 MB of free hard drive space, plus space for the font annotation files dependent on the number of fonts that are installed
  • For the installation you need a user with administration rights
  • Internet connection during the installation and update process, and an email address to receive the activation code or an installed email program to request the activation code.
  • Internet connection for accessing the online documentation.
  • The faster the processor speed, the faster the plug-in (see this comparison). The plug-in is single-threaded, so multiple cores do not speed up the processing.
  • Data Privacy: For the activation and license validation of the software the following data will be stored on our servers: license key, registration name, registration email address, number of activations and deactivations, date of activation. During the activation process an anonymous computer ID will also be transferred, but not stored.
  • We have tested the French edition of Finale® 2014 and the German edition of Finale® 25 and both worked fine. So we assume that the other versions will do too.
    Make sure to have the "Configuration Files" folder set to Finale®'s default "Configuration Files" or "Konfigurationsdateien" (German version) as the Perfect Layout plug-in doesn't detect other configuration folders at the moment.
    This value can be set in Edit->Preferences->Folders->Configuration Files.
    No, it isn't. The plug-in was developed with JW Lua, but it can be used like and feels like any other Finale plug-in.
    The user won't see JW Lua when using the Perfect Layout.
    It appears in Finale's plug-in folder and everything is installed automatically with the installer.


    Image 6: After the installation the plug-in automatically appears in Finale's Elbsound JW Lua plug-in folder.
    Double-click the PerfectLayoutSetup.exe file to start the installation. The installation software will guide you through the installation process.
    No manual adjustments have to be made in Finale® after the installation.

    The installation takes about 3-9 minutes dependent on the computer speed and the number of components installed. It is highly recommended to install all components to have access to all plug-in features.
    You will receive the license key in the order confirmation from the online shop.
    Look for "license key" in the email.
    These seven files must be in the Finale/Plug-ins/Elbsound JW Lua folder after installation.
    By default for Finale 25 it's located at c:\program files\Finale\Plug-ins\Elbsound JW Lua.
    The blackened areas are different dependent on the Finale and plug-in version.


    This is how the Windows Elbsound.studio/Perfect Layout folder should look after the installation.
    By default it's located at c:\program files (x86)\Elbsound.studio\Perfect Layout.
    The ending of the JALAYOU... files is different on the Gold/Silver editions.

    Node.js is required for reading the metrics of .otf (open type) fonts.
    If it is not installed, only .ttf (true type) fonts are supported.
    The installation of all components takes about 2 - 5 minutes.
    The installation has finished when the screen says: "Click Finish to Exit the Perfect Layout Plugin Wizard." - then click on "Finish" and start Finale®.
    Don't interrupt the installation process with a process kill through the task manager or a computer reset (use the "Back" button or the right top corner "x" instead). Otherwise your plug-in activation may get corrupted and you will probably have to contact our support.
    Yes. It is required to activate and register the plug-in and to download the Finale® plug-in interface "JW Lua" which is not included in the package.
    Internet access is also required for updating the plug-in and for deactivating it.

    Did you uninstall the Elbsound package or the plug-in right before you started the installer?
    Unfortunately this doesn't work - probably because of a problem with Windows font cache.
    You need to restart Windows before reinstalling the plug-in and the Elbsound Music Font Package. Otherwise the fonts may not be registered correctly.
    If you have problems with installed/uninstalled fonts, another solution is to remove the Windows font cache file (c:\windows\system32\fntcache.dat). If you delete this file and restart Windows, it will be recreated which also very often fixes font issues on Windows.

    Use the maintenancetool.exe with administration rights (Right-click with the mouse and select "Run as Admin"). See "How do I install an update of the plug-in".
    The file can usually be found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Elbsound.studio\Perfect Layout.
    The uninstallation process usually takes about one to five minutes.
    During the uninstallation you must explicitly confirm that you also want to uninstall AutoHotKey and Node.js. Otherwise they won't be uninstalled.
    No, as in every standard software you will only get the compiled binary which can not be edited.
    You can activate the plug-in on one computer.
    On that computer the plug-in is available to all Windows users.
    It will automatically be installed in all Finale® versions (starting from Fin2014).
    The Elbsound Music Fonts Package can be installed on any computer.


    Updates

    New updates can be installed through the maintenancetool.exe file in the Elbsound.studio folder (typically: c:\programme (x86)\Elbsound.studio\Perfect Layout\maintenancetool.exe). Make sure that you start the maintenance tool with admin rights (right-click the file with the mouse and select "Run as Administrator").

    The updater tool checks if new updates for the plug-in or its other components are available in the online repository and will automatically install them, if you wish to. You need to close all Finale® programs before updating the files.

    The plug-in can automatically check if a new update is available (Option "General->Automatically Check for Plug-in Updates"). To save time this check is not performed each time you run the plug-in, but only from time to time.
    If you want to check it yourself, you can click the "Check for Updates Now!" button on the General settings page.

    The maintenancetool.exe must also be used for uninstalling the plug-in.

    Processing Speed

    Lua is a fast script language, but it is unfortunately much slower than optimized and compiled programming languages like C++. Here are a few tips for comfortable working with the Perfect Layout plug-in:

    a.) Use a fast PC! Recommended are overclocked PCs above 4,0 GHz. They don't need to have many cores, the plug-in (and Finale®) can only use one core. Not recommended are energy-saving variable speed laptop processors (like Intel's N4200) that operate on a very low basic frequency (e.g. 1.10 GHz): see speed comparison.

    b.) Fine-tuning the plug-in settings:
    If you want to experiment with the plug-in's settings on a larger score, test it on a reduced score first. Remove all linked parts and in the score keep only the first page (or the first two pages), save again with a new file name. Now experiment with the plug-in in this reduced document. If you have the right settings, load the original file and apply the plug-in again.

    c.) Running the plug-in:
    - Follow the "How to Use" guide and don't do any unnecessary manual adjustments before running the plug-in.
    - Finale® creates linked parts by default. If you don't use them, delete the parts before running the plug-in. This will decrease the processing time about 40%.
    - If you have expression libraries with more than 500 or even 1000 expressions, it is recommended to delete all unused expression definitions. (Go to "Show All" in Expression Designer dialog and then select all (!) an click on "Delete". When asked "One or more of these itemes is currently in use in the score. Are you sure you want these items removed?" click on "No". This will only remove the unused expressions.)
    - If you have a huge score, run the plug-in overnight.
    - If you run the plug-in on multiple instances of Finale® at the same time (e.g. 2014, 2014.5, v25), this slows down processing slightly (ca. 10%).
    - Clear your temporary files folder from time to time (e.g. c:\windows\temp and/or c:\Users\XXXX\AppData\Local\Temp). If you have 40.000 files in your temp folder, then the plug-in becomes slower. You can also create a dedicated temporary files folder for Finale (Edit->Preferences->Folders->Temporary Files).
    - If you have openend Finale® some time ago (maybe a day or even longer), the plug-in processing can be much faster if you close Finale® and restart it before running the plug-in (up to 30% faster).
    - While waiting for the plug-in's results, you can do other stuff on your computer. If you have installed other versions of Finale, you can use them.
    No, you don't. But it is more fun on a fast computer. The number of CPU cores doesn't matter. Only the GHz frequency counts. Here you can see how fast the Perfect Layout plug-in performed on the "ES Perfect Layout Demo.musx":

    Windows 10, Laptop (from 2017, 8 GB, 1.1 GHz, N4200 CPU -> very slow):
    Finale® 2014.5 JW Lua plug-in processing time: 31,6 seconds

    Windows Vista, Laptop (from 2009, 3 GB, 2,5 GHz, P9500, AMD Radeon 3400):
    Single-threaded benchmark: 1145
    Finale® 2014.5 JW Lua plug-in processing time: 16,8 seconds

    Windows 10, PC (from 2013, 32 GB, 3.3 GHz, i3960, AMD Radeon 5450):
    Single-threaded benchmark: 1928
    Finale® 2014.5 JW Lua plug-in processing time: 12,6 seconds

    Windows 10, Laptop (from 2017, 32 GB, 4.4 GHz, i8700, NVidia GTX 1060):
    Single-threaded benchmark: 2815
    Finale® 2014.5 JW Lua plug-in processing time: 7,1 seconds

    The processing speed for Finale® 25 is the same.

    If the plug-in had been programmed in C++ (Finale's programming language), we assume that this task would have taken less than 1 second on any of these computers.
    MakeMusic (the makers of Finale®) have decided to not give the Finale® PDK (which is needed for development of Finale plug-ins) to new developers like Elbsound.studio. Only the three known developers (Jari Williamsson, Robert Patterson and Tobias Giessen) still have access to the PDK.
    So we had to use JW Lua, a plug-in interface for Finale® designed by Jari Williamsson which is based on the programming language Lua. JW Lua is a fantastic platform. But if the Perfect Layout plug-in had been developed directly in Jari Williamsson's Finale C++ framework, it probably would have been 20-100 times faster.
    Hopefully MakeMusic will change their policy in the future, so that also the processing speed becomes "perfect".
    There are four reasons for this behaviour:
    a.) General checks which take quite some processing time are independent on the selected region (like an installed fonts check, creating font metrics files or checking for expression categories)
    b.) The plug-in never only works on one measure, but also analyzes the surrounding measures and staves.
    c.) The larger and more complex a score, Finale® seems to become exponentially slower.
    d.) Especially the page update function takes a lot of time on large scores: it can take more than a minute - and this is called several times.
    (This is also the reason why calling the plug-in on a part is much faster than calling it on a single staff in an orchestra score.)
    e.) The plug-in is not yet fully optimized for sub-regions.

    So processing one measure in a huge score might take more than 10 seconds, while the same measure in a small score takes less than a second.
    There seems to be a little memory leak in the JW Lua PDK, in the Finale® PDK or in Finale.
    Just restart Finale® and the plug-in will be fast again.
    The main dialog shows a rough estimation of the plug-in processing time:

    The first time the plug-in is applied, the estimation isn't that good as it doesn't know yet how fast the computer is. The more the plug-in is used the more exact the estimation will be as it compares each time the estimation with the resulting time and updates its factors. The larger the score, the better the estimation. For only a few selected measures, the estimation is usually not very good.

    Hairpins

    This is an old Finale® bug.
    The Perfect Layout plug-in creates hairpins that look correct when printed to PDF, but which might look faulty in Finale®.


    Image 2 Left: The hairpin goes through the niente expressions (Finale® View).
                Right: The hairpin stops below the niente expressions (PDF View).


    Image 3 Left: The hairpin has a soft tip (Finale® View).
                Right: The hairpin has an angular tip (PDF View).
    Usually this not should occur (so if you encounter this, please contact support).
    There are however five cases where this can happen:
    a.) the dynamic expressions were placed in the wrong expression category (e.g. "Miscellaneous" instead of "Dynamics")
    b.) the hairpin and/or the expression are attached to other measure positions than what they visually seem to be attached to ("ambiguous assignment").
    c.) the dynamics use an unsupported music font
    d.) the font annotation files are missing for the music font of the dynamic expression
    e.) the dynamics are applied as articulations instead of expressions

    The first problem (a) is automatically fixed by the plug-in, if the whole document is selected in "Score View" when applying the plug-in.
    The second problem (b) is automatically solved in many cases, but not in all (see image 4).


    Image 4: Ambiguous assignment of hairpins and expressions: the expressions are both attached to the left note, while the hairpin's start and end points are both connnected to the right note

    Problem c) can be solved by only using supported music fonts (see Supported Music Fonts).
    Create the missing font annotation files to solve problem d) (Preferences->Edit->Font Annotation, then select the font and click on Auto Annotate All and then Save).
    Always use expressions to apply dynamics - never use articulations for this.

    Other

    The Lua programming language is very limited and many functions required to run the plug-in are not accessible through Lua, but through the Microsoft Windows console (the "Black Window").
    Unfortunately it's not possible to hide this window, so it might look a bit irritating at first.
    The window is used for example for reading the font metrics.


    Image 5: Several black window pop up during the initialization of the plug-in
    The Finale® window is minimized during the processing as otherwise the automatic redraw functions of Finale® would slow down the plug-in processing dramatically (about 3 times slower).
    Usually this should not occur.
    However some situations were reported that involved several instances of different Finale® versions being open at the same time (Finale® 2014, 2014.5 and 25) and running several Perfect Layout plug-ins and one plug-in terminates unexpectedly.
    Sometimes warning messages for missing fonts also didn't make the window reappear.

    Should you notice an unexpectedly long processing time (e.g. the progress bar doesn't change for several minutes), simply maximize the Finale® window manually by clicking on the Finale® symbol in the task list at the bottom of your screen.
    JW Lua is a free plug-in development environment for Finale® developed by Jari Williamsson. It uses the original Finale® plug-in development kit (PDK) and gives an interface to develop plug-ins in the programming language Lua.
    The advantages of JW Lua compared to the original Finale® PDK are:
    - easy to learn
    - easy access to all Finale® functions
    - it doesn't need any other software for running the programs in Finale® (compiler, software development kit, etc.)
    - simple Finale® plug-ins can be written within a few minutes
    - platform compatible (MacOS/Windows)
    - as the original Finale® PDK isn't available anymore to the public, this is currently the only way to develop plug-ins for Finale®.

    The disadvantages are:
    - it is very slow
    - the programming language is limited, so operating system functions are difficult to access and make complex development difficult.


    Image 6: JW Lua development window

    More info:
    Documentation: http://jwmusic.nu/jwplug-ins/wiki/doku.php?id=jw_lua
    Interface docs: http://www.finaletips.nu/frameworkref/annotated.php
    JW Lua Mailing List: http://jwmusic.nu/mailman/listinfo/jwlua_jwmusic.nu
    Download: https://www.finaletips.nu/index.php/download/category/28-beta-version
    Free Plug-in Scripts: https://elbsound.studio/jw-lua-scripts.php
    Open JW Lua (Plug-ins->JW Lua->JW Lua) and click on the "Development" tab (see image 6 above). Then click on the file name (left to Plug-in Def...) and select <Open...>.


    Image 7: JW Lua Open File

    Navigate to your Finale® program folder and go to the sub-folder Plug-ins\JW Lua
    (e.g. C:\Program Files\Finale25\Plug-ins\JW Lua or c:\Program Files\Finale 2014\Plug-ins\JW Lua). Then select "ES Perfect Layout (for Menu).lua" and click on "Open" ("Öffnen" in the image below).

    Image 8: Select the file and click on "Open"

    Start the plug-in script by clicking on Run script or press Alt-R.


    Image 9: Starting the script
    The progress bar shows the progress of the plug-in.

    The major steps are called:
    - Initialization (e.g. Preparation for the user dialog)
    - Checking Expression Categories
    - General Preparation (e.g. Font metrics creation, font availability, check for invalid or weird smart shape connections, etc.)
    - Preparing and Resetting Parts (e.g. calculation of the start metrics, reset/hide/clear the start positions, MMRest reation, rest minimization)
    - Processing Parts (e.g. remove collisions, vertical and horizontal alignment and do most of the other features)
    - Optimizing Systems Distances (Staff and system balancing)
    - Finalization (e.g. checks that no staves have disappeared or were accidentally shifted to the next page)

    The progress bar is increased after each task that has been completed.
    It doesn't take into account that some function take much longer than others.
    For example "Processing Parts" has about 100 sub tasks: while some take only a few milliseconds, others may need a few seconds or even minutes.
    As the progress bar is not connected directly to Finale® (but through AutoHotKey and some .log files), it has a delay of up to 0.5 seconds.

    In Finale® 2014/2014.5 the progress bar can also show a red alert message when there is a huge probability that the file is too big for processing under 32bit. If the Perfect Layout crashes a bit later, then you need Finale® 25 to process the file with the Perfect Layout plug-in.

    I have noticed unoptimized or faulty expression positions and/or the vertical staff spacing is too wide.
    The plug-in has a few rules dedicated to "2-staff systems" used for example in piano, harp or accordeon notation.
    But it only works if the system is detected correctly. To be detected:
    a.) The two staves must be grouped (Staff->Group and Bracket->Add Bracket, will be automatically added when creating it through the Score Manager or the Document Setup Wizard)
    b.) You need to either give it the proper instrument name in the score; or the proper group name; or the proper staff name or abbreviation; or a piano group bracket together with the same MIDI channel; or the proper instrument ID or playback sound (see image 10).
    Make sure these are given to both staves.
    If a) and any of b) is detected, the rules will apply automatically.


    Image 10: Score Manager


    Image 11: The left dynamic expression is not automatically centered, the right one is

    The plug-in only corrects the layout, if it is very likely that this is what the engraver wanted.
    In the left image it's a bit unclear, if the mf was supposed to be below the first or the second note, although it's attached to the second.
    The Perfect Layout only centers the expression, if the horizontal offset is below the thresholds defined in the Reset/Hide settings of the plug-in:
    a.) Reset Horizontal Position of Dynamics Until Maximum Horizontal Offset: the default value is 57 EVPU.
    b.) dito., Max. Horizontal Reset Offset for Whole or Dotted Notes: the default value is 85 EVPU.
    To check the current offset, right-click on the expression, select Edit Expression Assignment and look at the horizontal offset value.
    (In the left image below the horizontal offset is -60 EVPU, so it was 3 EVPU above the threshold.)

    Technique text expressions are currently not part of the collision removal process, because it is more difficult to define their best position. Usually they don't have such a fixed position as for example dynamic expressions have. Hopefully they will be included in a future release.
    However they are included in other collision detection processes: e.g. the vertical alignment of tempo marks or the vertical staff spacing takes them into account.

    A collision detection for these symbols is currently not supported by the plug-in.
    The same goes for tuplet numbers and alurs.
    As slurs currently can't be changed through the JW Lua interface, it would only be possible to automatically shift tuplet brackets, but not to correct the slurs.
    Yes, this is possible. If you apply the Perfect Layout plug-in after the Realbook Plug-in, make sure the following options are unchecked - otherwise the spacing and/or measure layout might get messy:
    - Optimize->Always Apply Music (Re-)Spacing to Full Document Before Processing
    - Optimize->Always Respace If Chords Found
    There is one scenario known where this occurs:
    from time to time (ca. every 100-1000 call of the plug-in) the measure number region preparation function crashes for a yet unknown reason. It's listed as a JW Lua bug. Should Finale® crash, please check the log file of the plug-in which can be found in the Finale® configuration folder (e.g. C:\Users\XXX\AppData\Roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 2014).
    The plug-in creates two log files:
    JALAOUX.log: Includes the texts for the progress bar
    ES Perfect Layout.log: Includes a more detailed description of what the plug-in has done including warning messages.

    If the last entry in "ES Perfect Layout.log" is "Checking Measure Number Regions", then the known measure number region bug has occured. Simply restart Finale® and run the plug-in again. It won't crash again unless the Finale® document was indeed corrupted.
    BTW, this is a reason why you must always save a Finale® document before running any plug-in.

    Should the last entry be different, please contact support to let them analyze the crash. The problem can probably only be fixed if you also submit the Finale® document.
    No, as this is very likely to be more than 100.000 items in a huge score which would be difficult to read.
    But the plug-in provides a log file which includes those items where it detected problems, discovered untypical mistakes or where it moved items (expressions, articulations, hairpins) more than "just a little bit".
    The log file can be found at Finale®'s configuration folder (e.g. C:\Users\XXX\AppData\Roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 2014). The file is named "ES Perfect Layout.log".

    This is the log file of the ES Perfect Layout Demo.musx document.
    Note: Normally there is less info in the log file, but the ES Perfect Layout Demo document includes many critical scenarios, so there are more warning messages than usually.

    Initialization, Elapsed time: 0.07

    Starting ProgressBar
    Current Document Filename:D:\eigene dateien\musik\jw lua\page layout test3.musx
    File name: D:\eigene dateien\musik\jw lua\page layout test3.musx, Elapsed time: 1.66
    Initialization, Elapsed time: 0.00
    The current settings are:
    Reflow Measures: Only Within Systems
    Reflow Systems Across Pages: Deactivated
    Manual Positioning is set to: Incorporate

    Starting MinimizeFinaleWindow
    Starting Dialogs, Elapsed time: 1.07
    Creating Staff Style: BlankNtnWRests -OthNotes -Art -Expr -Lyr -SmaSh -OthLyr...
    Checking Expression Categories, Elapsed time: 0.00
    General Preparations, Elapsed time: 0.00
    Dialogs finished, Elapsed time: 0.00
    Preparation and Resetting started, Elapsed time: 0.00
    Font metrics file must be created for Helvetica
    Loading the font 'Helvetica'... not successful. Using the metrics from the font 'Arial' instead.
    Font metrics file must be created for Times
    Expression changed from measure 54/4096 to measure 55/0 (Staff: 1/"Violin I ").
    Duplicate identical Expression 7 deleted in measure 54 position 0 in staff "Violin I " (ExprID:7).
    Layer 2 moved to layer 1 in staff "Violin I "(1), measure 9.
    Layer 2 moved to layer 1 in staff "Violin I "(1), measure 7.
    Hairpin vertical line removed in measure 5, position 0 (Staff 1 "Violin I "). Its start and end points were connected to the same measure position.
    Slur replaced with tie in part 0/Score, staff 1/"Violin I ", measure 23 (Slur item number: 3188).
    Preparation finished, Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Resetting score and parts, Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Preparing and Resetting Part: 0 (Score, Staff: 1 / "Violin I ", Slot: 1, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.01
    Articulation removed from rest: ID 1 in measure 18 position 2048 staff 1/"Violin I ".
    Articulation removed from rest: ID 3 in measure 32 position 2048 staff 1/"Violin I ".
    'Open tie' removed in measure 13 position 1024 in staff "Violin I ".
    Expression 3 on staff 1 ("Violin I ") was attached beyond measure duration (old position measure 6 / 5000 EDUs). It is now assigned to measure 6 / 4032 EDUs.
    Duplicate articulation removed in measure 19 position 1024 staff 1/"Violin I ".
    Duplicate articulation removed in measure 32 position 0 staff 1/"Violin I ".
    ------------------------------
    Preparing and Resetting Part: 0 (Score, Staff: 67 / "Drum Set", Slot: 2, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.00
    Expression moved (Function 3) from measure 9/384 to measure 9/0 (Staff: 1/"Violin I ").
    The expression 3 has changed its horizontal position by -58 EVPUs (see measure 28/4032/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The expression 51 has changed its horizontal position by -147 EVPUs (see measure 79/0/Staff: 67/"Drum Set"). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    ------------------------------
    Preparing and Resetting Part: 1 (Violin I , Staff: 1 / "Violin I ", Slot: 1, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.01
    Measure reflow performed over systems for part 1: Violin I .
    ------------------------------
    Preparing and Resetting Part: 2 (Drum Set, Staff: 67 / "Drum Set", Slot: 1, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.00
    Measure reflow performed over systems for part 2: Drum Set.
    ------------------------------
    Reset finished, Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Processing score and parts, Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Processing Part: 0 (Score,Staff: 1 / "Violin I ", Slot: 1, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.32
    Stunted slur removed in part 0/Score, staff 1/"Violin I ", measure 5 (Slur item number: 3192).
    Slur over identical tie removed in part 0/Score, staff 1/"Violin I ", measure 7 (Slur item number: 3196).
    Duplicate slur removed in part 0/Score, staff 1/"Violin I ", measure 35 (Slur item number: 3206).
    DC/DS repeat element in measure 61 moved by 49 units.
    Coda/Segno repeat mark in measure 39 moved by -89 units.
    The dynamic expression 3 has changed its horizontal position by -53 EVPUs (see measure 6/4032/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The dynamic expression 2 has changed its horizontal position by -67 EVPUs (see measure 9/3008/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The dynamic expression 3 has changed its horizontal position by -49 EVPUs (see measure 19/4032/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The dynamic expression 36 has changed its horizontal position by 72 EVPUs (see measure 40/0/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The dynamic expression 33 has changed its horizontal position by 64 EVPUs (see measure 56/0/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The dynamic expression 7 has changed its horizontal position by -51 EVPUs (see measure 56/4032/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    The dynamic expression 7 has changed its horizontal position by -51 EVPUs (see measure 59/4032/Staff: 1/"Violin I "). Please check that it is and/or was placed correctly.
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 9, part "Score", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 12, part "Score", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 50, part "Score", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 56, part "Score", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    ------------------------------
    Processing Part: 0 (Score,Staff: 67 / "Drum Set", Slot: 2, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.00
    Congruent hairpin deleted in part 0/Score, staff 67/"Drum Set", measure 59, measure pos 1024.
    ------------------------------
    Optimizing System Distances..., Elapsed time: 0.00
    Part finished., Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Processing Part: 1 (Violin I ,Staff: 1 / "Violin I ", Slot: 1, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.12
    Text repeat element in measure 61 is set to right justification, but currently aligned with the left barline. Please check the justification settings for optimal layout.
    Coda/Segno repeat mark in measure 39 moved by -89 units.
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 50, part "Violin I ", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 56, part "Violin I ", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    Very short hairpin found. Probably not enough space in measure 59, part "Violin I ", staff "Violin I ". (Smartshape saved: true)
    ------------------------------
    Optimizing System Distances..., Elapsed time: 0.00
    Part finished., Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Processing Part: 2 (Drum Set,Staff: 67 / "Drum Set", Slot: 1, Measures:1-79), Elapsed time: 0.08
    DC/DS repeat element in measure 61 moved by 49 units.
    Coda/Segno repeat mark in measure 39 moved by -89 units.
    ------------------------------
    Optimizing System Distances..., Elapsed time: 0.00
    Part finished., Elapsed time: 0.00
    Part Processing finished, Elapsed time: 0.05
    Finalization, Elapsed time: 0.00
    ------------------------------
    Plugin Processing Time: 14.56 seconds
    Close progress bar, Elapsed time: 0.01
    Some pages need more vertical space to avoid colliding staves or to insert enough space between staff systems (Page: 1). If possible, try reducing the page scale or staff height and run the plugin again.
    Plugin Processing Time:0m:17s, Elapsed time: 2.49
    Plugin finished, Elapsed time: 0.00

    The plug-in can be used in both score and parts view.
    It is recommended though to run it in "Score View" first with the whole document selected, because some main functions are only activated if the whole document is processed (e.g. expression category fixes, MusicXML improvements on expressions, some multi-measure rest unifications).
    If the plug-in is run in "Score View", the selected region in the parts will always be processed too.
    If the plug-in is run in "Parts" mode, the selected region in the score will not be processed.

    Which means: if changes are required in the "Score" that are linked to the "Parts", the change will not be made!
    For example: if a hairpin is attached to measure position 0 (=first beat) in both score and parts, and the plug-in would like to snap it to a dynamic expression on beat 2, this will not happen if the plug-in is run in "Parts View" as the link would be destroyed. If the plug-in is run in "Score View", the snap would happen and also occur in the parts, so that there the change is still linked.
    In huge scores (or probably only in Finale® documents that are buggy?) Finale® seems to create a massive amount of temporary undo files. So many that temp folder is full (65536 files). We haven't found out yet what Finale® element causes this behaviour. From our 9000 test files this occured in three cases (all files from the same client).
    Although the plug-in will still improve such a score (especially expression and hairpin alignment), it is very likely that it will also remove some manual optimizations.
    The plug-in was not designed for use on an already manually optimized score that makes extensive use of custom smart lines or contemporary notation.
    It will save you more time if you run it before doing any manual optimizations (see How to Use the Plug-in).
    Make sure that the font file is available in OTF or TTF format and that it is installed in c:\windows\fonts.
    It's still possible that the font is still not detected as Finale has an unusual way of using font names: it's different than in other standard Windows software (see our article Font Names in Finale).
    This is especially true for font names using name extensions like "... LT Std", "... MT Pro", " BT" or font weights that Finale doesn't support ("Medium", "Thin", "Black", etc.).
    In this case please contact our support team. We will try to support your font in the next plug-in update.
    The OK button is not clickable when the Finale document is larger than the plug-in edition allows:
    Silver400/Gold400 allow 400 measures and 36 (visible) staves.
    For processing larger documents you need the full Silver/Gold edition.
    Also see overview of plug-in editions.
    1.) Please check Finale's Preferences->Edit and look at the reflow settings. Make sure "Reflow Systems Across Pages" is checked (for moving systems) and set "Reflow Measures" to "Across Systems (Remove System Locks)" (for moving measures).
    2.) Check that the pages don't have page breaks which prevents measure shifting.
    To do this select the Page Layout tool right-click on the staff system and click on "Delete Page Break" if available.

    Please also read the section on the Reflow settings in the "How to Use"-tutorial. This is a very powerful and important feature for the plug-in as it allows the plug-in to automatically layout completely unlayouted parts with one click.
    But this only works with the settings from 1.).
    if you want your system and measure layout untouched, uncheck "Reflow Systems Across Pages" and set "Reflow Measures" to "Only Within Systems" before applying the plug-in.
    If you don't use the fonts from the warning message in Finale at all, just ignore the warning message and select yes.
    If you only use the font files in other notation software (e.g. Capella, Sibelius), ignore the warning message too.
    If you have never used these fonts before in Finale, but wish to use them now or later, just ignore the warning message.

    In other words the warning message is only relevant, if you have already used the mentioned fonts in older Finale documents, because when re-opening these documents it is possible that Finale displays wrong symbols if the MacSymbolFonts.txt entry has changed.
    But it is a reversible process: if you select yes the MacSymbolFonts.txt will be automatically updated. Should you encounter any symbol problems later in older documents that use these fonts, you can simply remove the added font name manually from MacSymbolsFonts.txt later.

    Finale®'s MacSymbolFonts.txt file includes a list of music fonts for Finale's internal font handling. The program uses a different font encoding when a font is on the list. Fonts can have several encodings. This means for example if you select the character 138, a different symbol appears if the font is in MacSymbolFonts.txt or if not.

    Very often fonts have several encodings (e.g. for MacOS and for Windows) and not all of them fully work in Finale® (on MacOS and/or on Windows), so one has to test which encoding works best.

    This also depends on how you work, what fonts you use and what you need:
    While Windows is more tolerant regarding the selected encoding, MacOS very often requires the font name to be added to MacSymbolFonts.txt.
    So if a Finale® document is to be exchanged between MacOS and Windows, it is recommended to have matching MacSymbolFonts.txt files.

    Note: Unicode fonts (=fonts with more than 255 symbols like Aruvarb or November2) must never be added to MacSymbolFonts.txt, as MacSymbolFonts.txt automatically limits the number of available symbols top 256.

    The Perfect Layout plug-in currently only supports one type of encoding for each music font. That's why you will get an error message if MacSymbolFonts.txt doesn't match the encoding that the plug-in requires.
    The plug-in will automatically update MacSymbolFonts.txt if it is not compatible. After the update a restart of Finale is necessary.
    When the MacOS version of the Perfect Layout plug-in is released, the recommended font encodings might slightly change to guarantee best compatibility between MacOS and Windows.

    In general it is save to just follow the suggestions of the Perfect Layout plug-in regarding MacSymbolFonts.txt.
    But attention must be paid if you have manually adjusted font annotation files that don't mark the glyph borders, but have user-defined borders that don't match the glyph borders (for whatever reason ... usually this is not recommended and not necessary): these font annotation files are not compatible with a changed encoding and need to be recreated.
    The plug-in supports nearly all main music fonts (more than 470).
    More than 300 of the supported fonts/font families can be seen in the highly recommended Elbsound Music Font Comparison tool.

    What does "supported music font" mean?
    First the plug-in needs to know if a font is a music font, a chord font, a symbol font or a text font. The plug-in currently knows more than 1200 of these font names (see font list here) and assumes that every unknown font is a text font.
    For some tasks of the plug-in it is also important to understand what a symbol from the font means (i.e. the semantics). A fermata requires a different handling than a dynamic symbol.
    The plug-in uses both the expression category names and/or the "description of the music symbol" for its detection.
    About 1200 symbols from more than 470 music and chord fonts are described in the plug-in's music font database.
    If a symbol is not described, it might be excluded from some of the plug-in's tasks.

    There are however a few commercial music fonts that are officially not supported yet as we didn't get free samples in time to include them. But they will probably work as well as they are all (nearly) Maestro-compatible.
    These are:
    - Font Shop's Urtext fonts,
    - the hadnwritten fonts by NorFonts,
    - the MTF fonts by Music Type Foundry.

    If your music font is not supported yet, but Maestro-compatible, it is very likely that the plug-in will work without problems. If you want other music fonts to be supported, please contact support. For a small fee it is possible to include your font in the next release.
    For most users the Silver400 edition is the best choice.
    It costs about as much as a Finale® update, but has more than 100 features which is much, much more than a regular Finale® update.

    Perfect Layout is a professional tool for professionals. Professionals calculate in working hours.
    It can save you about 15-20% of your Finale working time and usually creates a more balanced output than you could achieve manually in that time.
    So if you save eight hours per week for layout tasks (with a 20,- Eur per hour rate - which is still pretty low), even the Gold version of the plug-in has already paid off after about one month of usage.

    Perfect Layout is not comparable with any other existing Finale® plug-in. It is a "one-click" solution for optimizing scores and parts at the same time with more than 100 features, more than 700 internal options, more than 300.000 lines of code and support for more than 470 music fonts. It also fixes many long-term problems of Finale® and features many new "intelligent" algorithms for automatic score and parts preparation.

    Yes, but Finale® is less expensive than the Gold edition plug-in!?
    Well, not if you have regularly bought Finale updates for many years.
    And no, it's the demand for a product that sets its price.
    Finale® has probably sold more than 500.000 units over the years, the plug-in might sell 1000 units if we are lucky.
    Don't forget plug-ins for music software are a niche market and professional plug-ins for notation software are an even smaller niche market.

    A good comparison for the price are "Sampling Libraries".
    Professional sampling libraries cost between ca. 400,- Eur and 5.000,- Eur (e.g. VSL Symphonic Cube).
    The host software usually costs much less (for example 100,- Eur for Plogue Bidule or Cubase LE). But it requires the plug-ins (=sample libraries) to be used professionally.
    In general yes. Only the new Fin26 functions (articulation stacking and slur collision with articulations) currently can't be detected with the recent JW Lua release.
    So it might look better (or worse - just as you prefer it) if you switched off "Stacking" and "Inside/Outside Articulations" before applying the plug-in.

    Also make sure to select "Keep Positioning" of articulations when opening a document from a previous version of Finale®. If you select "Enhance" instead, some articulations might not be fixed.
    Write us a mail and let us know what you would like to see in the next update of the Perfect Layout plug-in.