Optimize Finale's Defaults

In the "Optimize" section you can select which document options should be changed to the plug-in's optimized values.
The plug-in can update Finale's settings for slurs, ties, hairpins, tuplets and spacing.
Slur values are only updated in the Smart Shape Options menu, not in the Placement or Contour menu.
These values are hard-coded in the plug-in and result from many years of Finale® expertise.
Still it's possible that they don't fit your personal needs, so you can switch off these settings individually. As JW Lua doesn't allow slur modification, it's also possible that some slurs still have little collisions with notes as there are no all-purpose settings for slurs.

General Document Options

PL will always do the following changes in Finale's document options:
Lines and Curves->Curve Resolution: 127
Double Barline at Key Change: activated (will only happen if there is exactly one key signature change in the score)
Document->Pickup Measure->EDUs: will be corrected if it's an invalid value (You will get a warning message from PL)
Layers->Consolidate Rests Across Layers: activated (if Optimize->Force Consolidated Rests is activated)
Accidentals->Minimum Vertical Spacing Between Accidentals: 6 (but only if the original value was less than 6), on huge jazz fonts it will set it to 7.
Accidentals->Space within Multi-Character Accidentals: 6 EVPU (but only if the original value was less than 4 EVPU and it is a font with a large "Advance Width" offset, e.g. Opus Std)
Accidentals->Use cross-layer accidental positioning: activated (but only if you use RGP Lua. On JW Lua you get a warning message that you have to activate it manually)

Line Thickness

The line thickness looks best when the lines use certain proportions.
You can use your own proportions.
But if the staff line thickness and the stem line thickness are identical, and the ledger line and the thin barline thickness are identical, then PL will use these values instead:
Lines and Curves->Ledger Line Thickness: 256 EFIX = 4 EVPU
Lines and Curves->Staff Line Thickness: 190 EFIX = 2.96875 EVPU
Barlines->Thin Barline Thickness: 245 EFIX = 3.8281 EVPU
Stems->Stem Line Thickness: 170 EFIX = 2.65625 EVPU

Tie Settings

If Optimize->Optimize Tie Settings is activated:
Use Outer Placement: activated
Start After Single Dot: activated
Start After Multiple Dots: activated
End Before Single Accidentals: activated
Break For Time Sigs: activated
Break For Key Sigs: activated
Seconds Placement: Shift for seconds on start and end of tie
Time Sig Left Gap: 12 EVPU
Time Sig Right Gap: 12 EVPU
Key Sig Left Gap: 12 EVPU
Key Sig Right Gap: 12 EVPU
System Start Adjustment: -8 EVPU
System End Adjustment: 0 EVPU
Extra System Start Space: 8 EVPU
Direction Opposing Seconds: activated
Direction Type: Split Evenly

Tie Contour->Interpolate Height: activated
Tie Contour->Avoid Staff Lines: activated
Tie Contour->Avoid Staff Lines Distance: 10 EVPU
Tie Contour->Avoid Staff Lines In Staff Only: activated
Tie Contour->Thickness Left/Right: 6 EVPU (but only if the original value was less than 6 EVPU)
Tie Contour->Tip Width: 1 EVPU (but only if the original value was less than 1 EVPU)
Tie Contour->Inset Style: Percent

Slur Settings:

Use Engraver Slurs: activated (PL doesn't work with non-engraver slurs)

If Optimize->Optimize Slur Settings is activated:
Space Around Objects: 10 EVPU
Avoid Accidentals: activated
Space Around Accidentals: -4 EVPU
Max Slur Angle: 52
Slur Symmetry Percentage: 3%
As Percentage of Slur Length: activated / 15%
Maximum Lift: 24
Lift: activated
Slur Tip: Tips Avoid Staff Lines by 8 EVPU / activated

if Slur Thickness Vertical Left is less than 7 EVPU:
Slur Thickness Vertical Left: 7 EVPU
Slur Thickness Vertical Right: 7 EVPU
Slur Thickness Horizontal Left: 0 EVPU
Slur Thickness Horizontal Right: 0 EVPU
Slur Tip Width: 1.4 EVPU

if Optimize->Optimize Slur System Breaks is activated:
Avoid Staff Lines by at Least: the value from the Optimize dialog (32 EVPU by default)
System Stadt Adjustment: -12 EVPU
System End Adjustment: 0 EVPU

Multi-Measure Rest Settings

Multi-Measure Rest Auto Update: deactivated (this is mandatory)

If MMRests->Force Classical Look is activated:
Multi-Measure Rests->Start Numbering At: 1 Measures
Multi-Measure Rests->Use Symbols: activated
Multi-Measure Rests->Use Symbols for Rests less than: 9 Measures
Multi-Measure Rests->Space Between Symbols: 24 EVPU

If MMRests->Set 'Start Numbering At' to Two Measures is activated:
Multi-Measure Rests->Start Numbering At: 2 Measures

Hairpin Settings

If Optimize->Optimize Hairpin Settings is activated:
Hairpin Line Width: 192 EVPU (but only if the original value was less than 116 EVPU)
When using exponential hairpin expressions, the Hairpin Line Width value will be automatically adjusted according to the used music fonts.
Hairpin Opening Width: 28 EVPU (according to the value under Optimize->Hairpin Default Opening Width)
Hairpin Short Opening Width: 28 EVPU (same value as Opening Width)

Tuplet Settings

If Optimize->Optimize Tuplet Settings is activated:
Default Placement: Stem/Beam Side (on jazz/handwritten music fonts where 'Above' was selected, this will not be changed)
Engraver Tuplet: activated
Avoid Staff: take the value from the Optimize dialog (activated by default)
Allow Horizontal Drag: deactivated
Use Bottom Note: deactivated
Vertical Tuplet Offset: 28 EVPU
Vertical Shape Offset: 0 EVPU
Horizontal Tuplet Offset: 0 EVPU
Horizontal Shape Offset: 0 EVPU
Ignore Number Offset: deactivated
Bracket Full Duration: deactivated
Match length of hooks: activated
Left Hook: 16 EVPU
Right Hook: 16 EVPU
Left Extension: 0 EVPU
Right Extension: 0 EVPU
Manual Slope Adjustment: 0 EVPU
Number Style: Regular (but only if it was set to None)
Shape Style: Bracket (but only if if it was set to None)
Break Slur or Bracket: activated
Bracket Mode: Never bracket beamed notes on beam side
Number Offset Upstem Side of Note: 12 EVPU
NumberOffset Downstem Side of Note: -12 EVPU
Max Slope: 10 Degrees
(The bracket thickness is not changed)

Music Spacing Settings

If Optimize->Optimize Spacing Settings is activated:
Notes and Rests->Scale Manual Note Positioning: deactivated
Music Spacing->Minimum Item Distance: 12 EVPU
Music Spacing->Grace Note Min Distance: 12 EVPU
Music Spacing->Grace Note Spacing Mode: automatic
Music Spacing->Min Measure Width: 150 EVPU
Music Spacing->Max Measure Width: 2000 EVPU (if it was above 2000), otherwise 1800 EVPU
Music Spacing->Min Distance with Ties: 38 EVPU
Music Spacing->Avoid Collision of Clefs: activated
Music Spacing->Avoid Collision of Lyrics: activated
Music Spacing->Avoid Collision of Notes and Accidentals: activated
Music Spacing->Avoid Collision of Seconds: activated
(the other "Avoid Collision Of" values are restored to the original values after running the plug-in)

If "Finale Document Options->Music Spacing->Spacing Widths->Use these values" is activated, PL changes the Spacing Widths values to Finale's default settings:
Reference Width: 84 EVPU
Reference Duration: 1024
Scaling Factor: 1.6179
The plug-in will also automatically update the staff line, stem line, bar line and ledger line thicknesses unless you have changed them manually to values where the thicknesses are not equal.
For better readability it is recommended to have different values for each type. The plug-in will apply these thicknesses:

Stem Line: 2,65 EVPU
Staff Line: 2,96 EVPU
Ledger Line: 4,00 EVPU
(Thin) Bar Line: 3,82 EVPU

For better quality the plug-in will also set the Curves Resolution to 127 (from Document Options->Lines and Curves).
It's currently not implemented to switch off these features.

Finale's "Double barline preceding key changes" feature will be enabled automatically if exactly one key signature change is found (requires Finale 2014.5+).
If multiple key signature changes are found, you also need to check "Also Add Double Barline If More Than One Key Signature Changes are Found" to automatically activate Finale's Double Barline feature.

When the tuplet default settings are updated, Finale® doesn't automatically update the existing tuplets. If you want to have the tuplet settings copied to each tuplet, select "Copy Default Settings to Tuplets". If "Optimize Tuplet Settings" is selected, the settings are always copied to the existing tuplets.
In the Silver edition the default settings are always copied to the existing tuplets, as "Copy Default Settings to Tuplets" can't be deactivated.

The default placement for tuplets is the stem side.
But there are situations where it makes more sense to place them via the "Above" or "Below" method.
In order not to overwrite these above/below tuplets with the default settings, the option "Copy Default Settings Also on Explicit 'Above' or 'Below' Tuplets" is unchecked by default.
The "Optimize Rests" option enables the algorithm for better rest splitting (e.g. dotted quarter in 6/8, etc.). In scores Perfect Layout also analyzes other staves to detect for example if a 5/4 time signature is split to 2+3 or 3+2.
If many alternating, complex or ambiguous time signatures are used, it is also possible to turn off "Optimize Rests".
The rest optimization is automatically deactivated in measures with ticks, dashed barlines or no barlines at all. In version 3 it can be activated through the option "Optimize->Also Optimize Rests on Dashed Barlines, Ticks or No Barlines at All".

Consolidated rests (i.e. rests in multiple layers that are merged to one visible rest) are by default excluded from the rest optimization algorithm (Option: "Exclude Consolidated Rests from Rest Optimization").
The "Force consolidated rests" option creates consolidated rests if non-consolidated rests are in the score. This is especially interesting on MusicXML imported documents as they don't conserve Finale's consolidated rests feature. If the plug-in detects a MusicXML imported document, this feature is automatically activated in the user dialog and needs to be deactivated manually, if unwanted.

Image 1: Allow Combined Rests at Beginning of Beat in Compound Meters if Preceded by Rests

Image 2: Allow Combined Rests at Beginning of Beat in Compound Meters if NOT Preceded by Rests

Image 3: Keep Combined Rests at Offbeat in Compound Meter Unless Followed By Rests
(Note: this option doesn't combine rests, but only keeps already combined rests if these were manually created by the user)

Image 4: Allow Dotted Rests in Compound Meters
(Only affects rests below beat duration)

Image 5: Allow Dotted Rests in Simple Meters
(Only affects rests below beat duration)

Image 6: Keep 16th Note/8th Rest/16th Note Pattern (available in v3.0)
When the grace note optimization is activated (it is by default), the following two corrections are done on grace notes:
- Single grace notes are converted into slashed eighth note grace notes
- Multiple grace notes are converted to 16th note grace notes
This feature can only be deactivated in the Gold version of Perfect Layout.

In the spacing section you can also select when a full document (re-)spacing has to take place.
You can force a full respacing by checking "Always Apply Music (Re-)Spacing to Full Document Before Processing".
This option makes sense if the part layout is still "raw" and multi-measure rests haven't been created either.
If you have applied music spacing to the document or if "Automatic Music Spacing" in Finale's preferences had been switched on (it must be switched off before running the plugin! See here), you don't need to check this option.
By default it's unchecked.

If chord symbols are found and there is at least one measure with three chords or an overlapping of chords is very likely (e.g. chords at end of measure or wide chord suffices), a (re-)spacing is always performed, when the option "Always Respace If Chords Found" is selected.

When the spacing settings are optimized, a (Re-)spacing is only applied to the document if "Force Full Document Respace If Major Spacing Settings Change" is checked.
It is selected by default.

Other situations where the spacing may change are described in the overview.
You can adjust the baseline position and the baseline and the offsets for dynamics and expressive text ("Vertical Entry Offset" and "Baseline Offset"). The Baseline Position is the vertical offset from the middle of the staff lines.
The default values in Perfect layout are:
97 EVPU (Above Staff Baseline), -134 EVPU (Below Staff Baseline), 11 EVPU Baseline Offset, -66 EVPU Entry Offset.
These four values are written directly into the corresponding slots in Finale (see images 7 and 8).
If you deactivate this option, Perfect Layout will use the baseline/offset settings from your document.

Image 7: Expression baseline settings in Finale controlled via the four triangles
(Above: 97 EVPU / Below: -134 EVPU by default)

Image 8: The baseline/vertical entry offset values are written into the Dynamics/Expressive Text categories

This will update the placement and alignment of all existing expressions. Expressions from other categories will be corrected, so that they stay at the original position.
While the "Below Staff Baseline Position" affects expressive text and dynamics expressions, the "Above Staff Baseline" mainly affects tempo marks, rehearsal marks and tempo alterations.

For the Perfect Layout plugin the baseline always means the closest position to the staff line. If there is a collision, the expression will be horizontally or vertically shifted, but never closer to the staff.
There is only one exception: dynamics are shifted slightly closer to the staff, if the "Shift Dyn. Expressions Up If Lowest Element is Staff Line" is selected in the "Express." tab.