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.
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).
The "Double barline preceding key changes" feature will also be enabled automatically.
It's currently not implemented to switch off these features.
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.