Smart Shape Editor

The Smart Shape Editor allows you precisely to edit the start- and end-point assignments of beat-attached Smart Shapes. You can edit both their metric (beat) positions and their horizontal and vertical offset values. Note that because some types of smart shapes restrict the value of the end-point's vertical offset, this plugin does not allow the user directly to change its value relative to the start-point's vertical offset. However, any smart shape can be made horizontal by use of the Make Horizontal button.

To use the plugin, select a region within one or more measures covering one or more staves and invoke the plugin. The Smart Shape Assigment Editor dialog box appears.

Shapes Selected: <List of Shapes>. Displays a list of every beat-attached smart shape fully contained within the selected region.

Apply Beat Position and Horizontal Offset Settings to All In List. Allows you to vertically align all the Shapes Selected without having to enter the same values for each one. Checking this option also changes the Make Horizontal button to Make All Horizontal. See the Recommendations for why you might use this instead of Finale's Align Vertically function.

Start Point/End Point

Measure. Displays the measure of the assignment. This cannot be changed. Use Finale's built-in editing features to assign the shape to a different measure.

<Beat/EDU> [Value]. Similar to Finale's Select Region and Mid-Measure Clef dialog boxes, the popup allows you to specify the metrical assignment of the shape using either beat position or EDU value. The value itself is the beat or edu offset of the assigment, and it can be any fraction of a beat. (It is not limited to the even-beat anchor locations that Finale's user-interface allows.) Note that this value cannot be unlinked. Any change will be reflected in all relevant parts and in the score.

Horizontal Offset. Specifies the horizontal EVPU (or other Measurement Units) offset from the metrical position. The concept is the same as for mid-measure clef assignments and expression assigments. This value can be unlinked, and if you apply it while viewing a part it will be unlinked from the score and any other parts that might contain the staff.

Vertical Offset. Specifies the vertical offset from the Staff Reference Line in EVPU or other Measurement Units. The user can only change the value of the start-point. The plugin automatically adjusts the end-point value to maintain the same relative difference in value between start- and end-point. This value can be unlinked, and if you apply it while viewing a part it will be unlinked from the score and any other parts that might contain the staff.

Apply. Applies all specified changes to the smart shapes (and redraws the screen) without closing the dialog.

Make Horizontal/Make All Horizontal. Sets the value of the end-point's vertical offset equal to the start-point's vertical offset. If Apply Beat Position and Horizontal Offset Settings to All In List is checked, this button changes every shape in the list. If you apply the button while viewing a part the changes will be unlinked from the score and any other parts that might contain the staff.

Recommendations

Much as the Expression Assignment dialog is useful for precision-editing expression assignments, this plugin is useful for precision-editing the assignment of any beat-attached smart shape. However, it may be particularly useful for beat-attached Slurs and Dotted Slurs, since the beat-attached user-interface has not been implemented for them (as of Finale 2014d). But this difference is only skin-deep, and under the covers Finale treats them like any other smart shape.

A reason you might choose to use Apply Beat Position and Horizontal Offset Settings to All In List rather than Finale's Vertically Align feature is that the plugin offers precise control over aligning both metric and spacial offsets. The Make All Horizontal button can also make the shapes all horizontal at once, without changing their horizontal position within the measure.

The Smart Shape Editor is available and useful within Finale 2012. However, because Finale 2012 does not have the beat-attached user-interface, the plugin must be used with care. Issues to consider are:

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the operation of Smart Shape Editor, please feel free to contact me.