Tuplet Mover

Tuplet Mover aligns, auto-positions, and/or moves tuplets in a selected region. A "mirror" option allows you to treat tuplets under and tuplets over separately in a single pass. You can also modify brackets based on whether the tuplet is note-side or stem-side and select among options for intelligently checking or unchecking the "Ignore Format Offset" option.

Finale 2005 Note. Many of Finale's new tuplet positioning options are not supported. If Tuplet Mover encounters one of these tuplets, the plug-in skips that tuplet. The following are Finale's tuplet options that the plugin does not support.

"Stem/Beam" placement is the same as the old "Beam Side" placement option. Tuplet Mover continues to process these, but the results are no more reliable now than they were before. Tuplet Mover supports the other options, including "Center Number Using Duration" and "Bracket Full Duration", although if you use them, you may want to tweak your Tuplet Mover settings.

To use the plugin, select a region and invoke its menu option. You can invoke it without making a selection, in which case you have the option of working on the entire document.

The plugin remembers your last settings, and you can skip the dialog entirely by holding down the {SHIFT] key (Windows) or [OPTION] key (Mac) when selecting from Finale's Plug-In menu.

Below are some recommendations for how to use the plugin.

Tuplets To Affect: { Over | Under | Ending w. Long Note | Having Rest at Endpoint}. These checkboxes determine which tuplets in the selected region are modified. Tuplets over are those where the tuplet is above the notes, and tuplets under are those where the tuplet is below the notes. "Ending w. Long Note" is a special case for which some users need to extend the right bracket. A tuplet is considered to end with a long note value if the last entry in the tuplet has a longer symbolic value than the underlying symbolic value of a tuplet. For example, if the tuplet were 3 8ths in the time of 2 8ths, then any such tuplet ending with a note value larger than an 8th-note would qualify. "Having Rest at Endpoint" limits operation to tuplets that begin or end with a rest.

Bracket Hook Length. If the checkbox is checked, then the plugin sets the bracket hook-length to the value in the edit box. The plugin calculates the direction of the hook based on whether the tuplet ends up over or under, so usually this number should be positive.

{ Set | Nudge | Reset | Metric } Horizontal Offsets. This pulldown menu determines how the plugin interprets the Brkt. L & R settings. If "Set" is selected, the plugin sets the tuplet's horizontal bracket offset to those specified in the edit boxes. In Finale 2005, it also unchecks "Bracket Full Duration". If "Nudge" is selected, the plugin adds the values in the edit boxes to the corresponding values in the tuplet. If "Reset" is selected, the tuplet's horizontal bracket offsets and the tuplet's horizontal numeral offset are set to zero.

"Metric" is similar to Set, but the right bracket starts out flush with the next metric position following the tuplet. (If the tuplet is at the end of the bar, the bracket starts out flush with the barline.) Users who prefer tuplet brackets that cover the entire metric range of the tuplet should use this option. To offset the right bracket backwards a set distance, use "Metric" in tandem with a negative value in Brkt. R. In Finale 2005, the plug-in checks the "Bracket Full Duration" checkbox.

For versions of Finale before Finale 2005, "Metric" aligns the tuplet brackets for Page View, even if you are currently in Scroll View. The reason for this is that aligning the bracket for Scroll View would have limited usefulness, and in any case pre-2005 Finale provides no way for a plugin accurately to do the alignment for Scroll View.

Brkt. L: R:. The action of these values is determined by the Horizontal Offsets menu. The checkboxes allow you to limit action to only the left offset or only the right offset.

Keep Number Centered. If this is checked, the plugin compensates for changes in the left and right bracket offsets by modifying the numeral's horizontal offset so as to keep it centered in the bracket.

Stem-Side Bracket Adjustments { L Offset Over | R Offset Under }. These options allow you to adjust the bracket when a tuplet is on the stem-side of the notes. You may find these useful if you use Finale's Format Offset option and want your tuplet brackets to align with the stems.

Adjust Number Using Format Offset (As Needed). Some stem-side Finale tuplets have an annoying behavior relating to when they transition between using the Format Offset and not using it. Instead of basing the transition on where the noteheads are, Finale bases it on where the stem tips are. As a result, in certain situations where the stems are shorter than normal, Finale incorrectly shifts the number off-center. Checking this option tells the plugin to compensate for Finale's behavior by applying a horizontal offset to the number.

Autobracket Stem Side Only. Checking this option affects the Autobracket option on all processed tuplets. If the number appears on the stem side, Autobracket is enabled, while if the number appears on the note side, autobracket is disabled. Use this option if you want brackets on the note side even when the notes are fully beamed but do not want a bracket on the stem side when the notes are fully beamed.

Vertical Position. Checking this checkbox tells the plugin to change the vertical positioning of the tuplet.

Automatic... Clicking on this option brings up the Auto-Position Options dialog box. Once the radio button is selected, the plugin uses the auto-positioning options to vertically position the tuplet.

Align { To Lowest | To Highest | To Average | To Value }. If the Align radio button is selected, the plugin aligns all tuplets in the selected region according to the alignment options. Finale's implementation of tuplets is such that the plugin actually aligns the left bracket positions rather than the tuplet-handles. The Value edit box can be a positive or negative value. Positive values specify a distance above the staff and negative values a distance below the staff. You cannot place tuplets inside the staff using the Value edit box.

Mirror Over/Under allows you to align tuplets over and tuplets under separately in a single pass.

Vertical Nudge. Checking this option causes the vertical position of the tuplet to be changed by the specified amount. Nudging occurs after all vertical positioning. You can also use the nudge option without doing any vertical positioning.

"Ignore Format Offset" Option. When this checkbox is checked, the plugin can modify the tuplet's "Ignore Format Offset" option based on the radio buttons.

Set Based On Terminators. You will typically choose this option if you always use a bracket, or if you like your stem-side tuplets' brackets to align with the stems. In certain situations, you may not want the Format Offset applied even when the tuplet is stem-side. Examples include when the tuplet begins or ends with a rest, and when the stem direction at the end of the tuplet is different than that at the beginning. (Finale decides whether a tuplet is stem-side strictly based on the stem direction of the first entry.) Enabling this option tells the plugin to detect these conditions and set "Ignore Format Offset" accordingly.

Set Unless Fully Beamed. You will typically choose this option if you omit brackets on tuplets that are entirely within a beam, and if you prefer your tuplets' brackets to align with the noteheads (Finale's default behavior). This option tells the plugin to set "Ignore Format Offset" unless the tuplet is entirely within a beam. Users who prefer Ted Ross's rules for tuplets should use this option. (See Ted Ross, "The Art of Music Engraving and Processing", pp. 159-63.)

Fix Beam-Side, Downstem Nums. If you choose "Beam Side" as the placement option for your tuplets, you will discover that when a tuplet is fully-beamed and has downward stems, Finale plays havoc with the positioning of the numeral. Setting this option tells the plugin to compensate for this quirky behavior. If you do not use Beam Side positioning, this option has no effect.

Save Settings... brings up the Save Settings dialog.

About... brings up an information dialog that includes a button that allows you to see again any dialogs you have dismissed with the "Don't Show Again" option checked.

Auto-Position Options

Preparing Tuplets for Auto-Positioning.

Some users may recall that in Finale versions before version 3.0, positioning a tuplet number relative to its bracket could be a significant challenge. The tuplet's origin point was its left endpoint rather than the number. When Coda introduced Finale v3.0, tuplet positioning was vastly improved, but the improvement was only skin deep. The underlying left-endpoint orientation is still there inside the music files. As a result, Tuplet Mover cannot determine exactly where the number is. All it knows is where the bracket is (or would be if a bracket were visible.)

The result is that to get the most out of Tuplet Mover's Autoposition feature, users should set Finale's default tuplet settings with great care. Tuplet Mover is easiest to use if you use a bracket that is vertically centered on the number. Doing so allows the same settings to apply both to tuplets under and over. If you use a different bracket-positioning scheme, you can still use Autoposition, but you will have to make separate passes for tuplets Over and Under. If you do not use brackets, you should nevertheless set the positioning values in Finale's default tuplet settings as if you used brackets centered on the number.

The best procedure for setting up Finale's default tuplet is to open the default tuplet window and set all the positioning numbers to zero. The numbers that matter are Slope, Number: H, V, and Shape: H, V. Now create a tuplet with a visible bracket. Without moving the tuplet vertically, drag the bracket to where you want it vertically in relation to the number. This normally affects only the Shape: V setting. Once you have positioned the bracket to your taste, you should transfer these settings back to Finale's default tuplet window. Here are some typical values (in EVPUs) for Shape V that suit my taste. (In these examples, all the other positioning numbers are zero)

Tuplet Font, Size Shape: V EVPUs
Music Fonts (Maestro, Petrucci etc.) any size 0
Times 10 16
Times 12 18

If you have already entered some tuplets before setting Finale's default tuplets, and if you want Tuplet Mover to autoposition those tuplets, you should change them all to your default settings before running Tuplet Mover. You can do this easily using Mass Mover->Change->Tuplets.

Auto-Position { Closest To Staff | Over | Under | Stem-Side | Note-Side }. Specifies where tuplets should be placed relative to their entries. "Closest To Staff" selects the tuplet position (over or under) that leaves the tuplet closest to the staff. The plugin determines if a tuplet is stem-side or note-side strictly based on the stem direction of the first entry in the tuplet. This corresponds to how Finale works.

Stem-Side Distance:. Specifies the minimum distance from stems to place stem-side tuplets. This distance is measured from the first entry to the left bracket tip (minus adjustments).

Note-Side Distance. Specifies the minimum distance from stems to place note-side tuplets. This distance is measured from the first entry to the left bracket tip (minus adjustments).

Use Middle Note(s) If No Bracket. Checking this option causes tuplets with no visible bracket to be positioned relative to their middle note(s). This is most useful when the middle note is closer to the beam than the outer notes.

Minimum Distance From Staff. Specifies the minimum distance above staff (for over tuplets) or below staff (for under tuplets). The tuplet will not be placed closer to the staff than this distance. If you want to allow the tuplet inside the staff, specify a negative number here. (-96 EVPUS allows the entire staff, but you can specify even larger negative numbers if, for example, you had a downstem tuplet all of whose notes were below the staff and still wanted the tuplet over them.)

Avoid Staff Lines On { Note | Stem } Side By. These values allow you to make adjustements to the position of the numbers based on how they fall across the lines of the staff. The values specify how far to push the number away from the tuplet notes. Only values less than 24 EVPU are meaningful.

Adjust Slope. If checked, the plugin adjusts the slope according to the following slope options. Even if you set this option, the plugin does not adjust the slope of tuplets whose placement option is "Beam Side." This is because Finale already adjusts the slope of these for you. Also, the plugin cannot calculate the slope for tuplets where the endpoints have opposite stem directions, so this option has no effect on those either.

Max Slope Angle (Degrees). If checked, the plugin will not provide a steeper bracket slope than this angle (positive or negative).

Only When Contour Is Jagged. Checking this option limits the application of the Max Slope Angle to tuplets whose contour is "jagged". For note-side tuplets this means a tuplet where the note nearest the bracket is not at an endpoint. For stem-side tuplets, it means a tuplet where the stem tip nearest the bracket is not at an endpoint.

Add'l Offset Per Slope Degree. If you set this option, the plugin moves the bracket further away from the entries by the distance specified in the edit box times the number of degrees in the slope angle. Note the slope angle is likely different in Page View than in Scroll View, so the plugin may produce different results depending on which view you run it in. This option is something of a fudge factor, but it can be helpful in certain situations.

Only When Contour Is Jagged. Checking this option limits the application of Add'l Offset Per Slope Degree to tuplets whose contour is jagged. (See above for definition of "jagged.") The Add'l Offset Per Slope Degree is most useful when the contour is jagged.

Flatten If Rest At Endpoint. Checking this option results in a flat bracket for any tuplets that begin or end with a rest.


If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the operation of this plugin, please feel free to contact me.