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[Finale] Using EVPU as the basic measurement unit

One of Finale's great strengths is the ability to change the position and size of almost every element that makes up a score.

In particular, you can move the position by dragging, but if you want to define it precisely, you would want to use numerical values. The question then becomes what type of measurement unit should be used for controlling numerical values.

Since Finale is made in the USA, inches are selected as the measurement unit by default, but as Japanese people who are accustomed to the metric system, we would prefer to use millimeters (mm) or centimeters (cm) instead of inches.

For some reason, Finale does not allow you to select mm as the measurement unit, but mm can actually be used. For example, if you want to enter 5mm, enter numbers such as "5mm" and "5m" along with the measurement unit or its initial letter. Regardless of the measurement unit selected, you can force the value to be entered in mm.


By the way, Japanese Finale Tech Support recommends that you use Finale's proprietary unit of measurement, EVPU (ENIGMA Virtual Page Units), rather than inches or mm/cm.

(Our Finale Intensive Course does as well. )

The main reason for this is that EVPU does not use a decimal point. Due to Finale's specifications, if inches or centimeters are selected as the measurement unit, numerical values will not be displayed exactly as they are entered, but will be displayed as approximate values with a decimal point, making it difficult to enter and manage numerical values. However, EVPU does not have such inconvenience and can be set within 3-digit numbers in most cases.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you want to create a larger code suffix using the Edit Chord Suffix dialog box.

If you increase the font of numbers and symbols in the chord suffix, you will also need to readjust the spacing between them. In the case of general word processing software, this is automatically done like this;


But in the case of Finale, this interval adjustment must be done manually one by one.

In other words, if you create a larger code suffix of 7(b9), you will need to shift each of the two parentheses, “b” and “9” to the right so that they do not overlap with the larger “7”, by manually repositioning their vertical and horizontal positions individually. (Or we could say, one of the great things about Finale is that you can manually set each item individually.)

We want the vertical coordinates of the two brackets to be the same, so let's assume that the vertical position is set to 5mm. At that time, even if you enter "0.5" for the measurement unit in cm or "5m" for mm, the input result will be forcibly converted to an approximate value of "0.52917".

This does not happen with EVPU, and if the vertical position is set to 60, the entered value will be displayed as is. So, next time you create a chord suffix of 7(b13) with the same size, you can note the position of the parentheses as “vertical 60”' instead of “vertical 0.52917”.

Summarizing the above, I think it is best to usually set the measurement unit to EVPU and enter "XXXmm", "XXcm", etc. as necessary.

For example, if you want the left margin of your page to be 2cm, enter "2c" in the left margin of the Edit Page Margin dialog box. When you click the Apply button, this will be automatically converted to 227EVPU and the printed results will reflect that as well.


The only difficulty with EVPU is that it is difficult to visualize the numerical value as a specific length, but when you are writing a musical score, usually the problem is the relative balance of each element, you don't need to worry about the absolute length. In that case, there is no reason not to use EVPU.

Regarding the specific length, strictly speaking,

“1EVPU = 0.08819mm ≒ 0.09mm”

“1mm = 11EVPU”

“1cm = 113EVPU”

So, you can think about it roughly,

“1 EVPU is 1/10 of 1 mm”

I think this is enough to understand how it works.

Finale also allows you to use other measurement units such as the space (one staff space corresponds to one space), which is a unit specifically for sheet music engraving. Please see the user manual for these details.

▼Differences in measurement units



The finale intensive course is being held in parallel on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. Click on the banner below for details. (Lecture is given in Japanese. ) 

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