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[Finale] “What’s New on Finale 27.4” & How to use files created with the Japanese version of Finale

On November 29, 2023 US time, the English version of Finale 27.4, a free update to Finale 27, was released.

This new update includes support for macOS 14 Sonoma, including fixes for issues with Score Manager, and several bug fixes for both Mac and Windows versions.

Bug Fixes for Mac and Windows Devices:

  • Copyable staff styles are now copied to parts when copy and pasting in the score.

  • Back ending brackets and repeat text endings are now added to the score and parts properly.

  • Music spacing is now correct when layers cross or overlap.

  • Ties at the start of a system now draw correctly and do not disappear.

  • Fixed an issue where removing staves from a linked part can create duplicate staves

  • Augmentation dots are now placed correctly on notes with flipped stems.

  • Measure numbers are now aligned correctly in measures with key signatures and time signatures.

  • The All Channels option for Hyperscribe now remains selected.

  • It is now possible to flip the stems of a beamed group with a shortcut while any note of that group is selected.

  • Fixed an issue where deleting the first staff of a document can prevent Human Playback from playing back expressions.

  • Ties on chords that have pairs of seconds no longer collide.

Mac-Only Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where grace notes can cause the screen to go blank.

  • Tool palettes now retain their location when entering and exiting full screen mode and using a second monitor.

  • The Times font no longer incorrectly populates font lists.

  • Symbols can now more easily be inserted into the lyrics window.

  • The Add Instrument button in the ScoreManager now works correctly on macOS Sonoma.

  • Tuplet handles can now be moved without issue while in Page View.

  • A print window option has been added to allow for printing in true black.

  • A keyboard shortcut has been added for an elision in lyrics and text.

  • Tooltips for palettes now work properly on macOS Sonoma when changing the palettes shape.

Windows-Only Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where Edit System Margins and Edit Page Margins dialog boxes can display off screen.

  • Playback controls no longer change settings after adding measures to a document.

  • Fixed an issue where lyrics can disappear from the lyrics menu.

  • When printing to PDF, the saved name of the document is retained in the export window and part names are automatically populated with each part.

Finale v27.4.1 Hot Fix (12/12/23)

  • Fixed an issue where the relative layer position is correct even when notes without stems are present.

  • Fixed an issue that would shift a unison note in layer two incorrectly to the left.

  • Windows only: Fixed an issue that caused third-party PDF print drivers to not function.

  • Mac only: The JW Staff Polyphony plug-in now shows in the correct language.


Since the Japanese version of Finale (hereinafter “Finale_JA”) is a localized version of the original English version of Finale (hereinafter “Finale_EN”), as for the versions after v26, they have been released on average 3 to 4 months after the release of the Finale_EN (half month at the earliest, 7 months at the latest).

  • v26.0 Finale_EN released on October 10, 2018, Finale_JA released on March 16, 2019 (5 months delayed)

  • v26.1 Finale_EN 2019.5.6, no Finale_JA

  • v26.2 Finale_EN released on 2019.11.19, Finale_JA released on 2020.3.13 (4 months delayed)

  • v26.3 Finale_EN released on 2020.6.17, Finale_JA released on 2020.12.8 (6 months delayed)

  • v27.0 Finale_EN released on 2021.6.15, Finale_JA released on 2021.9.27 (3 months delayed)

  • v27.1 Finale_EN released on 2021.11.16, Finale_JA released on 2021.12.16 (1 month delayed)

  • v27.2 Finale_EN 2022.3.2, Finale_JA released 2022.3.17 (0.5 month delay)

  • v27.3 Finale_EN released on 2022.11.30, Finale_JA released on 2023.6.26 (7 months delayed)

  • v27.4 Finale_EN 2023.11.28

This time, we are especially looking forward to fixing the bugs on macOS 14 Sonoma, so if you are in a hurry, one idea is to get the Finale 27.4_EN and use it for now as a hold-up until the Finale 27.4_JA is released.

Some recently purchased Finale_JA serial numbers can be registered directly on the My Page of MakeMusic, the developer of Finale. In this case, you can download the Finale_EN installer from MakeMusic's My Page and authorize it.

If your serial number cannot be registered on MakeMusic's My Page, you can download and use the 30-day trial version of Finale_EN from the MakeMusic’s website.

(If the Finale 27_JA is authorized, the Finale 27_EN can be used with the license also authorized, even if it is a trial version.)

When using the Finale_EN, you need to be aware of the following two points.

(1) DO NOT install the Finale_EN directly in an environment where the Finale_JA is already installed

If you install Finale_EN in a normal way, the files that make up the program will be mixed with the Finale_JA after startup, which may cause trouble such as language mixing up in the user interface .

(However, even if you accidentally mix them, you don't have to worry too much, as it can be fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling, although it is troublesome.)

Before installing the Finale_EN, change some of the file and folder names of the Finale_JA in advance to prevent them from being overwritten by the Finale_EN installation. Specifically, change the names of the following files and folders.

[For Mac]

  • Change "" file to "" etc.

  • Change the “Finale 27” folder in “/Library/Application Support/MakeMusic” to “Finale 27_JA” etc.

  • Change the “Finale 27” folder in “/Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/MakeMusic” to “Finale 27_JA” etc.

[For Windows]

  • Change the “27” folder in “C:\Program Files\MakeMusic\Finale” to “27_JA” etc.

  • Change the “Finale 27” folder in “C:\Program Data\MakeMusic” to “Finale 27_JA” etc.

  • Change the “Finale 27” folder in “C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\MakeMusic” to “Finale 27_JA” etc.

As a result, when you install the Finale_EN, files and folders with the original names will be created in the appropriate locations, and the Finale_EN will launch.

If you want to return to the state where Finale_JA launched, add something like "_EN" to the end of the files and folders with the original names, and delete "_JA" added to the Japanese version. The Japanese version will now launch.

(Please note that even if you switch back to the Finale_JA after installing the Finale_EN, the Finale_EN may launch if you double-click the .musx file. In that case, uninstall the Finale_EN and make musx. files re-designated to the Finale_JA.)

(2) Enable the use of Finale_JA music fonts in the Finale_EN

The Finale_EN does not include the music fonts "Kousaku" and "Chaconne" that are unique to the Finale_JA, so files created using these music fonts in the Finale_JA cannot be edited as they are in the Finale_EN. When you open it, you will see a warning below.

If the relevant music font is already installed, you can basically open it using "Auto-Generate", but depending on the version of Finale or the OS you are using, this may not work properly and the characters such as notes may become garbled.

If you don't care about the subtle differences in the shapes of each musical symbol, you could simply change the music font to ones in Finale_EN such as Maestro etc. by using "Document menu > Set Default Music Font" (in the Japanese version, "書類 menu > 記譜用フォントの指定).

However, since Kousaku, Chaconne, and other notation fonts are not completely compatible, garbled characters may not be fixed depending on the symbol. Then you need to check through the score carefully if there are garbled characters still remaining somewhere.

To handle files created with the Finale_JA in the Finale_EN, instead of changing the music font, I would recommend moving the files related to the Finale_JA music font in the designated folder of the Finale_JA to the corresponding folder in the Finale_EN.

Although the initial settings are a bit troublesome, this method allows you to use Kousaku and Chaconne in the English version of Finale, so you can fundamentally avoid these garbled characters.

(As a prerequisite for this task, the music fonts for the Finale_JA, such as "Chaconne," "Kousaku Percussion," "Kousaku," and "Rentaro" have to be installed in the Fonts folder on both Mac and Windows. Chaconne is already installed in environments where you have installed the Finale_JA before v25.0, and other versions before v27.)

[For Mac]

  1. With Finale closed, open the Mac's "Go" menu, press the Option key and select "Library" to open the user hierarchy (library) folder.

  2. In "Application Support > MakeMusic", copy the following files from the "Finale 27_JA" folder to the same folder in "Finale 27" (Finale_EN).

  • "MacSymbolFonts.txt" from the "Configuration Files" folder (this can be overwritten)

  • “” “Kousaku” “” “” from the “Font Annotation” folder

  • "Kousaku Font Default.musx" from "/Library/Application Support/MakeMusic/Finale 27/Music Files/Default Files" (This is not necessary if you simply open a file created with the Finale_JA in the Finale_EN. However, if you copy it, you will be able to use Kousaku's "Default Document" in the Finale_EN.)

[For Windows]

It seems that the Windows version can be opened relatively often without garbled characters, but if the characters are garbled, I think it would be a good idea to manually copy the necessary files as you would on a Mac.

  1. The AppData folder to be modified is invisible, so before proceeding, change the settings on the Windows side to display invisible files.

  2. In "C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 27", copy the following files from the "Finale 27_JA" folder to the same folder of "Finale 27" (Finale_EN).

  • “MacSymbolFonts.txt” from the “Configuration Files” folder

  • “” “Kousaku” “” “” from the “Font Annotation” folder

  • "C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 27\Music Files\Default Files\Kousaku Font Default.ftmx" (As mentioned above, if you copy it, you will be able to use Kousaku's "Default Document" in the Finale_EN.)

Now you can use Kousaku and Chaconne as notation fonts in the Finale_EN, and also eliminate garbled characters.


As I mentioned in a previous article, when I thought that the Finale 27_JA had surpassed the Finale 27_EN in terms of functionality, I switched to the Finale_JA for personal use after v27, but because my first Finale was English version which I purchased at Berklee College of Music, I had been using the Finale_EN for many years in this way until v26.

However, as mentioned at the beginning, the localized Finale_JA inevitably lags behind the Finale_EN provided directly by MakeMusic, the developer of Finale, in terms of speed of development and bug fixes. For those who give top priority to using the latest version of Finale, I think using the Finale_EN could be an option as I once did.



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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