Finale users: have you ever opened a file created on a previous version of Finale and  some of the options in various menus are missing? For example, the items that typically appear in the Expression Tool or the Staff Tool?  The main reason this occurs is when you open a file saved by a previous version of Finale, the Libraries that were used in that version are loaded.  The way to work around this is to import a library into the current version of Finale you are using.

What’s a Finale Library?

Finale’s libraries contain reusable sets of elements such as expression markings, chord symbols, percussion maps, staff styls and lots more.  When you install Finale the common libraries  install into a folder with your Finale folder on your hard drive.

There are a lot of libraries that Finale uses. To get an idea of the various categories, open any file in Finale and choose 
 > Save Library. You will see the following dialog box that gives you the option to save a library.

Libraries make it possible for you to customize one or more of the libraries in pieces you are working with. For example, if you create a custom shape and want to use it in future Finale files, you could save the library and then open or re-load the library into other documents saving you the time of re-creating the shape every time you use Finale.

Missing Libraries

A common occurrence is when you open a Finale file that was created with a previous version of the program and some of the contextual menus have missing items.  When I open a file from an older version of Finale and I find that the libraries are not up to date, here is how to remedy the problem:

1. With the older file opened in your newer version of Finale, choose File > Load Library.

2. Finale will go directly to the Libraries folder on your hard drive that was created when you installed Finale for the first time. You can then select one of the libraries that are listed. The basic library to load which includes all of the libraries that are installed with your version of Finale is on of the main fonts.

3. If you want to get all of the libraries installed into the existing program, choose File > Load Library. Then choose the Library Font you are using such as Maestro, Jazz or Handwritten default font that are listed in Finale 2012.

After loading the default font library into the document you have opened, you will now see the options in contextual menus that you are accustomed to. For example, here is the listing of Staff Styles in a file before and after the library was loaded:

Staff Styles available in the original 2003 Finale File:

Staff Styles available after loading the library in Finale 2012:

After importing the font Library in Finale 2012, when I selected the Staff Tool and right-clicked the options in the current version of the program appears:


If you open a file from an older version of Finale and you want to recapture the libraries, with the file open, choose File > Load Library and select one of the default fonts that most fits your example.