Go simple or go speedy? 

Simple entry has gone through a tremendous metamorphosis in the past years.
Starting as a tiresome mouse-click-entry tool it grow slowly into a quite usable tool to enter your music into Finale.


One of its best feature is that you can enter notes and articulation or ties with one stroke. Plus you can use the corresponding letters on your computer keyboard to enter note pitches (the A-key entering the note A, the C-key the note C etc, etc). You can add pitches to existing notes, creating chords so to speak, while pressing shift when pressing the corresponding letter-key. Pressing the asterix (*) key will offer you the option to add an articulation by either clicking on select or pressing the corresponding meta tool key.
The numeric keypad defines the the note values, as usual in Finale.
Sounds all good right? Well, not for me. Actually I never use simple entry. It just doesn’t seem work for me.
The  computer keyboards keys are simply not in the right order. I’m a pianist. It’s not logical for me to have the A the B and the C not in consecutive order. It just breaks my workflow too much.
Yes, I’m sure I can get used to it with some practice. And I do practice! From time to time I give Simple Entry another chance and try to stick with it no matter how difficult it is. Just in order to learn. But honestly, every time after my practice sessions I end up dropping Simple Entry and give up.
Why? Well, for me, there is a much better tool that does the job much ehm…. speedier….!
Hello Speedy Entry!
Speedy Entry just suits my workflow much more.
You click on a bar, which gets you a box (or a caret, how Finale calls it) around the active bar.
I enter notes using a combination of the numeric keypad and a midi-keyboard:
  • Press a not or chord on the midi keyboard
  • Press the not value you need on the numeric keyboard – Bam!

If you want to enter many notes with the same note value (let’s say a whole bar of 8th-notes) first press CAPS-LOCK and then the desired note-value on the numeric keypad.

You will see a representation of the locked note value inside the lower left corner of the caret.

You can now enter just the pitches on your midi-keyboard and Finale will keep entering 8th notes. Really practical.
Speedy Entry has another handy hidden feature called “jump to next measure”.
This will make the caret automatically move to the next bar as soon the total amount of beats is reached. Very handy indeed!
There are many shortcuts and trick concerning Speedy Entry. I will cover them in another post.
For now I encourage you to try both Simple Entry and Speedy Entry and let me know in the comments below which of the two is working better for you!

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