Software Documentation

Software Documentation


Integration Intermediate Last updated: August 11, 2021

11 Keyboard shortcuts

Finale 3D’s keyboard shortcuts are designed to support the “hands-on-keyboard” style of programming and also the “one-hand-on-mouse-one-hand-on-keyboard” style.  The keys shown in Table 1 are the hot keys (hotkeys) for inserting and replacing effects. Table 2 includes a selection of the most frequently used keyboard hotkeys for maximizing productivity.

To insert an effect, you can press “C” to invoke the effects window with the filter box focused and any previous filter text selected.  From that point you can easily press Delete to delete the text and type in different filter text.  Having filtered the effects window down to a reasonable number of rows, you can use the up and down arrow keys to select the next or previous row.  When you get to the row you want, press Control-Enter to insert that effect or Control-Shift-Enter to replace with that effect; or you can press Control-. if you change your mind.

Other keys tab between the cues on the timeline, or cycle among the selected positions.  You can navigate and insert or replace effects without taking your hands off the keyboard, if that is your style.  If you keep your right hand on the mouse, the “W” and “T” keys allow you to insert and replace effects with the left hand on the keyboard.  Of course, you can also ignore the keyboard entirely and just use the mouse by itself, but if that is your style you likely aren’t reading this section of documentation.


Table 1 – Keyboard shortcuts for inserting and replacing effects: arrow keys, enter, and tab

ShortcutFunction in Design WindowFunction in Effects WindowFunction in Script Window
Left/Right ArrowTab between cues on timelineSelect next/previous cell in table
Shift-Left/Right ArrowMove playhead 1msExtend cell selection in table left/right
Control-Left/Right ArrowMove playhead one small notch on timeline
Tab and Shift-TabTab between positions in alphabetical orderSelect cell or select next/previous cell in tableSame
Control-Tab and Control-Shift-TabActivate next/previous window in Finale 3D
Alt-Tab and Alt-Shift-TabChoose and activate next/previous window (system function)
CFocus the search box on effect window (and show instructions; same as, “Choose effect…”)SameSame
EnterFocus the search box on effect window (and show instructions; same as, “Choose effect…”)Focus the search box in windowSame
W or Control-EnterInsert effect from effect window (same as, “Insert effect”)SameSame
Y or Control-Shift-EnterReplace with effect from effect window (same as, “Replace effect”)SameSame
Up/Down ArrowSelect next/previous row in effects windowSelect next/previous row or cell in tableSame
Shift-Up/Down ArrowSelect next/previous row in effects windowExtend next/previous row or cell selection in tableSame
Control-Shift-Up/Down ArrowSelect and scroll to top/bottom row in effects windowSelect and scroll to top/bottom row in tableSame
Home/EndMove to beginning/end of timelineSelect and scroll to top/bottom row in tableSame
Page Up/DownMove playhead one large notch on timelineSelect and scroll to row one page up/down in tableSame
EscapeClear selection of effectsClear row or cell selectionSame
Control-. (Dot)Close the window (or dialog)SameSame


Some designers prefer to design with the effects window open all the time.  Others prefer scripting with a full screen simulation window, popping up the effects window only when needed.  The keys in Table 1 support both preferences.  If the effects window is already open when you press “C”, then it will stay open when you insert an effect from it.  If the effects window is not open when you press “C”, then it will close automatically when when you insert an effect from it, unless you manually reposition the window first, which clears its “auto-close” provenance.


Table 2 – Keyboard shortcuts for common and frequently used functions

KeyFunction in Design WindowFunction in Effects WindowFunction in Script WindowFunction on the Timeline
Shift+2Window preset 2: design + effects + scriptSameSameSame
Shift+left mouse button dragDraw a selection box over positions or effectsSelect contiguous itemsSelect contiguous itemsSelect multiple items
Ctrl+left mouse button dragOrbit in 3D spaceSelect non-contiguous itemsSelect non-contiguous itemsDrag timeline or duplicate effect(s)
SpacePlay or pause showSame
IInsert empty cueSameSameSame
YReplace effect (replaces the selected effect(s) with the item selected in the effects window)SameSameSame
FMake into fanSameSameSame
KMirror anglesSameSameSame
SMake into sequenceSameSameSame
HSpread out evenlySameSameSame
MReverse orderSameSameSame
Shift+MRandomize orderSameSameSame
DDuplicate into pairsSameSameSame
Shift+FDuplicate into flightsSameSameSame
Ctrl+HCombine as chainSameSameSame
GCombine as groupSameSameSame
Ctrl+GCreate an effect by typing a description of itSameSameSame
Ctrl+PCreate a cake effect by combining selected itemsSameSameSame
Ctrl+LAdd one positionSameSameSame
ZAdd racks for showSameSameSame
PAddress showSameSame
LLock addressesSameSameSame