Pros / It’s easy enough to use for beginners and advanced composers alike.
Cons / This version is not available for Mac.
Verdict / Finale PrintMusic is missing a couple features we look for, but it is easy to use.
Finale PrintMusic for Windows has most of the common features you expect to find in professional music notation software, including manual step-time entry, a volume mixer and guitar chord diagram creation. The full version of Finale costs $600, but if you can notate within the framework of 24 staves, the PrintMusic version is a good option – it works well for composers and musicians of all skill levels and only sets you back $120. Keep in mind that the PrintMusic version is only available for Windows computers.
This music composition software has an impressive set of note entry and editing palettes, yet it's so easy to use you can quickly start composing quality music with very little instruction. Each tool on every palette includes a tooltip that activates when you place your cursor over it. These brief tool descriptions cut down on the time you need to spend thumbing through a manual, scanning online help files or watching video tutorials.
this music notation software performed well in our ease of use tests, it could rank higher if it included a virtual piano for more precise note placement like Sibelius First does. Like many of the music notation programs we reviewed, PrintMusic lets you enter notes using your computer keyboard; no external MIDI equipment is required. You simply press the Caps Lock key to transform your computer keyboard from a letter-entering tool to a note-entering tool. You can also notate percussion instruments and create guitar tablature with your computer’s keyboard.
Another one of Finale’s nice features is its Scroll View, which displays your score horizontally. This lets you see more of the score on the screen at a time, especially if you have a widescreen monitor. It also allows you to work seamlessly with the score, without changing pages.
Finale PrintMusic has just about everything we look for in music notation software that costs less than $200. You can input notes in a variety of different ways, as well as print and export sheet music as graphics and MIDI files. It isn’t compatible with Mac operating systems, but if you have a Windows computer, this notation software is a good value.