Adept Music Notation Solutions

Nightingale X Tips from the help file.

Dear fellow Nightingale user,

As a very long term Nightingale user, I thought a small file of tips should be in the help file, where it is always accessible. It is not meant to be comprehensive, just my honest perspective on how to get the most out of Nightingale.

David Gottlieb, President
Adept Music Notation Solutions, Inc.
33 Riverdale Road
Yardley, PA 19067 USA;

6 May, 2006

1) Printing on a PostScript capable printer will give engraver quality results with Nightingale. If you don't have a PostScript printer, the best alternative is to make a PDF file. In Panther and Tiger, save your Nightingale file as a PostScript or EPS file. You can then open it in Apple's Preview program and save it as a PDF file. The results are very good and comparable to those you can get by printing straight to a PostScript printer.

2) Make Incremental Backups:
Music Notation Software is a complex animal. At some point, particularly if you are doing large scores and/or complex scores, it is possible that you will have a problem with a file. We do our best to eliminate bugs as we find them, but because Nightingale, the computers it runs on and their Operating systems are constantly evolving, hard as we try, we will never find them all. Add to that the errors that we as users sometimes make, through inattention and fatigue, and the best piece of advice we can give anyone is preventive:
Make lots of INCREMENTAL backups as you are working. This means not just saving your files as you go, but using the 'Save as' command to make 'your_file.a', then an interval later 'your_file.b' and so on. The Mac finder's duplicate command is another good way to do this: it makes 'your_file copy', and when done again 'your_file copy 1', 'your_file copy 2' etc. Having work you can go back to in the event you have a later problem, or change your mind about what you later put in a score, is invaluable. (For one thing, if you need to get back to old material that you have since changed, it is available for cutting and pasting.)

3) Make 'Work on Page Format' changes the last thing you do.
Nightingale's 'Master Page' is generally used at the beginning of your work to set up a file, but it can be useful for tweaking margins or rethinking the distribution of staves as you work, particularly if you have a dense score which is tight to the edges of pages or if you need to add a part mid-stream. (See above about backing up before making a change in 'Master Page' as you near the end of a large project.) 'Master Page' acts on the whole score; 'Work on Page Format' acts on individual staves and systems on individual pages, including allowing the hiding of staves. Remember that 'Work on Page Format' changes should be done last, and you should save your last version before making them. This is because any subsequent change to 'Master Page' will in almost all cases eliminate changes made in 'Work on Page Format'.

4) Avoid Octave problems.
Although Nightingale currently allows 1) dragging the octave signs bracket away from its covered notes, 2) using the 'Remove Octave Sign' command to remove notes from within a group of notes under an octave sign and 3) simply deleting notes from within a group under an octave sign, it probably should not allow this and you shouldn't do it: our sense is that this leads to problems. If you need to change the contents of an octave group, make it an all or nothing proposition: select the same notes you began with when the octave sign was created and remove the octave sign (command-8), then replace it with a new octave group of different content. (Dragging notes that are under an octave sign is probably OK, though.)

5) Make sure of your attachment points.
If you miss the note (or clef, timesig, barline etc.) on which you are attempting to attach a piece of text (or dynamic, patch or pan symbol, metronome mark etc.), the symbol will go to the beginning of the bar. It can then possibly end up in strange places if any reformatting or parts extraction occurs. To avoid this problem, make sure that a synch line appears between the note and the symbol when you click in the attachment. Double clicking on the inserted symbol can confirm to what it is attached.

6) Extraction.
Text, metronome marks and other objects attached to the initial clef, timesig or keysig, and to all barlines, will be extracted to all parts. If you don't want cluttered parts, use notes and rests to attach part specific (rather than universal) information. As above, be sure of where you attach things.
If the left end of system information is different between the score and parts, you may want to do a 'save as' for your score and then change that information to what you want in the extracted parts. If you have a lot of parts, this will avoid having to make a change for each one.
By using the 'combine parts' command, you can extract several adjacent, independent parts together.

This page last updated 18 May, 2006.

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