Here are some tips to help you keep your notation looking polished and professional. I use Finale most of the time and many of these tips refer to specific Finale elements, but all the tips here apply to preparing scores and parts with any notation software. (More complete information can be found in the text I co-wrote with Richard Grudzinski, Music Notation: Preparing Scores and Parts.)
- Avoid collisions.
- Organize notation elements from specific to general.
- Maintain narrative threads of like elements.
- Set measure numbers, repeats, and tempo markings just once, above the top staff of each system.
- Omit obvious staff names.
- Use Expressions, not Text, for words associated with measures.
- Align everything.
- Use easy-to-read fonts.
- Even out bars per system.
- Facilitate easy page turns.