How to Scan Sheet Music into Finale with ScanScore

In this tutorial, we will show you how to scan your sheet music into Finale with our software, ScanScore.

When Finale came out with their notation editing software in 1988, musicians around the world rejoiced. Finally, there was an easy way to compose and edit music using the computer. But there was a problem… 

The program was missing a simple way to scan the sheet music directly and accurately into Finale’s software. Finale did have access to their own scanning system, but it wasn’t so easy or accurate to use. 

Fast forward to today, and you can now use ScanScore’s easy-to-use program to scan and import music into Finale for final editing. Read on to find out how.

Step By Step Instructions

1) Make sure both programs are downloaded

First, you need to have both Finale and ScanScore installed. You can do this by going to their respective websites and installing them.

You can use Finale with both Mac and Windows computers, however ScanScore is currently only available on Windows computers. Please note: you can download the ScanScore app from Google Play or the App Store.

Pro-tips: Make sure you are using the current version of each program to avoid problems down the road. And, if you’re using the app, you will need to scan the QR code that can be found on your desktop version of ScanScore.

IMAGE ScanScore how to scan

2) Scan the score

When you open the ScanScore program, you will be given three options to choose from for scanning in your sheet music. You can import an image file or PDF, use a scanner or take a picture using the ScanScore app.

3) Check the notation

When the screen opens you’ll see a side-by-side view of the original score and ScanScore’s digitized version. Now, you can check for any scanning mistakes and correct those errors with the easy-to-use correction tools. 

ScanScore can automatically detect many of the potential errors, and these will be highlighted by purple and blue lines.

You can highlight areas that need correcting using ScanScore’s simple “point and click” toolbar. You can also zoom in on a specific measure for closer inspection. When you do this, both the original and digitized copies will zoom to the same place for easy comparison.

Remember to save your file regularly to avoid losing any of your hard work accidentally.

Pro-tip: As a final check, have ScanScore play the music back to you using MIDI files. As it plays, you get a helpful side-by-side tracking of both versions. 

Image ScanScore editing the sheet music

4) Export to MusicXML

When you’re finished working on the score in ScanScore, go to the file menu and choose to export to a MusicXML file. 

Pro-tip: Name the file something you’re going to remember. I recommend using the format “piece_composer_part.” Here’s an example: “FugueGminor_JSBach_organ.”

Image ScanScore export to musicXML

5) Open with Finale

Open up your Finale program. Once it’s open, go to “file” and click to import and open your MusicXML file. 

Give it a few seconds as the file opens and converts into Finale’s program. It should pop up just as you left it, but now in Finale!

And there you have it, your scanned sheet music in Finale. It’s as simple as that.

Note: As an alternate method for importing the file, you can right-click the file and select “Open with …” and choose Finale. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will ScanScore read any music? Basically, yes it can! However, there are different levels of ScanScore subscriptions.

  • The Melody option is the most affordable and reads single stave scores. 
  • The Ensemble subscription is useful for small groups, allowing for scanning of scores with up to four staves. 
  • The Professional version is more expensive but handles up to 32 staves which would be perfect for full scores and composers.

Do I have to edit my sheet music in the ScanScore software? Not if you don’t want to. You can always choose to export it right away and import it into Finale.

But one of the benefits of using ScanScore is the helpful side-by-side view you get of both the original and the digital versions. 

Can I use ScanScore as a notation editing software to replace Finale? No, ScanScore is not intended to replace actual notation editing software. The editing offered by ScanScore is only intended to ensure the markings match the original as accurately as possible. The extended features offered by programs such as Finale are not available on ScanScore.  

Here are some of the important elements you will not find on ScanScore:

  • Layout
  • Transposition
  • Parts
  • Specific instrument playback

ScanScore is intended to make digitizing existing scores easier. Using the two programs in combination can make your editing more simple.  


ScanScore is a revolutionary and easy way to digitize your score. If you follow the basic steps, you may be shocked at how simple it actually is. Here’s a quick look at those steps again:

  1. Download the programs
  2. Scan the sheet music
  3. Check the notation
  4. Export to MusicXML
  5. Import into Finale

If you have any questions, please go to ScanScore Support. Thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoy the program!

1 thought on “How to Scan Sheet Music into Finale with ScanScore”

  1. Pingback: How to Import a PDF into Finale Using ScanScore | SCANSCORE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *