The music library has two computers with full-size piano keyboards and several mini-keyboards you can check out for 3 hours to use with your own computer. These keyboards connect to Finale using Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).
While you can use the MIDI keyboard for simple entry, it is even more useful for Speedy entry. In Speedy entry, you place one hand on the piano keyboard and the other on your number keypad. As you press down on your desired note, you press down on the corresponding duration, where:
You can also use the Speed entry without a MIDI keyboard by clicking on a measure and then pressing the arrow keys to move the note up or down. While it takes some initial practice, Speedy entry is faster to use than simple entry.
Finale has free starter tutorial online which you can access through the link below. Skills taught in the tutorial include: Finale's Setup Wizard, simple entry, layering voices, playback, adding lyrics, generating parts, and much more.
For more detailed information on using the program, you can access Finale's user manual (with a search function) from within the program by pressing the "User Manual" button.
Use Finale's Setup Wizard (Under File → New → Document with Setup Wizard) to create your music file. In the Wizard, you can specify the composer, title, copyright, instrumentation, time sigature, key, tempo marking, and pick-up note, if applicable.
If you hover your cursor over the boxes with icons (called tools) at the top of the screen, Finale will display the name of the tools. Here's a description of some of Finale's basic tools: