Importing and Exporting Questions and Answers

Import questions

If I import and export an SCX, SCM, FIR or CSV file will I get the same thing after the round trip or does Finale substitute effects?

If you import/export files you are guaranteed the same thing only in specific conditions. Here is an explanation:

a) Once you've imported a file into Finale, you can share that file with anyone and everyone will see the same thing. The show file contains the required effect definitions within it. You can think of this like a PDF document that contains the required fonts embedded within the file so it works for everybody.

b) To Finale, an effect is not just a row of text. Finale has to understand what the effect is so it can create accurate reports, rack layouts, and visualizations. For example, a text row "Peony 10/6" with quantity 1 could mean a single shell, or 6 shells in a chain, or 10 shells in a chain. Everybody seems to have a different convention in their SCR, SCX, FIR, and CSV files. When Finale imports, it interprets whatever is in the file according to rules defined here (

c) To eliminate the guesswork you can import "with matching". So long as the imported file has a Product ID column, Finale will then match product IDs to products in your Master Inventory. If different people with different Master Inventories import the same show file "with matching" they'll obviously get different results. Those with matches will see their matching effects; those without matches will see the guesswork.

d) Finale Inventory is the professional solution to (c) for teams and companies of multiple people. If you get a Finale Inventory account for the company, then all employees share the same Master Inventory and they are guaranteed consistency. Even if you don't use any of the inventory management features of Finale Inventory, the collaboration support may be worth the minimum version of Finale Inventory of $99/mo.

Can I build a show, drawing down from my total inventory instead of from pack list quantities?

If you want to draw down from total inventory quantities instead of from pack list quantities when building a show, you can do it by creating a pack list representing your total inventory quantity and then setting it as the target quantities with "Effects > Import/export to pack list or sales order > Import target quantities from CSV (pack list)".

A pack list is simply a CSV file containing a column of Product IDs and a column of corresponding quantities. The quantities could represent the quantities in a packed show, or they could represent total available quantities, your choice. If you are using Finale Inventory, you can export the total stock quantities to Excel with "View stock > Export", and then save the table as a CSV file.

How do I update the prefire times on all my imported effects?

To update the prefire times of Master Inventory products, create a CSV file with two columns: Product ID, and Prefire. Import the CSV file with "Effects > Master Inventory > Import product list CSV file".

This method also applies to other properties. The Product ID column identifies the product, and the other columns are the properties you can change selectively.

Each year I get new products, and sometimes the prefire changes. I understand I can update my inventory, but if I re-use a show from last year, how do update the prefires in the show?

2 When you create a show, the effects used in the show become decoupled from the inventory item definitions, because obviously you need to be able to update inventory items without retroactively changing old shows. But if you want to re-use an old show with new effects, you need to update the effects in the show. For example, if you wan to update the show from 2011 products to 2012 products with different prefire, just:

  1. Open the show.
  2. Press control-F for Firing View.
  3. Type the product ID of the 2011 effect in the search box to filter the table to only those effects.
  4. Select all.
  5. From the right of the Firing View, do "Actions > Replace effect" and replace them all with 2012 effects.

What should I do if I get a Gateway Time-out error?

The import process has a five minute limit after which the server returns this error. The limit is to prevent invalid files or bugs from running indefinitely. The import process will be partially completed (products imported before the timeout will have been imported).

The solution to this issue is to split the file into segments and import each segment.

Export questions

How do I divide my show into sections for semi-automatic fire?

Many firing systems support semi-automatic fire (FireOne, Cobra, Pyrosure, for example). You can divide a show into sections from the Firing View (control-F) using the track column ("TRK"), which contains identifiers that group the effects together into sections. All items in a section have the same track identifier. For some firing systems (Cobra), the identifier is also the trigger button on the controller that fires that particular section.

To set the track, select the effects in a section, and then do "Actions > Set track" from the Firing View. When you export the script, use the semi-automatic export option for your firing system.

I've created a FireOne FIR file but it doesn't work. What should I do?

If your FIR file won't download successfully, then first create a simple test show with just a couple of cues, export that show, and try that test FIR file. If that doesn't work, then something is wrong with your FireOne system or download procedure. If it does work, then you need to figure out the difference between your script and this test script that causes your script not to work. Start by changing the filename extension of your script from FIR to MDB. Then open file in Excel with the standard Excel "Open" menu item, changing the file type to "Access Databases" so you can oped the MDB file. When the file opens in Excel, choose the "FireData" table. You can then look at this table and verify it contains the correct firing rows.

Import/export features included with Finale PRO, Business, and Finale Inventory

What inventory capabilities are available with Finale PRO?

Finale PRO supports the My Fireworks inventory capabilities, which is a repository of effects that you create with "Effects > Create new simulation" or from beginning with standard effects and modifying them with "Effects > Edit selected simulation". After creating effects, you can save them to My Fireworks with "Effects > My Fireworks > Save selected simulation as new effect...". The more advanced inventory capabilities like importing an effect list require upgrading to Finale Business.

Categories: Category_Importing_and_Exporting, Category_Questions_and_Answers, Importing, Category_Firing_System_Export