Installation & Usage Instructions

On this page, you’ll find application-specific information like installation instructions and downloadable resources you might need to use our fonts.

If anything is unclear on this page, please contact us with as much information as you feel is appropriate and we’ll help you get things working properly.

LilyPond LilyPond

Installation/usage instructions for this application are included in the individual font’s .zip download file.

For anyone wanting to use our fonts with LilyPond (any version prior to 2.19.12), you will need to patch a core file called “font.scm” that contains the functionality to use alternative fonts. Click here to download the file. The installation instructions that come with the font show where this file needs to go.

Dorico Dorico

SMuFL fonts utilize an extra metadata file that contains important glyph metrics so that Dorico knows how to use them for music engraving (i.e., how big the glyphs are, where stems should attach to note heads, etc.). It also includes a set of engraving settings that help make the overall look of the score more harmonious to the particular font style (e.g., a hand-written font will likely have thicker stems, slurs, barlines, etc. than a more classic font). This file will usually have “metadata.json” in its name and accompany the font it applies to. SMuFL fonts should be installed in the normal system font directory like any other text font. However, the metadata file is installed in a Dorico-specific folder (at least for now, until a universal directory is agreed upon by the SMuFL admins).

† In Dorico v1.0.0, these settings are applied automatically when you change the default music font. In later versions, you are able to choose to not apply them and to just change the font if you desire.

Metadata File Installation Location

When Dorico is starting, it looks in a specific folder for font metadata files. Without these files, Dorico does not know which fonts on the system are SMuFL-compliant and which ones are not. For Dorico to recognize our fonts, simply copy the font’s metadata file to the directory for the OS you are using:

  • Dorico 1.0.10 and earlier: (here, fontname should be in all lowercase letters, e.g., “mtf-cadence_metadata.json”)
    • Windows – C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Dorico\fonts\metadata\fontname_metadata.json
    • Mac – /Applications/
  • Dorico 1.0.20 and later: requires an additional folder (here, fontname should be the same as the font file, e.g.,  “MTF-Cadence/MTF-Cadence.json”)
    • Windows – C:\Program Files\Common Files\SMuFL\Fonts\fontname\fontname.json
    • Mac – /Library/Application Support/SMuFL/Fonts/fontname/fontname.json

Changing the Music Font in Dorico

When you launch Dorico next time, it will find the new metadata file and make an entry for the font in its list of available music fonts. To use the new font, open a file and go to Engrave mode (Ctrl+3 or Cmd+3). Then click on the Engrave → Music Font menu option. In the dialog window that appears, click on the name of the font in the list, then click the button “Set as Default Music Font” (v1.0.10 and earlier) or “Change Music Font” (v1.0.20 and later) in order to apply the font to the open project. You can optionally check or uncheck the box to use the recommended engraving options. Click “Ok” to close the dialog and after a moment you should see the current score update with the selected font.

Again, if the above process doesn’t work as explained, please contact us so we can help you get it working as expected.

Finale Finale

To make the most of our fonts in Finale, you should know about three kinds of files that are included in each font package:

  1. TTF – The font file itself. Install this in the normal system font folder. Make sure to add the font name to “MacSymbolFonts.txt” (see below for instructions).
  2. FAN – The font annotation file. This file gives Finale basic size information about the glyphs. In a way, it may be easier to just have Finale create this the first time you use a particular font since it will put the file in the correct location. When the dialogue window pops up asking about it, tell it to “Auto Annotate All” font annotations. Simple as that!
  3. LIB – The “Document Options Library” (i.e., font stylesheet). This contains important style information related to the font itself. Some settings are generic to all MTF fonts, but others are font-specific. See below for how to use this file. In case you do NOT want to change your current document style at all, please refer to the README file included with the font so you can know which minimal settings you need to manually apply to make the font work as designed in Finale.

Changing the Music Font in Finale

The official documentation related to using alternative music fonts in Finale can be found here. However, here are a couple of very important things to note. When doing this for the first time, Finale may prompt you to add the full name of the font to the “MacSymbolFonts.txt” file in the Configuration Files folder. The location of this folder depends on your OS:

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 – “C:\ProgramData\MakeMusic\Finale 2014.5\” (Administrative privileges may be needed to edit the files here) or “C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Roaming\MakeMusic\Finale 2014.5\”
  • Mac OSX – “/Library/Application Support/MakeMusic/Finale 2014/”

NOTE: Be aware that there are technically multiple locations where Finale *should* be looking for these files, but this doesn’t really seem to be the case. When in doubt, the exact folders where Finale expects to find these files can be found by going to the Edit > Preferences dialog, under the “Folders” menu option (as shown in the official online documentation). Failing to put the supplied files in these folders, and if the wrong “MacSymbolFonts.txt” file is edited (I’m not sure why this is even possible, but it is), then the fonts may not function properly.

You may also be prompted to provide the FAN file or have Finale generate one for you. In most cases, with the font name in MacSymbolFonts.txt, you can tell it to “Auto Annotate All”. Details about the Font Annotation file can be found here. If you are unsure if the FAN file was created or not when you changed the default font, here’s a graphic outlining the steps for creating it in the Finale-known location:


Once the FAN file is created, you shouldn’t be prompted to create again.

Applying Custom Document Options

The last thing you need to do is load the included library file (if desired) since this will correct the settings for flag placement and set a variety of other basic style values that are appropriate for the font style (e.g., stem thickness, flag positions, tie thickness, etc.). Details for how to do this can be found here. A list of recommended settings is included with each font in text format so that you may manually change specific values without affecting any other current settings. Here are the simple steps for loading a font’s library file:


After you click “Yes” at step 3, navigate to the .LIB file and click “Select”. Then you can close the Document Options dialogue box by clicking “OK”.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have or if you think something’s not quite working correctly.

Sibelius Sibelius

None yet, but we’re working on it!