RGP Lua is an environment to run scripts written in the Lua Programming Language as plugins in the Finale Music Notation program. RGP Lua is free and compatible with all 64-bit versions of Finale. It is the successor to the very successful JW Lua plugin, which unfortunately ceased being updated in 2017.

Writing scripts for RGP Lua is as simple as setting up a development environment to create a script file (which is a .lua text file) and then configuring that file in the RGP Lua Configuration Window. The rest of this page describes how to get started and applies to scripts written either for RGP Lua or JW Lua or both (with minor differences noted).

Your First Script

Every programming reference seems to require a “Hello, world!” example, so here it is in Lua:

print ("Hello, world!")

If you want a “Hello, world!” example that shows up as a menu option in Finale’s Plug-in menu, here is a slightly more complex version:

function plugindef(locale)
    return "Hello World", "Hello World", 'Displays a message box saying, "Hello, world!"'

finenv.UI():AlertInfo("Hello, world!", "")

A Quick Start

The fastest way to get a feel for how the Lua script language works is probably to read and test existing source code material, such as the scripts at Finale Lua. Make small changes to the script code and try and see what happens when you run it.

PDK Framework

Both RGP Lua and JW Lua map the Lua script language to the PDK Framework (created by Jari Williamsson). For more info about how to interpret the PDK Framework documentation for scripting in JW Lua, please refer to this page.

All accessible PDK Framework classes starts with the FC prefix, such as FCMeasure, FCMusicRegion, FCNoteEntry, etc.

The methods names (and as a result, the Lua properties) in the PDK Framework are in UpperCamelCase (sometimes called “Pascal case”). The constants are all-uppercase.

The Lua Language

RGP Lua as of version 0.67 is based on Lua 5.4. (JW Lua is based on Lua 5.2.) More information about the Lua computer language (and books about Lua) is available at the Lua home page, including the Lua 5.4 Reference Manual and the online version of “Programming in Lua”, First Edition. (This book covers Lua 5.0, but for Finale Lua programming purposes, it should cover what you need.)

Lua is case sensitive. The basic Lua syntax is very similar to other computer languages and Lua is an easy language to learn. To be able to write plug-in scripts there are just a few concepts in Lua you need to be aware of, such as:

  • Variables
  • Tables
  • Functions
  • Namespaces
  • for … do … end loops
  • if … then … end conditional statements

However, to really take advantage of the full power of Lua, there are other very powerful tools (such as iterators, closures, and coroutines) to explore.

Both RGP Lua and JW Lua include all the standard Lua modules (string, math, file, etc). These modules can be used in any Finale Lua script, such as :

print (math.random(1, 10))

Trusted Code

Lua is a powerful language that has components that allow a script to access many low-level and system-level features outside of the Finale environment. For that reason, users must exercise caution when installing scripts from third party sources. A blatantly destructive script could in theory wreak havoc on your personal files, for example. Neither RGP Lua nor JW Lua offer any way to prevent this, since file system access is an essential productive feature of the plugin. Your operating system files should be safe, but your personal files might not be.

The good news is that in the grand scheme of the internet, Finale is a niche, single-user environment. Only plugins you install will run, and even then they will run only if you invoke them or allow them to be invoked. Consequently there is little motivation for bad actors to create malicious scripts, and the risk is extremely low. As of this writing there have been no reported examples on either RGP Lua or JW Lua. Nevertheless, if you are in any doubt, scan the script for uses of io.write, os.remove, os.rename, or other similar calls.

RGP Lua (starting with version 0.67) adds a layer of protection with the concept of trusted code. To gain full access to the language features of Lua and RGP Lua, you must be running as trusted. The vast majority of scripts do not need to run as trusted code, and it is recommended not to do so if you do not need to. A script is trusted if

  • it is sourced from a known website such as the Finale Lua website, and it has not been modified. The Finale Lua organization on GitHub maintains a whitelist of known, trusted websites.
  • it is marked “Trusted” in the configurator. The “Trusted” option exists for script developers to mark their own code as trusted. If you are not the developer of the script, do not enable this option. And even if you are, do not enable it unless you have to.

The limitations placed on untrusted scripts are relatively mild. Untrusted scripts cannot

  • execute external code.
  • load binary C libraries.
  • modify Finale’s menus.

Note that all scripts can access your file system with user level permission. The main goal of the trusted code restrictions is to limit the ability of a script to remain hidden while taking control of your computer for its own purposes.

Requesting Code Features

Certain code features must be explicitly requested in the plugindef() function. This allows a user quickly to see the kinds of features the plugin will be using that are unrelated directly to Finale. It also restricts the calls a loaded library can use, which may not be obvious by scanning the top-level script.

Some of the features require trusted code and some do not. A summary is as follows:

  • finaleplugin.ExecuteAtStartup allows the script to run at startup. It must also be configured as “Allow At Startup”, but trusted status is not required.
  • finaleplugin.ExecuteExternalCode allows the script to launch external code or load binary C libraries. Trusted status is required.
  • finaleplugin.ExecuteHttpsCalls allows the script to call the get or put functions in luaosutils.internet. Trusted status is not required.
  • finaleplugin.LoadLuaSocket pre-loads the full socket namespace. Trusted status is required.
  • finaleplugin.ModifyFinaleMenus allows the script to modify Finale’s menus. Trusted status is required.

The ‘bit32’ namespace

The bit32 library in Lua 5.2 was removed in Lua 5.4. These functions were replaced with bitwise operators such as &, |, >>, <<, etc, directly in Lua. To maintain script interoperability with JW Lua (which includes the bit32 library as part of Lua 5.2), RGP Lua embeds a compatible version of bit32 implemented using the Lua 5.4 operators.

The ‘cjson’ library

RGP Lua (starting in version 0.67) pre-loads the lua-cjson 2.1.0 library, which is embedded in the plugin. This allows for frictionless encoding of Lua tables to and from JSON strings. Access it as follows:

local cjson = require('cjson')

The json strings formatted by cjson are flat, containing no line feeds. If you wish to format them in human-readable format, you can use the built-in function prettyformatjson.

More information on how to use the cjson library is available here:

The ‘finale’ namespace

All functionality that accesses Finale through the Finale PDK Framework resides within the finale namespace. (Namespaces use the dot separator.)

For example:

local page = finale.FCPage()

The ‘finenv’ namespace

The finenv namespace provides “programming shortcuts” to some objects that are often needed for a Finale Lua scripts. For example, you can get the current selection in Finale as follows:

local sel_rgn = finenv.Region()

It also allows for direct interaction with the Lua plugin itself. A full description of available functions and properties can be found on the finenv properties page.

The ‘lfs’ library

RGP Lua (starting in version 0.68) pre-loads the luafilesystem library (‘lfs’), which is embedded in the plugin. This expands access to information about the file system.

local lfs = require('lfs')

More information on how to use the lfs libray is available here:

The ‘luosutils’ library

RGP Lua (starting in version 0.66) optionally preloads an embedded version of the luaosutils library. This is a library of functions specifically written to help Lua scripts running on Finale. It allows them to interact with the host operating system or the Finale executable in ways that are not directly supported by either the Lua language or the PDK Framework.

RGP Lua does not load the library into a global namespace, however. You must explicitly require it into a varable of your choosing similar to what is shown in the following example.

local osutils = require('luaosutils')

The advantage to this approach is that you do not need to change the body of your script if you wish to use an external version of luaosutils instead of the version embedded in RGP Lua. Simply disable the LoadLuaOSUtils option in plugindef and the script will pick up the external version instead, provided it is in your cpath list. (RGP Lua automatically adds the script’s running folder path to the cpath list.)

A script must be running as trusted code to gain full access to the functions in the library. See the readme file for details.

The ‘socket’ namespace

RGP Lua contains an embedded version of luasocket. You can elect for it to be available in the socket namespace in one of the following ways.

  • Select Enable Debugging when you configure your script.
  • Add finaleplugin.LoadLuaSocket = true to your plugindef function and be running with trusted status.

When you request the socket namespace, RGP Lua takes the following actions.

  • Preloads socket.core.
  • Preloads socket.lua.
  • References (“requires”) them together in the socket namespace.

If you have only requested debugging, no further action is taken. If you have specified finaleplugin.LoadLuaSocket = true in your plugindef function, then RGP Lua takes the following additional actions. (Your script must be running as trusted code.)

  • Preloads mime.core but does not include it in any namespace. You can access it with
local mime = require 'mime.core'
  • Copies the built-in require function to a function called __original_require.
  • Replaces the built-in require function with a new version that strips the text socket. from the beginning of any library name that starts with it. For example:
local url = require 'socket.url'

is converted to

local url = __original_require 'url'

This allows you to manage all the lua sources for luasocket in a single flat directory of your choosing. For example, you could require them straight from the src directory in a local copy of the luasocket repository. Or you could easily include them in a distribution package with your script(s).

If you prefer to keep the original require function, simply include this line of code before any require statements:

require = __original_require or require

If you are planning to use the standard installation of luasocket, you may be better off disabling the embedded version in RGP Lua altogether.

The ‘tinyxml2’ namespace

The Lua plugin for Finale has included the tinyxml2 XML parser for many years. Both JW Lua and RGP Lua use it for reading and saving preference files, among other tasks. It is a lightweight parser implemented as a C++ class framework. It has the advantages of being very fast and possessing a simple API.

Starting with version 0.67 of RGP Lua, the tinyxml2 framework is available to Lua scripts in the namespace tinyxml2. You do not need to do anything extra in order to use it.


local xml = tinyxml2.XMLDocument()

See the tinyxml2 documentation page for details on how to use it.

The ‘utf8’ namespace

Lua 5.4 includes a standard utf8 library for parsing utf8-encoded strings. With the addition of SMuFL font support in Finale 27, parsing utf8 characters is an essential requirement for Finale scripts. RGP Lua versions before 0.67 embedded a back-ported version of the utf8 library into Lua 5.2. Since version 0.67 it is part of the standard set of Lua libraries. The Lua 5.4 Reference Manual describes how to use these functions.

Dialog Boxes

JW Lua supports dialog boxes to the user through the finenv.UserValueInput() call. Programming of these dialog boxes is explained in full detail on this page. However, RGP Lua does not support UserValueInput, and it should be considered as deprecated. Use FCCustomWindow or FCCustomLuaWindow instead. These work in JW Lua as well.

Finale Concepts

When you access Finale data in RGP Lua or JW Lua, the data is internally handled in a way that sometimes is very different from how a Finale user experience the data. This section lists some internal concepts in Finale that a Lua programmer for Finale should be aware of.

Enigma Database

Internally, Finale stores its database, historically called Enigma data which is loaded/saved from/to the database. Different data record types have different access parameters. However, the PDK Framework “hides” all calls to the database through its classes and methods.

Some data (such as the “page spec” record, which describes a page with its width, height, etc) is really simple and has no linked connections to other data in the database. Other types of data demand more, and might consist of linked data records across the database (for example an expression added to the score in Finale, which contains a number of different data records).

TGF Entry Frame

Note entries however, are not accessed through Finale’s usual database calls. They are accessed through a concept called the TGF entry frame, where all note entries in a single measure+staff+layer are accessed through one variable-sized data record. The TGF frame can actually be browsed directly in Finale, using Finale’s Edit Frame dialog box (in the Speedy Entry Tool).

The PDK Framework has no direct representation of the TGF Entry Frame. Container classes such as FCNoteEntryLayer and FCNoteEntryCell manage the TGFs for you. You must keep in mind that when an instance of one of these container classes goes out of scope and is garbage collected, the TGFs they were maintaining are destroyed as well. If you access any dangling entry instance from a destroyed container, you can crash Finale. This is particularly a risk with the built-in iterators eachentry and eachentrysaved. They create and destroy instances of FCNoteEntryCell from which they feed entries to the loop. It is very risky to assign one of those entry instances to an external variable and then access it outside the loop.

A note entry can contain multiple notes (which are the different pitches in a chord), but the notes are just sub-data in the note entry.

Optimization Flags

Finale makes extensive use of bit flags (accessed through class properties in PDK Framework classes) to signal that the data should behave in a certain way.

However, when connecting some data types to measures and note entries, Finale also uses some internal flags to mark if the database should be accessed for the specific measure/entry. These flags are optimization flags, to speed up the performance in Finale. In the PDK Framework, all optimization flags end with Flag.

Example: if a note entry has articulations, there is a specific optimization flag for them that is accessed through the FCNoteEntry.ArticulationFlag property.

Editing Scope

Finale will edit the document and part that currently has the editing focus. Technically, the editing focus might be different from what the user sees on the screen (the visual focus), so a script can edit data in a document/part that is not currently visible. However, as a plug-in script programmer, it is extremely important that you make sure that the editing focus and the visual focus are identical when the plug-in script ends.

Class Concepts


An important concept in the PDK Framework is the collection. Usually, collection classes ends with a plural ‘s’ version of the “single-object” version. For example:

measure = finale.FCMeasure()      -- A single measure
measures = finale.FCMeasures()    -- A collection of multiple measures

Collections are not compatible with Lua tables, but they can be converted to Lua tables with the coll2table() function (see below).


A cell in PDK Framework termonology is a reference to a single measure on a single specific staff. The concept is used with the FCCell and FCNoteEntryCell classes, but it affects many other classes as well. The coordinate system for cells (at object creation, for example) always is x, y, which in the cell concept means measure_number, staff_number.

Connect to Finale/Lua

To fully integrate a plug-in script with Finale (and RGP Lua or JW Lua)—so it behaves like an independent plug-in—the script can describe the script through the plugindef() function.

Please note that JW Lua can handle many of the items in the plugindef() function automatically, by using JW Lua’s “Plug-in Def” dialog box. With RGP Lua you will need to use a text editor or IDE.

RGP Lua can be further integrated by configuring a stand-alone instance. Stand-alone configuration includes the option to hide RGP Lua’s configuration dialog box so that your scripts appear in Finale’s Plug-ins menu as independent, self-contained plugins. (See the link for more information.) The main target of stand-alone configuration is large-scale FinaleLua projects such as Perfect Layout and JetStream Finale Controller that have their own installers that otherwise might interfere with a user’s separate script configuration.

The ‘plugindef()’ function

The plugindef() function is an optional function that only should do a maximum of 2 things:

  • Return the plug-in name, undo string and brief description to be used in the Finale plug-in menu and for automatic undo blocks.
  • Define the finaleplugin namespace environment to further describe the plug-in (see below).

A simple plugindef() implementation might look like this:

function plugindef()
    finaleplugin.RequireSelection = true
    finaleplugin.CategoryTags = "Rest, Region"
    return "Hide Rests", "Hide Rests", "Hides all rests in the selected region."

Starting with version 0.71, RGP Lua passes the user’s locale code as an argument to the plugindef function. You can use this to localize any strings returned by the function or assigned to variables. The user’s locale code is a 2-character lowercase language code followed by “_” or “-“ and then a 2-digit uppercase region code. This is the same value that is returned by finenv.UI():GetUserLocaleName(). (See the note below detailing why the plugindef function cannot call GetUserLocaleName directly.)

A localized version of the same function might look like this:

function plugindef(locale)
    finaleplugin.RequireSelection = true
    finaleplugin.CategoryTags = "Rest, Region"
    local localization = {}
    localization.en = {
        menu = "Hide Rests",
        desc = "Hides all rests in the selected region."
    localization.es = {
        menu = "Ocultar Silencios",
        desc = "Oculta todos los silencios en la región seleccionada."
    localization.ja = {
        menu = "休符を隠す",
        desc = "選択した領域内のすべての休符を隠します。",
    -- add more localizations as desired
    local t = locale and localization[locale:sub(1,2)] or localization.en
    return t.menu, t.menu, t.desc

Note that the plugindef() function must be entirely self-contained. It may not have access to any of the global namespaces that the rest of the script uses, such as finenv or finale. It does have access to all the standard Lua libraries. If the script has a function named plugindef(), the Lua plugin may call it at any time (not only during script execution) to gather information about the plug-in.

plugindef is a reserved name in the global namespace.

All aspects of the plugindef() are optional, but for a plug-in script that is going to be used repeatedly, the minimum should be to return a plug-in name, undo string, and short description.

The plugindef() function can return a maximum of 3 return values (all of them should be strings):

  • The first return value is the name of the plug-in. On Windows, the & character may be used before a letter to specify that letter as a mnemonic character keystroke when the script appears in Finale’s plug-in menu. (Example: “My &Plug-in” would make p the shortcut mnemonic key.)

  • The second return value is the undo text for the plug-in. JW Lua will append “ [JW Lua]” to the undo text when it sends the undo record to Finale. (Note: RGP Lua does not do this.)

  • The third return value is a brief description text (for the status/message bar in Finale and the JW Lua user interface).

Again, all these return values are optional.

The ‘finaleplugin’ namespace

The finaleplugin namespace is a reserved and defined namespace for the plugindef() execution. It can both contain properties that affect how the script will run and properties that further describes the script to the outside world.

Please note that since the execution of plugindef() is completely silent (no errors are displayed on failure), make absolutely certain that all spellings are correct (including correct upper/lower case).

The finaleplugin properties should only be set in the plugindef() function. Both JW Lua and RGP Lua call plugindef() immediately before executing the script. Any explicitly configured properties of the finaleplugin namespace are therefore available to the script when it starts executing. (Omitted properties are not available and return nil.)

The properties are discussed in details on the finaleplugin properties page.

JW Lua redirects the output of the standard Lua print function to the JW Lua window, so all output from the print function shows up there:

JW Lua Window

RGP Lua has no output window, but there are a number of ways to see output from the print function.

  • Redirect it to an external debugger. See instructions for setting up a Development Environment for more details. (This works on both macOS and Windows and is the recommended approach with RGP Lua.)
  • Debug Finale under XCode on macOS. The print output appears in XCode’s “Output” window.
  • Run Finale from a macOS Terminal prompt. The print output appears in the Terminal window.

Additional Finale Lua Functions

RGP Lua and JW Lua add some some functions to the global namespace that are specially designed for plug-in script programming. They are listed below:


coll2table() transforms a PDK Framework collection object into a Lua-style table, so the items can be used with the Lua standard functions for tables (such as the standard table. library). The resulting table is 1-based (not 0-based as the PDK Framework collections). For example:

-- Load all measure objects
allmeasures = finale.FCMeasures()
-- Convert to table
measuretable = coll2table(allmeasures)
-- Sort the measure objects according to their width (widest measure first)
table.sort(measuretable, function (a,b) return (a.Width > b.Width) end)
-- Print the sorted result
for i, v in ipairs(measuretable) do
   print ("Item", i, "is measure number", v.ItemNo, "with the width", v.Width)


dumpproperties() creates a table consisting of all available properties for an object and their values. The keys in the table is the property names; the values in the table are the property values. Use the pairsbykeys() iterator (see below) to get the properties sorted in alphabetical order.

The first parameter to the function is an instance of a PDK Framework class.

The second parameter is optional, but can be used to specify if properties from base classes should be included as well. If omitted, properties from base classes are not included.

page = finale.FCPage()
properties = dumpproperties(page, true) -- true: include base class properties
for k, v in pairsbykeys(properties) do
   print (k, "=", v)


each() is the general iterator “factory” for PDK Framework collection objects. It feeds the for loop with all the elements of the collection:

-- Print the widths for all the pages
allpages = finale.FCPages()
for v in each(allpages) do
     print ("Page", v.ItemNo, "has the width", v.Width)


eachbackwards() does the same as the each() iterator, but parses the elements backwards starting from the end of the collection. It feeds the for loop with all the elements of the collection. This iterator is available in beta version 0.31 and later.

-- Print the widths for all the pages, starting from the last page
allpages = finale.FCPages()
for v in eachbackwards(allpages) do
     print ("Page", v.ItemNo, "has the width", v.Width)


eachcell() feeds a for loop with all the cell coordinates for a region. Partially selected measures are treated as being selected. The first coordinate is the measure, the second is the staff ID. eachcell() requires a region as the parameter, and an easy way is to refer to finenv.Region() to get the currently selected region.


for m, s in eachcell(finenv.Region()) do
   print ("Measure: ", m, "Staff: ", s)


eachentry() feeds a for loop with all the note entry objects in a region, without saving them back. Mirror entries are processed with eachentry().

The first parameter to this function is the region to process, where you could use finenv.Region() to get the current selection.

The second parameter is optional, but can be used to indicate the note entry layer(s) to load in Finale. The default is to load all visible layers. These values are available:

Value Description
-3 Don’t load any entries.
-2 The non-visible layers(s).
-1 All layers, regardless if they’re visible or not.
0 All visible layer(s). This is the default.
1 through 4 Load only the one-based layer number. The layer is loaded regardless of the layer visibility.
A bit mask combination of hex values 0x100, 0x200, 0x400, 0x800 The layers 1-4 in any combination.


counter = 0
for e in eachentry(finenv.Region()) do
   if e:IsRest() then
      counter = counter + 1
print ("The region contains", counter, "rest entries.")

A word of caution when using FCNoteEntry.Next and FCNoteEntry.Previous. eachentry() and eachentrysaved() iterate one measure at a time. If you need the Next and Previous methods to cross barlines, use the each() iterator with FCNoteEntryLayer instead.


eachentrysaved() feeds a for loop with all the note entry objects in a region and automatically saves the entries back to Finale after processing. Only use this function when the entries actually needs to be saved. It requires the same parameter(s) as eachentry() (see above). Mirror entries are not processed with eachentrysaved().

One other task that can be automatically done with eachentrysaved() is to delete entries. Just set the duration to 0, and eachentrysaved() will automatically delete the entry prior to saving it.

-- Let eachentrysaved() delete all rests in the selected region
for e in eachentrysaved(finenv.Region()) do
   if e:IsRest() then e.Duration = 0  end

Due to the way the TGF frame works, the note entry is not saved directly after each loop turn, but only when a frame has been fully processed.


eachstaff() feeds a for loop with all the staves for a region, from top to bottom. Iterating staves by number is a bit tricky, since Finale increments staff numbers as they are added, rather than in score order. This function encapsulates that logic. eachstaff() requires a region as the parameter, and an easy way is to refer to finenv.Region() to get the currently selected region.


for s in eachstaff(finenv.Region()) do
   print ("Staff: ", s)

eachstaff() was added in version 0.63 of RGP Lua and is not available in JW Lua.


loadall() feeds a for loop with the elements from a collection, typically where the data hasn’t been loaded. The supplied collection must support the LoadAll() method. This is a useful shortcut when the collection itself isn’t important, but rather all the items in the collection.


for m in loadall(finale.FCMeasures()) do
   print ("Measure width: ", m.Width)


loadallforregion() feeds a for loop with the elements from a collection, based on a region. The first argument is a created collection, typically without any loaded objects. The second argument is the region.

The supplied collection must support the LoadAllForRegion() method. This is a useful shortcut when the collection itself isn’t important, but rather all the items in the collection.


local region = finenv.Region()
for e in loadallforregion(finale.FCExpressions(), region) do
   print ("Expression's measure:", e.Measure)


pairsbykeys() feeds a for loop with the table elements, where the elements appear sorted by key. It returns the key/value pair just like the pairs() iterator in Lua.


t = {}
t["test"] = 12
t["a test"] = 100
for k, v in pairsbykeys(t) do
   print (k, "=", v)


prettyformatjson() formats a flat json string into a tabbed, formatted string containing multiple lines. The first argument is the string to process. An optional second argument can supply the number of spaces to use as tab width. If omitted, the function defaults to 3 spaces.

t = {} -- your table
local cjson = require('cjson')
local json_string = cjson.encode(t)
if json_string then
   local pretty_json = prettyformatjson(json_string) -- using the default tab width of 3
   -- OR --
   local pretty_json = prettyformatjson(json_string, 4) -- supplying the tab width, in this case, 4

If the input string is not json, or if it already is formatted, the output results are not predictable.

xml functions

See the tinyxml2 documentation page for details on other built-in functions available starting with v0.67 of RGP Lua .

Memory Management

The Lua language handles memory through garbage collection, so allocated memory is released automatically by Lua. However, there are a couple of points that a plug-in programmer should be aware of.

  • Define variables as local as often as possible. This becomes particularly important when group scripts (JW Lua only) are used (global variables survive to the subsequent scripts in the group as well), or when using libraries. However, if you are using finenv.RetainLuaState in RGP Lua, keep in mind that local variables can disappear between invocations of the script. Any cross-invocation state should be held in global variables.
  • The memory allocated by the PDK Framework’s Create methods is handled automatically in different ways by RGP Lua and JW Lua. JW Lua releases these memory objects after the full script has been run. RGP Lua allows the Lua engine to release them as part of normal Lua garbage collection.
  • For JW Lua, the Create methods can sometimes result in a huge number of objects waiting for release, for example, in a tight loop. Lookup classes (classes that end with Lookup) are available as a faster and more memory-efficient approach.
  • For RGP Lua, calling Create methods in tight loops is less of an issue, since Lua garbage collection releases unused items as the loop progresses. However the same Lookup classes are supported as in JW Lua.
  • When using the FCCellMetrics or FCEntryMetrics class, make sure to call the FreeMetrics() method separately for the loaded object as soon as the data is no longer is needed. Finale allocates loaded metrics data internally, and metrics with a garbage collector can otherwise impact performance in scripts where lots of metrics data are loaded without release. This is not as big of an issue in RGP Lua because Lua garbage collection also releases the internal metrics data, but FreeMetrics() still gives you the control to free it as soon as you no longer need it. Metrics also allow the <close> keyword in Lua 5.4, which calls FreeMetrics() automatically when the variable goes out of scope.


  • If you don’t need a collection object anymore, you can set it to nil. That might benefit the performance in large scripts with huge collections of data (since it signals to the garbage collector that it can free the allocated memory).
  • RGP Lua uses Lua 5.4, which includes the <close> keyword. Most of the collection classes in the PDK Framework support <close>. (See the documentation.) If you define your collection instances with <close>, they free their memory as soon as they go out of scope.
  • There is virtually no performance penalty to put lots of comments in the script code. Once the script has been loaded into the Lua engine, the code resides in (quite efficient) bytecode where only the actual execution code appears.
  • An alternative syntax for properties is to use the property name as a string table index with the object as a table. For example, the syntax mymeasure.Width is equivalent to mymeasure["Width"]. This alternative syntax might be useful when referencing properties dynamically through the code, especially in string variables. Example:
function print_property(obj, property_name)

print_property(mymeasure, "Width")

(Most of this content was copied from Jari Williamsson’s site and will be removed or revised if so requested.)