48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Powerful but has omissions and niggles, 20 Oct 2002
Allegro is advertised as offering powerful notation facilities but "without the advanced engraving features of Finale" (which costs some £400).
Some of the omitted features are quite small but are enough to make a score look messy. You can't change the length of stems when two parts on a staff overlap, for instance. You can't change clef in the middle of a bar. You can't beam notes between the two staves of a piano part.
Achieving good usability in scorewriting software is difficult and nobody seems to have solved the problems except in very expensive packages. Allegro is reasonable but there are annoyances. It isn't easy, for example, to move notes in a chord in one part ("layer") on a staff into different independent parts. You can't force articulation marks to appear in places other than where Allegro in its wisdom determines they belong without considerable manual intervention.
Some of the facilities are very nice though. You can enter music from an instrument by using controllers or specific notes to indicate the beat, so it isn't a problem if you can't keep up with the metronome whilst recording. You can apply expression markings across all staves and selectively display or suppress them in either the parts or the whole score, so when extracting the parts it isn't necessary to go through and insert expression marks, rehearsal letters, tempo markings in every one. It takes some time to get used to the arrangement of menus and tools and not enough use is made of Windows' interface design API (right-click popup menus, for instance). I prefer the arrangement of tools and objects in pallettes, as everything is visible from the main editing window; this is not the case in the Finale family.
There are not too many bugs. Allegro will not always put articulation marks where it should, and does not always redraw the screen automatically when it should. It seems stable. It has only crashed when trying to save backups in non-existent directories. Allegro is supposed to separate laterally notes on the same staff a second apart, but in some situations it forgets this and other layout conventions.
I am working with full orchestral scores. The adverts for Allegro suggest that unless special or avant-garde notation is required, Allegro is adequate for this purpose. It isn't quite.