I use TablEdit. And while I'm not all that familiar with the pro packages, I can say that TablEdit has thus far been able to do pretty much everything I've wanted it to do in terms of producing guitar scores. And I can
say that I like it better than any other guitar
-specialty score program that I've tried out. Azalais, by the way, is the one who first recommended it to me, and I'm not sure if I've ever thanked her...
A couple of things I really like about it. First, as Azalais points out, the note entry system is versatile and easy to understand. It allows you to do note entry either on the staff (my preference), or from the Tab line. And you can do your staff-note entry from the keyboard, and use hot keys to change a lot of parameters. This really speeds things up and spares you a lot of mouse clicking once you get used to it.
You are not restricted to just two voices or layers, as you are in most other guitar programs I've seen. You can change the direction of the stems with the click of a mouse or a key. You don't have to juggle "layers" like you do in Finale. And I think if you want to really "deep edit" you can adjust the stem lengths and how notes are beamed, although I haven't really messed with that.
In fact, note entry in TablEdit is all
pretty wide open. You can place notes wherever you want on the staff, with whatever time value you want, and are not "forced" to fit them into the meter scheme, nor will they be automatically changed or beamed to fit. Which can lead to a lot of textual errors, of course, and mess up the MIDI playback, but -- it also allows you a lot of freedom and versatility.
Because it's a guitar specialty program, it also has a lot of specialized symbols for guitar notation -- including classical-guitar stuff like p-i-m-a finger indications, etc., and some general classical-music symbols you can insert in the score.
It's also pretty versatile in how it handles text and special symbols. For example, if you use a lot of LH and RH fingering indications, TablEdit allows you to to place numbers and letters either to the left, right or even above or below the notes. Used wisely, this allows you to keep the score uncluttered, while still including a great number of editorial markings. However -- this is probably the least intuitive aspect of TablEdit. You really need to study the documentation and do a little trial-and-error to figure it out, especially when it comes to texts, headers, footers, page numbering etc.
TablEdit also allows you to print the score only ( AZ:
) , the tab only, or both at the same time.
OK, I presume the pro packages have a lot of similar features, too. But the registered version of TablEdit costs about the same as a new video game ($50 US). The pro packages can cost many times that.
You can download an almost fully-functional demo version to try out. So give it a test drive and see what you think. Definitely worth the price of a video game in my book, but you can decide that for yourself.