Welcome to the forum, LouGeart!
1) You have posted in the SmartMusic forum.
You might get more replies if you post your questions in the Finale forum, e. g. in the sub-forum “General Finale Help”.
By The Way: This forum is not monitored/owned by MakeMusic.
But there is another Finale forum on MakeMusic’s own web site.
2) Crashes can be difficult to diagnose, since the culprit can be hardware specific, or software specific.
Generally Finale 2014 works well for most users.
There have been few reports about crashes in Finale 2014.
Your best choice might be contacting the folks in MakeMusic’s Tech Support.
They know a lot about hardware specific issues.
By The Way: What steps have you tried already? Have you e. g. tried trashing the Preferences file?
3) You tell that you can not hide staves.
I think that we need more info:
* What are the exact steps you are following when trying to hide staves?
* What happens - or does not happen - when you try to hide staves?
* Is the problem isolated to one particular document - or does the problem happen in all documents?
4) For getting contacts to other composers, try e. g.http://netsoundsproject.eu/know-how/good-practices/compose-music-forums