Is there any way to insert a longer pause than the semicircle over a dot symbol in notation software (Finale Print music is what I'm using but suspect the same problem to occur in other software)

About the only thing I can think of would be to insert a measure with a quarter or eighth rest (or however long you want for the pause). Adding the word lunga (Italian for long) inserted would work on a printed score, but I don't think MIDI would recognise it, so when using play to listen to your work the longer pause would not happen.