Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Tech help needed for music notation in Word

I am writing a tutor and need to be able to insert short musical examples into Word files (Mac). Most ABC converters and music notation programs generate output on a PDF page, but I don’t need the whole page.

It would be great either to be able to generate music notation from within Word, or to extract notation from PDF or svg files.

Advice?

Hugh

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

I don’t know if this is the best way, but this is the quick ‘n dirty way I’d do it. Generate a PDF in your favorite music editor, then load that into Photoshop. Use the crop tool to select just the area you want, then save as a TIF or PNG to import into Word.

Some music editors like MuseScore will generate a graphic PNG file, but that’s also a full page image that would need cropping. Maybe someone here knows a music editor that only outputs the music content in graphic format?

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Are you wedded to Word? If not, what about typesetting with LaTeX and lillypond. See the following:

http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/tb29-3/tb93mccool.pdf

From the abstract:

The author is an active Irish traditional musician. He is also a keen inland boater. He is having a lot of fun composing a book on “Traditional Music for Boaters”.
In this paper he describes his successes and frustrations using Lilypond, Lilypond-book, LATEX and ABC musical notation. Lilypond and LATEX have a lot in common. Neither are WYSIWYG, neither demand GUI’s. Both compile simple flat files to produce beautiful graphical output.

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Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

I do it the Musescore>Photoshop>Word way that Conical describes.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Thanks I will try this. Am also going to see if Acrobat Pro has a cropping tool.

Hugh

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

My version of acrobat (probably the free one) has a Snapshot tool that can copy a selected bit directly from the pdf.
I can then paste it directly to Pages. Don’t know about Word.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Thank you CleverName, that worked fine and save me time and money for not having to buy software. Much appreciated.

Hugh

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Just doin’ my job, ma’am. 🙂
Glad it worked.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

In case you ever want to snap an image that’s not in a .pdf (say, a .jpg or .png), on a Mac you can use command+shift+4 and then drag to create a window frame around anything open on your desktop.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Seems to me Windows has a Snipping Tool that you can see for this too.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Word allows you to crop any image you bring in. Just right-click the image and choose the cropping tool.

Alternatively, open your original PDF in a PDF viewer like Acrobat and then use a tool like snag-it screen capture software to take a screen shot of just the part you want to paste into Word, and then paste it into Word.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

This is going to be somewhat weird but… EasyABC exports to pdf in text format. Not all programs do. Certainly, Apple’s own Preview exports pdf in compiled format. The EasyABC pdf file is text though and it can be opened in a text editor or preferably, vi under terminal on the Mac. If you delete every line associated with an abc header field and any line with the page number, save the file and then open the file in Preview, you’ll see that it’s just the music notation itself. Well and good I suppose if you’re a tech weenie but I suspect most of the readers are going to yawn at this point and segue on to a different thread. You can drag the pdf file right into the Word document (I hope this still holds true - I’m using Word from 2008) and you’ll get the score - along with an entire page worth of blank space. My version of Word does not have a cropping tool like you’d find in PhotoShop or Canvas or any other respectable graphics program but it does have a “margin” like dialog box and you can manually enter in the amount to be cropped on all four sides until the boundary is close to the notation. A total PITA but it can be done. If there’s an advantage, it would have to be the Word’s internal rendering of the pdf file may maintain a clear resolution and look good where an under-sampled cropped image file would not.

This worked for me although I would never likely use this approach for documentation unless there were very little of it required. Way too much effort even when you do know your way around some of the internals of the postscript code underlying the pdf file.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

If you are on a Mac, use preview. First from preview, export the pdf as a png or other graphic image. Use high resolution, 300dpi. Then load the image in preview and crop it. Then use the cropped image as a picture in word.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

I just screenprint the dots, paste into any package to crop, before copying and pasting into Word. I don’t crop in Word because changes made to a picture in Word used to leave the original picture still there and, as it was bigger, it took up more memory than the cropped image. (I wouldn’t know if this has changed in recent versions as mine is quite old). The size of a document with pictures in it can quickly make it unwieldy. Another problem is that careless resizing of the picture can distort the image. This can also happen if you move the picture or document onto a machine with different screen characteristics.

Re: Tech help needed for music notation in Word

Thanks for all the subsequent suggestions-I learned a lot. I found that the Acrobat “snapshot” tool worked fine , and it can be cut and pasted into Word, and resized easily, so I have been doing this.

Hugh