Best App like Photoscore compatible with Dorico 4

Hi everybody! Kind regards from Rio de Janeiro. Please, I would like to know which application to scan sheet music do you recommend? Something like Photoscore but working with Dorico 4. Thank you.

I find that Photoscore Ultimate works quite reliable. You can send/save your project as music.xml which can be imported into Dorico…


I agree with @k_b . PhotoScore generally works very well.
A couple of caveats:

  1. Photescore produces a double-flat accidental, whereas Dorico expects the correct flat-flat tag (This is easily corrected with a find/replace in a text editor)
  2. Photoscore can get it wrong when interpreting complex tuplets in multi-voice settings (and Dorico is very sensitive to these errors). The simplest solution is to replace the ‘difficult’ bars with rests in Photoscore and enter them manually in Dorico.
  3. Photoscore is not good handling cross-staff notes

Thanks for the answers. I remember that in a live Daniel Spreadbury had recommended Musitek Smartscore 64. Daniel, could you please confirm that? Thanks!

I haven’t used SmartScore much myself: these days I personally use PlayScore on iPadOS when I need these kinds of features, but it is not the same kind of app as PhotoScore or SmartScore and doesn’t provide detailed editing features.

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Thank you Daniel for responding. Let’s see if I understand, then do you recommend Photoscore before Smartscore 64? Is that ? I am enjoying the new Dorico Pro 4 very much. Please could you consider making manuals in Spanish and Portuguese to show Dorico 4 to my colleagues. Lillie told us that there is no such possibility, Please we would be very grateful if you could consider that. Thanks again and congratulations for the excellent work of all of you.

I have more experience with PhotoScore over the years, certainly, and I’m comfortable with it as an application, but I don’t actually use either SmartScore or PhotoScore these days – as I say, when I have need for such things (which is rarely) I tend to use PlayScore. But perhaps this write-up of OMR software on Scoring Notes will be helpful to you?


What I can say about Photoscore Ultimate is that the last version (built in 2020?) provides much better results than it used to… and I earn a lot of time when the source is clean. Obviously I don’t know Smartscore as I would not need it.

I tried two little imports with PlayScore on iPadOS today, wow this feels really like a fast and new application - whereas in PhotoScore on the desktop computer it works well - but the app does not perform confidently. May be it is running in a kind of emulation (I am on macOS 10.14 on Intel).
PlayScore: I exported directly to Dorico on iPad and did the edits over there - a good way to get grips of the iPad Dorico version…

Yes, it does work very well — unless when it doesn’t. But I find it works quite well on the iPad, yes.

I see that everyone is talking about applications for Ipad, but my interest is to use my desktop scanner, not with an ipad or cell phone. Any suggestion? or is Photoscore still better? Thanks

@MarkLarcher: Good to know.
My Workhorse is also the PhotoScore Ultimate version of 2020.
I wonder, who is maintaining this Application, as there are still things, which could work better. One thing f.e.: why is the window for choosing/changing the instruments so small, that one always has to use the mouse to access the lower area (singers and string players)?

I can only agree. There are soooo many things that could be better in the UI. And… who does need line 1 G clefs? That error drives me mad.
I have been writing quite often to their team, and they always respond to me. But I don’t know how many they are, and if they still work on making this tool better. No idea.

After good initial experience with PlayScore 2 for iPadOS I today purchased a one year subscription.
Strange though: the direct .xml handover to Dorico for iPad does not seem to work now, as it did while still in trial mode.
I get these “Error: invalid parameter” warnings.

It might be worth pinging the support people over at PlayScore. If they don’t have any suggestions, let me know. You’ll need to send me the MusicXML file you’re exporting from PlayScore.

To add to my former message: if I save the generated music.xml from within PlayScore, I am able to import it into Dorico for iPad. It’s just the direct handover “open in Dorico” which produces the Error.
I’ll contact playScore anyway.

With all the recommendations you gave me I am now using Playscore 2 for Android ( With my tablet and Phone) with excellent results. It bought me a lot of time. Thanks!


An update: the problem has been solved.
If there is a comma in the filename of a .pdf imported into PlayScore 2, it won’t handover the musicxml to Dorico directly.
Having a comma in a pdf filename is not a good idea, especially in this case.


I use PhotoScore from time to time. If a MusicXML file exported directly from PhotoScore doesn’t open properly in Dorico, try opening it in MuseScore first (or perhaps Sibelius), cleaning up the invalid measures and voices, and exporting it from MuseScore to Dorico. It’s a bit roundabout, but it can be a pretty quick way to fix up problematic input.

Thank you all for the comments. As I said before I’m using Playscore 2 with excellent results. I scan first with a scanner to get a quality pdf and then convert to MXL and then take it to Dorico. And the results are admirable.