Entering notes via a pdf score

I use Sibelius a lot for adapting scores for use by my students. I use PhotoScore&NotateMe to process (read) a pdf and then send the music to Sibelius. Does Dorico have a similar system? I have not been able to find any reference to this way of inputting notes.

Welcome to the forum Noeline.
Photoscore and NotateMe have traditionally been bundled (at least their lite versions) with Sibelius but continue to be developed by a separate company, Neuratron. PhotoScore can export MusicXML files that can be read by Dorico.
Other PDF to MusicXML programs are available: Newzik and PlayScore Pro, for instance.

instead of Send to Sibelius you can use Save as MusicXML - a file you may easily import into Dorico.

I use PhotoScore a lot with Dorico. Just use the save MusicXML button and open the resulting file in Dorico.

MusicXML format from PhotoScore is good, but not always error-free. For complex scores I still route PhotoScore output to Sibelius, then use the Dolet XML export plugin in Sibelius to produce a file for Dorico.

Using the direct route, problems can occur especially with complex tuplets; multibar rests; double-flats; and multi-voice staves (if one voice has tuplets).

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I suggest you try {newzik (Welcome to Newzik). It converts PDF imto MusicXML. Very good.

This is the link:https://newzik.com/en/

How does it compare to Photoscore?

Photoscore allows you (well actually, you seldom have the choice but to correct) to correct its work before you export it. The other solutions don’t, so you have to correct in Dorico (which is often more efficient)

I use Playscore 2 all the time for converting PDF to Dorico. Highly recommended.

Cheap, quick and easy, and exports MusicXML. I sort out any errors (not many!) in Dorico.


Typical use is like this (much quicker than it looks):
Send the PDF I want to convert to my own email address as an attachment

Open the email on my mobile
Tap the attachment and choose Playscore 2 to open it
If necessary tap the Select Pages icon*, and select the pages to convert by tapping above the start page and below the finish page
Tap Save, filling in any info needed
Tap the Share file icon, and choose Share MusicXML, sending to my email

Open the email on my computer
Save the attachment somewhere
Open Dorico
From the Dorico Hub: File > Import > MusicXML > the file just saved
Work on the score in Dorico.

*Tip: If you can’t work out what the icons mean then click the ? button, when all is revealed.

[Edited to change Click to Tap]

Yes Marc, Photoscore is my preferred tool for this kind of work. I also bought a license for the french software PDF2Music, which works well with (non image) vector Pdfs. Newzik is also french, may be it’s from the same people? Since recently I also give PlayScore 2 a try. It works on iPad and even iPhone, so I can prepare MusicXML files, whilst on the go…

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How would you compare the ease-of-use and the accuracy of Photoscore, PDF2Music, Newzik and PlayScore 2?

They are all different animals with different use cases.
That’s why one really can’t compare.
Even if I asked for it myself…


I’m using “Notenscanner” as a App: cheap, easy going tranfering via Airdrop…

I love it!



I used Photoscore a long time ago, so it would not be fair to compare. I can tell you that I have been able to convert to MusicXML complex scores like Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons and Bach Brandenburg concerti with more than 90% precision.

It really depends on the “source quality”. And the last version (from 2020…) has really improved the program. But it’s true all the other (more automatic solutions that have appeared those last two years seem to have a better recognition ability. I still hope Photoscore will improve (workflow and recognition), but it looks kind of dead…

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I agree. I live with PhotoScore’s foibles because it does the job and I have no wish to splash cash on an alternative, unless there is an unequivocal advantage, which so far, I’ve not found.

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