Export Dorico as Pages (or MS Word) document

If I want to write a book (in Apple Pages or MS Word) with many pages of text and lots of pages of sheet music (made in Dorico), is there any easy way to do it? The exported pdf output from Dorico is a multi-pages pdf file, this cannot be easily imported intact as multi-pages in Pages or Word. (In Pages or Word, you can easily import a single page pdf into one page of document file, but not multi-pages pdf into multi-pages document file.) I have tried several pdf converters, most cannot convert the sheet music intact (because they try to do OCR), and some of them require you to draw an image box around each page (in the source pdf) before converting the pdf page as an image. Since the Dorico exported pdf has multi-pages, this means I have to draw the image box on each page. Worse still, I will have many Dorico projects to export, thus this type of conversion utility becomes too labour-intensive to use.

I wonder whether this can become a new feature (i.e. export Dorico directly as Pages or MS Word document) in future Dorico version? Of course, I hope there are other people who also need such a feature!


I use PDF24 to convert PDFs into image files. It takes one or more PDFs and saves each page as an individual .jpg or .png .

You’d be better off exporting as SVG. Each page will be its own file and Word will treat it as a graphic and not try to convert it to editable text.

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There are plenty of apps that will split multi-page PDFs into single pages. Acrobat Pro (or whatever it’s now called) is the obvious one, but cheaper options exist - Preview, built into MacOS can do it for free. Freeware options will exist on Windows too.

Alternatively you can export smaller chunks using Dorico’s Graphic Slices functionality (one of the icons in the left panel of Engrave mode).

Pages is certainly fine importing PDFs, but (if I remember correctly) doesn’t like SVGs. Word may be the other way around.

Avoid PNGs and JPEGs; they’re not vector formats so any scaling (resizing) will likely cause pixelation.

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And if you happen to be working with bits of notation smaller than a page, another method in Preview on Mac is to make a rectangular selection, copy that, and paste into Pages. (I don’t know how well this currently works with Word as I have not used it in 20 years.)

Word happily opens PDFs (I’m on Office 365) but the result is not always flawless. You can also drop SVG files in a Word document. To convert a PDF with multiple pages into SVG files I successfully used cloudconvert.

I’ve written some Quick Actions (formerly called Services) for MacOS, including ones to split a PDF into separate PDFs for each page.


Don’t do this. Image quality will suffer drastically, and your file size will ballon out of control, too.

Vector image formats: PDF & SVG are the way to go.

Also, (to the OP) I’d avoid doing this in word or pages, if I were you. Doing a full book is really beyond the scope or purpose of those programs. They might be ok for that for collating all your text, but certainly not for formatting a book.

Thanks for all the good and working suggestions. They either involve breaking down the PDF file into individual images or get Dorico to export in SVG (1 page in 1 file), and then manually insert into the word processor. This is really workable when there are not too many pages of scores. I have tens of hundreds of pages of music, so it becomes somewhat laborious to do it manually. I guess I will just need to find a good tool from all the suggestions and work diligently to insert them into my project.

I feel your pain, having recently worked on a 900+ page hymnal in InDesign (using PDF imports from Dorico projects). I would just say that, for a project as large as yours, there’s no way around the significant amount of work required to manage this.

InDesign is really the way to go for this sort of thing; it handles ridiculously large projects with aplomb, including linked PDFs.

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InDesign is really the way to go for this sort of thing; it handles ridiculously large projects with aplomb, including linked PDFs.

Or if you prefer not to shell out money for Adobe I can highly recommend Affinity Publisher!

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I agree, I like to forget that I’m paying a monthly subscription for ID and Acrobat Pro. :unamused: I’m just in too deep with ID and have several collaborations that require it, and I don’t have the energy to learn another DTP program.

I remember at some point hearing that Publisher had some issues with reliably importing and placing PDFs, but perhaps that’s been fixed by now.

Speaking of learning curves… if any new users are inclined to complain that Dorico is too complicated and deep, tell them to try InDesign…

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I haven’t encountered any issues as of yet; seems to be able to open a Dorico created PDF perfectly, though I’ll admit I haven’t used it too deeply.

Affinity Publisher can now import PDFs from Dorico (and elsewhere) as “Passthrough PDF” images, which means that it just displays them and doesn’t try to ‘interpret’ them.

If you want to import into Affinity Designer for the purpose of editing the notation - moving, resizing individual items, etc - then there are still a few glitches, though they seem to be still improving with each new revision.

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Ok, that’s good to know. I only ever import PDFs as pass through in InDesign.

Maybe it’s time to check out Publisher…

I edit my PDFs in AP and it is now very rare that I have any issues (which I did in the last). The only thing I encounter is occasionally specific, free-floating items, will change their font weight, but again, this is very rare these days. I’ve never had issues with things not being where they were supposed to be or with characters rendering incorrectly.

If anything, my main annoyance is that occasionally certain notes will be grouped together in text boxes which makes them more difficult to nudge at a pixel level.

Wait, so Publisher also gives the same editing functionality as Acrobat?? :exploding_head:

I’m not exactly sure which editing functionality you are referring to, but I can tell you that everything that I ever used to do in InDesign I can do an Affinity Publisher. You can select every single glyph on the screen and nudge it pixel by pixel. You also have all of the comprehensive text/font/paragraph controls, as well as master pages, guides, page layout, masking, pen tool, etc.

Affinity Designer is the equivalent of Illustrator, which is the better choice for manipulating objects in a PDF than Acrobat.

The beauty of the Affinity Suite is that if you have all three apps, all the functions of all of them are available in all of them…!

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Yes I have that one and like it.