Export pdf vs graphic pdf

It’s better to export in pdf or in graphic pdf?

You should use Dorico’s Print mode and click on Graphics instead of “Printer” in the top right hand corner.

Why it is better

The PDF format is sort of like an envelope that can contain a bunch of different things inside. When you export PDF in the normal way (Not from the graphics option) you will get a document that would be editable or able to display itself differently (to some extent) in any number of PDF tools like Adobe Acrobat DC (for editing) or say Forescore.

When you use the “graphics” button but then select PDF instead of say SVG, what you will get is a PDF document that contains a graphical image of the score.

I’m not sure there is an answer to which is “better” but I think it depends on what you expect to do with the PDF. Personally, if I want an image I’d probably just select SVG or JPG.

I note that if I select graphics-pdf the resolution is fixed at 150 dpi. This feels very low.

That’s not correct. It’s a vectored graphic, not low res.

So what does the 150 dpi mean?

Noticed that 150 is grayed, so it doesn’t make any effect.

Greyed usually means you cannot change it, not that it has no meaning!

In my time here, I would say that you can generally take anything @DanKreider says about how Dorico does something as most likely being correct. :slight_smile:

I know of at least few other times when Dorico will grey something out because it does not apply in a particular situation. One example, there will be options greyed out in the Timecodes section of preferences based on if you want to use a separate Timecode staff or not.


It will have a meaning if you select another output format rather than PDF, then you can change the dot per inch dpi resolution value from 150 to something higher.

I beg to differ, but won’t argue.

That’s not correct. The PDF is still vector graphics, with fonts and everything.

Laurent, Dorico already can export to PDF, and you don’t have any other second choice to make another kind of PDF except if you have PDFCreator installed on your Windows. If so, try to make two exports one from Dorico and the other from PDFCreator to see the differences. You can by the way set the resolutions in PDFCreator virtual printer.

I know you’re on Windows 10 as you told me before, on macOS, user can printout scores using Dorico’s Graphics/PDF/Export or from “Print…” button then save as PDF.

Laurent, read here: PDF Export - #5 by MarcLarcher

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Good Morning Ben - I think maybe we are saying the same thing? To quote Adobe from their website as the owner/inventor of the PDF format:

Adobe PDFs preserve all the data in the original file format — even when text, graphics, spreadsheets, and more are combined in a single file.

I’m saying they are putting the original image in the file, I’m not saying whether the image is an SVG or not 'cause I never looked.

Perhaps. :grinning:

All PDFs are “graphical”, in the sense that you look at them! So saying “you will get a PDF that contains a graphical image of the score” is meaningless.

But Dorico’s PDFs are certainly not ‘bitmap images’, like JPEGs, TIFFs or PNG files. They are vector lines, curves and text fonts, for which dpi resolution is irrelevant. They can be edited in Illustrator or Acrobat, or Affinity Designer, etc.

Ah, I get it. For context on my side, you are speaking to a recovering software/systems architect here so I meant it pretty literally/technical . :slight_smile: There are (or can be) meaningful differences.

A normal Dorico PDF - I get it. But a PDF file can contain different things from the computer’s point of view - all of which are meant for display in the graphical sense that you mean, but depending on what you select the exported PDF files themselves don’t have to contain exactly the same ones and zeros even though they originate from the same score and might look the same.

If Dorico (or any other software) in the “Graphics” option chooses to put a JPG or SVG in there instead - which the PDF format does allow Dorico to do if it wants - then that will affect what the person putting together a book of songs or whatever can do with it.

I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have the option without a reason and a difference.

I’m sure we’re not contradicting, but … You can’t export a “PDF of JPEGs” from Dorico. The ‘reason for the different’ formats is simply to export either a JPEG or a PDF. And the PDF will be vector.

You could export a bunch of JPEGs from Dorico, and then put them into a PDF container. But as far as I know, you can’t do that from Dorico itself. Dorico’s “Graphics” PDF export is still vector.

(For my part, I’m a old PostScript nerd who implemented PDF workflows in a dusty old book publishers, who were very suspicious of new technology!)

Actually you can:

In Dorico you can select “printer” as destination and then Print to PDF in the drop down as you know it. Or you can select “Graphics” and then select PDF instead of SVG or TIFF or whatever in the graphics drop down that Dorico gives you.

If you try both of those you will get different PDF file sizes for the same score although they look the same when you open them. The first practical difference I notice is that the first PDF is searchable for any text like “Flow 1” or whatever that you have in the score. The second - the PDF that contains a graphical image - is not searchable as it can’t “read” the text in the image.

I opened them in a programming editor - the first contains fonts and color spaces, etc. that you could work with. The second file only has a media box with the ability to rotate crop etc. the image inside.