Graphic Export request


I know that Dorico can export an entire page of music as a graphic file. But I would like to add the suggestion of being able to export just a few measures, just one system, half a page, etc.

It would be nice to have a selection box the user could drag and create, and in that user box have information such as how far from the top line the selection box is, along with how far from the bottom line the selection box is. And the same for the beginning and end of the measures, etc.

I am working on a drum set book, and am doing the work in another music program. But I export the music example as graphics, then I import into a DTP program (InDesign, etc.), then layout exactly where the text must go and the music examples. I know once Dorico is a little more robust, the engraving mode will be just as useful for this. But I also have to share the files with the client, and the publisher they use. Sometimes publishers like to get in and tweak layouts a little bit. That is why I am asking for the ability to select partial aspects of the page to export them as graphics.


Yes, in future, we plan to make it possible to export smaller chunks of music as graphics.

Is this capability any closer, please? Much of my work consists of creating musical examples to embed in academic texts, and I would very much like to use Dorico for this. Ideally, I should like to generate EPS files whose dimensions are determined by the smallest bounding box.

I’m afraid it’s not going to be in the forthcoming update, musicus. One possible approach you could take in the meantime would be to create one layout for each music example and set the page size in Layout Options to the appropriate size for your individual example, since the graphics you export in Print mode will match the dimensions defined in Layout Options.

The good news is you can use built in macOS screen capture to get the job done in the meantime.


screen capture does produce graphics (.png files) with low resolution though.
Dorico exports to up to 600 dpi.
One can manipulate (select, cut etc.) these exports with built in Preview or an application like GraphicConverter.

Belated thanks to Daniel, Romanos401 and k_b. Yes, setting the page size for each music example is what I do at present. However, it is extremely time-consuming, especially if I need to tweak the layout (which I usually do). As k_b says, screen capture is limited to low resolution graphics, which is not suitable for my purposes.

I tried cropping exported PDFs in Preview. It looked promising, until I got a message to say that the cropped portions were still there, but hidden. However, I will explore further.

Meanwhile, I will be patient and continue to enjoy what Dorico does so well in other areas of my work.

musicus, try cropping graphic files only like .png or .tif

Is there any news on when this feature (Use smallest bounding box) might be added?

In the meantime, an excellent way is to use a good old export as pdf, then open and edit the graphics file in something like Illustrator.

Welcome to the forum, petermouse. I’m afraid there’s no news on exporting graphics using the smallest bounding box. I’d be interested to learn more about the use case for which you need this: do you really want to get graphics of each page exported at varying sizes because they’re cropped tight to whatever is the outermost item on each side? Or do you actually need something else? I think it’s important to get at the underlying requirement – i.e. tell me your problem, not your preferred solution – so that we can be sure we’re thinking along the right lines in considering what to do.

Personally I would like an option to export graphics clipped to the size of a music frame.

Having consistent margins above and below the staves, and consistent heights for each graphic, can be nicer than having the smallest possible bounding box.

This times an unspecifiably large number!

I want to confirm what ‘k_b’ wrote. If you export ‘.tiff’ or ‘.png’ files you can’t crop them the same way, as you did the pdf-file on mac. But then everything is deleted and not hidden. I do work in the same field as you are and it really worked perfectly, even with a rather “amateurish” app like ‘preview’. You can draw a rectangle, crop it and save it with a matching name. That’s really fast and like that you can even make different little pictures out of one Dorico graphic export.

For a long time I fought with Sib to get only the relevant snippet of png, later SVG export, and was not happy that you could only export pages in Dorico.
but then I took it the other way round.
now I export in pages in svg, then fragment, resize, aggregate, add lines, symbols in AffinityPublisher or AfinityDesigner (indesign etc…) where you get all the tools to build up the final page layout to your liking, not talking about the text editing.
there is no coming back.

If you’re on MacOS, and want to crop all pages of a PDF to a given set of margins, you can use the attached python script. Use it on the command line, or in Automator as a Quick Action/Service. (1.39 KB)

Are you using Affinity Publisher? How do you find it? I’m a big InDesign user; I’ve felt comfortable in it for quite some time and I often employ its high-end tools. While I’m not too sure I’ll be going away soon, I admit that Adobe’s current strategy with Creative Cloud strangles the lower-end of its potential market, and I’m averse to the subscription model in general and its price. How complete do you find Affinity’s offering to be already?

As a disclaimer, I’m using it for simple layouts of my music theory and guitar tuition sheets, so for me it does it easy and well. It replaced MS Publisher which I always hated.
Affinity publisher is in free beta at the moment so, why not try it. Its not Indesign yet I read, but for us musicians it seems enough. Around 50$, one time payment.

Thanks for chiming in. I’ll see if I remember to try it if I have some time in the future.

Well, for me, the reason I feel I would need a smaller bounding box (with consistent margins encompassing everything, etc.), is that I have done a lot of educational texts in the past. And if I need to show a 1 measure example in the middle of some text, I could simply draw the box around the specific measure and export that as a graphic. I find this method to be easier and less time consuming, than creating a new flow, copying the music into that flow, then adjusting the layout options/notation options to represent the measure exactly as it is in the main work, to then export that flow as a single page (PDF, SVG, etc.), then open another application to trim/crop that page down to encompass only the music example, to then save that, open my publishing document (perhaps even in Dorico itself), to then add the graphic to the text. The problem is then exaggerated, when I realize that the music example itself is missing something important, then I have to repeat that whole process.

I’ve been part of publishing several music education books. Often times the books I have worked on will have text, an example (say 1 measure of drum set notation), then more text. Then it might have a 3 measure exercise, followed by more text, another 3-4 measure exercise, followed my more text, etc. While Dorico is very powerful, and I have been able to do some of the work strictly in Dorico (text and music combined, no outside program), there have been times that I needed to use another page layout application. When someone is dealing with over a hundred examples, having to crop down a lot of graphics does become time consuming.