Printing to PDF. Is it possible to save PDF at higher resolution than 150 DPI

Hello from Australia.

I have just started working on my first piece with Dorico (at last) :slight_smile:

With the print option to PDF, I notice that the resolution is 150 dpi, which is greyed out.

Is it possible to print to PDF at a higher resolution of say 300 or 600 dpi?

Thank you for your help and best wishes as always.


have a look :

I don’t understand this. PDF is a vector format and resolution independent, so how can one have a PDF with a defined DPI value? In light of this, I also don’t understand the statement in the manual in the link above:
‘You cannot change the resolution if you select PDF or SVG. However, if you select PNG or TIFF, change the resolution, and then select PDF or SVG, the resolution you selected still applies.’

The higher resolution makes sense if you have pixelgraphics in your sheet. Logos etc.

I use the OSX Save as PDF option (Dorico: Print / System Dialogs / Print… / (Pop up) / (PDF Menu) / Save as PDF). Not for any reason other than I do it that way for all OSX programs. My eyesight’s not what it was but the result always looks sharp and clean to to me.

David, take one of those PDFs and print it. Then grab a ruler and measure the margins. Compare against Dorico’s margins as set in Layout Options.

You’ll discover one of the many reasons for NOT using the OSX Save as PDF option.

(duly done) . A difference of 5mm on the widths - haven’t checked the top and bottom but I’ve no doubt they’re affected too.

As you’ve probably guessed already, I don’t print - don’t have a reason to - I save as PDF and then open PDF’s as and when I need them. Again, that’s pretty much the way I work with all programs. I’m paperless and that makes it so much easier to save, find and open things.

But, obviously I get your point and there will be many, if not the vast majority of users here who will be printing and therefore the Dorico option is the right one.

You mentioned many reasons. Any others I should be concerned about?

Back in the day when “affordable” consumer-level printers were often slow, and had limited memory and relatively low resolution (e.g. 300 dpi maximum) some “print to PDF” software used to rasterize the PDF data itself and write the rasterized image, at a fixed and relatively low resolution, to the PDF file. The PDF file might have been bigger, but it printed faster and you never got “out of memory” errors from a cheap, low-spec printer.

That has never been how professional printing worked, and with modern printers it is pretty much obsolete for any purpose - though if someone is still working using the same software they used 10 years ago, it will still be doing the same thing!

For screen display, historically the screen resolution was even lower than a cheap printer - about 100dpi maximum. That has also changed, now that computer monitors using cathode ray tubes are ancient history.

David, the other obvious reason is that Dorico’s own Graphics export can automate sensible naming of PDFs. This comes into its own when you’re exporting multiple layouts at once.

The resolution control is disabled when exporting as PDF or SVG precisely because it doesn’t take effect for those formats. Bitmap images in your project will be exported to PDF at 2400dpi. Vector images, such as SVGs, will be exported as vectors.

You should always, always use Dorico’s own PDF export if you want a PDF, to ensure correct handling of fonts, graphics, and image size.

Rob / Leo

I’ve just saved the same document (37 pages) 3 ways as a PDF; using the OSX way, and then twice in Dorico, changing the resolution from 150 to 600.

Margins aside, the only area within the main body of the score where there might be an issue are the stave lines. And even then I found myself wondering whether there was actually a problem. This was at 200% in Acrobat looking at several different areas of the score.

Where there is a problem, and it is immediately noticeable, is with text. There’s a recognisable improvement in Dorico’s PDF output. The text is cleaner, stronger and altogether better. And that goes for everything - title, tempo info, Chords, Lyrics etc.

FWIW, I didn’t see any difference in the two Dorico versions, but I didn’t have any logos etc. (Reinhard’s point)

So, thanks for putting me right - I’ll use the Dorico way in future.