No recognition algorithm can be 100% reliable. In
the event you encounter translation errors,
PDFtoMusic offers some tools to help you fix them.
Staves and systems
PDFToMusic extracts character fonts from the PDF
document, in order to "read" the music sheet.
However, when a PDF document is created, fonts are
not stored as is in the file, but transformed.
First, to shrink the file size, only used characters
are embedded.The name of the font is also often
encoded. Moreover, no clue is provided that would
enable PDFtoMusic to distinguish it without fail.
Some portions of text can be written with a default
font (Times, Courier, ...), directly managed by the
PDF format. In such cases, the font is not included
in the PDF file and won't appear in the recognized
In a first step, PDFtoMusic tries to extract a
consistent font name, and searches for it in its
known font name database. If the name is found, the
font is considered as "forced, application". You
can't change this status.
If the first step gets nowhere, PDFtoMusic applies
dedicated algorithms to distinguish between text and
music fonts. Fonts are then marked as "Text, auto",
or "Music, auto". You can change this status through
the "Correction > Fonts" menu option and, for
instance, change a text font to music font.
Tip: double-clicking a character on the PDF document
opens this window with the matching font selected.
This change can be limited to the document or
applied to all documents.
If limited to the document, only the current
document will be affected by this change.
If applied to all documents, each time the font name
will be found again in a PDF file, its state will be
forced. Of course, this option has to be used
wisely. You therefore create your own database of
the fonts that are the most frequently found.
Please note that these changes can be stored in the
PDF document, and kept from one use of this file to
another, or if you send the document to another
In this last case, the font name database of the
recipient won't be altered.
Once fonts have been marked as music or text, they
are processed accordingly by PDFtoMusic.
Music fonts are optically analyzed, character by
character, in order to guess the meaning of each of
For text fonts, the operation is a bit different.
PDFtoMusic uses first the Unicode data from the PDF
file. In most of the cases, the result is
consistent. However, some PDF files don't provide
accurate Unicode data. It's rather easy to realize:
recognized text is completely different from the
Here is for instance what you see in PDFtoMusic:
And once the result is loaded in
a music notation software:
PDFtoMusic offers a solution to this problem by
making "Text font, with optical recognition"
editable. Once a font is marked as such, if it
appears that there are errors in the default optical
recognition (some characters are very close to each
other: I and 1, O and 0, etc), you can remap the
associated keystroke for any character. To do so,
click on the character preview, and then press the
key on your keyboard which you would like associated
with that particular character symbol. From this
point, the result of the recognition is changed.
The characters you modify appear in a different
color on the preview.
Amendments to the recognition are stored in a
database, so that when a strictly identical
character is found later in another document, it
will be amended automatically. PDFtoMusic "learns"
in order to ease your work.
To input a Unicode character which can't be entered
directly from your keyboard, like for instance,
Greek or Hebrew, let the command key (Apple key on
MacOS, Ctrl key on Windows) depressed, while
entering the Unicode value of the character (in
For instance, Command+0394 will define the capital
A summary of Unicode values can be found here: http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/~tomw/java/unicode.html
Finally, some fonts don't include either music
symbols or digits and letters, but graphics.
Examples of this would be accordion register
indicators, guitar chord diagrams, embellishments,
In these cases, you can specify that the font has to
be processed as graphics.
The miscellaneous characters of this font will then
be considered to be graphics, and exported
accordingly in the result file.
Once imported into Harmony Assistant, it gives:
When moving the mouse pointer over a music symbol,
its color changes:
Right-clicking opens the contextual menu related to
In this menu, you can change the object settings.
This is very useful, for example, when PDFtoMusic
interprets a particular object incorrectly.
The red cross remove the object from the PDFtoMusic
The green cross restore the object initial state.
To select several objects, apply a right click
outside any object and define the area. All objects
in this area will be selected.
To add several objects to the existing selection, do
the same with Alt key pressed.
To remove several objects to the existing selection,
do the same with Command key pressed.
You can select all objects from the Edit menu.
All change applied to a selected object will be
applied to all selected objects with the same kind.
A music score is made of several pages. Each page
shows staff lines, joined in systems by a vertical
line on the left.
There can be therefore several systems in each page.
When a performer doesn't play anything during
several bars, the matching staff is often omitted in
PDFtoMusic applies complex algorithms to "follow"
staves from one system to another, and bring the
You can amend this result through "Correction >
Staves and systems".
In this mode, the score is displayed in gray, while
systems are shown as a blue vertical bar and
numbered: S1, S2, etc.
Between each system, a glue tube enables you to merge
Between each staff, a pair of scissors enables you to
split the system.
Click the icon to apply the operation.
If you need to apply the same operation to the whole
page, the whole document, or to the same place on
all pages, right-click the icon and select the
operation mode from the contextual menu.
Each part is marked with a letter, possibly followed
by its name between brackets.
If you applied a change, the part name is displayed
Clicking the blue arrow in the staff opens the
contextual menu for relating the staff to the part:
Cancels an applied change, so that the link between
staff and part is computed by PDFtoMusic again.
- Automatic computation:
- Exclude from computation:
The staff will be ignored. It enables you to remove
a staff for computation, so that it isn't exported.
- Part list:
Choose in this list the part to which the staff has
to be related.
- Create new part:
Creates a new part and relates the staff to it.
If the error you fix has occurred on all pages,
right-clicking the staff name opens a contextual
menu, enabling to apply the staves arrangement of
the current page to all the other pages of the