linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

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macglennlmd
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linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by macglennlmd »

I sing in a choir and recently discovered that if I try to print the music score which is in pdf format it doesn't work. I get things like W for whole note and stems for other notes. I first wondered if this was some for of copywrite protection but then saw an ad for music scores that made it quite clear that Linux printing doesn't work. I have never heard of such a thing. Can anyone think of a reason
I wasn't sure where to post this.
thanks
macglennlmd
To saye a lot of reading here are the two known work arounds.
1.I used a piece of Windows software using Wine. It is a PDF editor called FlexiPDF. It printed fine.
2 Lady Fitzgerald used the Dropbox link I provided and printed the file from Dropbox. It worked fine. As it did for me. I downloaded it from Dropbox and tried to print but in vain. At least one other person did a download and couldn't print. Go figure.
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Last edited by macglennlmd on Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by jimallyn »

Maybe the notes are in a font that you don't have and isn't included in the pdf? Where can I get one of these pdfs? Can you attach one to your next post? (File size limit is 200k bytes, pdfs are ok.)
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by jimallyn »

macglennlmd wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:54 pm
made it quite clear that Linux printing doesn't work.
Some of us take that as a challenge. :wink:
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

I suspect the problem lies in how the PDFs of the scores were created. Music engraving programs, such as Finale and Sibelius, the two music engraving industry standards, used special fonts for creating the notes, etc., allowing them to be placed in the score with a standard computer keyboard. When printing them, the fonts may need to be present in the computer which would make printing them difficult or impossible if the program used to create the scores isn't compatible with Linux. Still, it's odd that your PDFs won't print in Linux since PDFs normally have the fonts embedded in them or are just snapshots of each page.

Back when I still was arranging (and limited writing) music (and was still using Windows), I used Finale (which doesn't have a Linux version) to create my scores, which were saved in .mus files. To allow others to be able to view and print the scores without having one of Make Music's (the maker of Finale) programs, I "printed" them to PDFs using a virtual printer, which results in the PDF being a picture of the page(s). Just for excrement and merriment, I just now printed one out and it printed out fine.

Where are you getting your PDFs from?
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by macglennlmd »

Thanks. This sounds like the most likely explanation I have heard so far. I can successfully print other music in pdf format but not one. As mentioned, on the net I ran across a music score website that claimed no printing in Linux. I'm not sure what Linux lacks that MAC and WIN have but it is curious.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

I'm curious to see that score. Can you link to it or attach it here?
Last edited by Lady Fitzgerald on Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by RollyShed »

My understanding of PDFs was, "what you see is what you get".

Have you tried viewing on the computer or downloading "Open Copy" (top left menu) then "Save Copy". Bottom right corner should show "PDF Documents" above "Save". There are 3 options there but you will want the middle one "PDF Documents". Save and then see if it still prints oddly. Not saying it will work but a try.

Other than that we need a copy to play with.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by jimallyn »

You now have 3 people waiting for you to send us one of those "unprintable" pdf scores. We would just LOVE the chance to prove whoever said they can't be printed from Linux wrong!
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by Flemur »

You might try converting the pdf file to a .docx file, as suggested by user GNULinux:
https://www.ilovepdf.com/pdf_to_word
You *should* be able to view and print the .docx file with LibreOffice.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

I had in mind using a virtual printer to print it to another PDF. A screen capture might also work.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by macglennlmd »

Sorry, I know there were several people hungering to get their teeth into this file. I was hesitating to post it for copywrite reasons. Also, the website that said you cant print in Linux was one I saw when looking at something else and couldn't find it again. But here is what I did do and what I found.
1. I did load the music pdf into LibreOffice and the image on the screen was malformed exactly like the original printout. Whole notes were W and regular notes only stems.
2. I did a screen capture from a workable pdf view and it was OK but not practical because the music is 26 pages and I am not that desperate.
3. I installed a Windows pdf manipulator pgm called Flexpdf [running in Wine of course] and viola! It looked and printed fine.
What does this prove? That some form of music pdf only work in Windows environment as the one website suggested. Why? Still a mystery but I liked the potential explanation that some commercial music is "printed" using typesetting software and that is not the norm. The mass market OSs have been modified to read the same.
In any case, thanks for the astonishingly fast responses. However, having gone on the web the day after posting my 1st query here and doing a search with similar vocabulary and finding my Mint post as the top item, I have mixed emotions about Big Brother Google.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by macglennlmd »

Back again. - I just used FlexiPDF and had it show me the properties of the music I can't print. It claims there are NO user restrictions and that the person whose name was on the manuscript created a new version of the original Palastrina score using Sibelius [which may only mean something to music writers] Other interesting info. Created using Mac OS X 10.5.8 Quartz PDFContext PDF version 1.3
So, the score is not copywrited and is attached. However it is too large to include the whole file. Here is a Dropbox linkhttps://www.dropbox.com/s/s5am2f03xp48k8v/Missa ... 9.pdf?dl=0
thanks
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

Thanks for sharing with us!

"Curiouser and curiouser," said Jeannie. I tried printing the first three pages (I was too cheap to print all of it), only directly from your dropbox account, and had no trouble.

As I mentioned earlier, Sibelius (besides being one of my favorite composers, along with Palestrina) is the name of one of two professional music engraving (notation) programs used to write and arrange music and create sheet music ready for printing (I used its competitor, Finale). In the past, all music was prepared for printing by manually engraving on sheets of soft metal, using gouges and stamps, which was then transferred to the plates used for printing. Physically engraving music is a lost art, having been for the most part, if not entirely, replaced with music engraving programs (often called music notation programs), usually Finale and Sibelius (there are cheaper and free programs available but they are vastly inferior to Finale and Sibelius). The better programs also include the ability to create scores from music being played from a MIDI connected instrument, and play back scores, often using instrument libraries for a more realistic sound.

A standard, Querty computer keyboard is the fastest way to enter music notation into a score and is what most professional and skilled amateurs use. The programs somehow use specialized fonts that replace the standard keyboard maps with elements of music notation. Finale, back when I was using it, had Maestro (the default and the one I used), Petrucci, and Jazz (a hand written appearing font). My keyboard chops sucked so I used another method available--dragging and dropping notes--because it was faster for me and because I often fudged note spacing to better accommodate lyrics and to avoid having partial pages at the end of a score and to avoid as many page turns as possible

I still find it odd (more like baffling since I had no trouble printing the score correctly) that the original keyboard characters were being printed when you originally tried to print the score since PDFs normally embed any fonts used. However, I'm glad to see that you came up with a solution for printing the score correctly. I also appreciate your copyright concerns and thank you for it.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf

Post by lsemmens »

I can confirm the issue - I printed one page on my printer and all notes and key signatures were replaced with letters. I was hoping to get lucky and tried "print to file" and, even there the notes and key sigs were replaced. There may be a font that is missing from my system and substitution is what is occuring.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

Interesting (and baffling). Sibelius uses one conventional font (Opus) and two other fonts, depending on the version of Sibelius, that emulate hand written scores plus is compatible with other fonts, including the ones used by Finale. I've added both the standard set of MS fonts and all the ones I had also installed on my last Windows machine but, when I dug through the font folder on the Linux machine I'm currently using, I couldn't find any music fonts at all.

Now I'm really wondering why I was able to print the score without any tweaks and now there are two of you are not able to do so. What programs were the two of you using when attempting to print the score?

I wasn't able to download the PDF directly since I do not have a Dropbox account so I printed it directly from the Dropbox account. I was able to get a copy of it onto my computer by using the virtual printer function in Mint and I had no serious problems printing from it other than the print on the page was too low on the sheet and the lyrics for the bass part was almost cut off at the bottom despite the pages in my PDF program (Qoppa's PDF Studio 2019 Pro showing up just fine. Weird. :?
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by Welcome »

I downloaded the file yesterday and tried a few things.

I opened the pdf file with LibreOffice Draw, and it's looking for Opus and another font. I opened the file with a hex editor, and it appears to use both Opus and Palatino (and OpusText, OpusSpecial, Palatino-Italic, Palatino-Bold and Palatino-Roman - same family?). I don't have any of these fonts.

Maybe these fonts are the key to successful printing. I haven't tried it, but if someone has these fonts, it'd be interesting to see if that's the solution.

Edit: Update - I downloaded some fonts off the 'net, and had half success. But, I think the Opus, OpusText and OpusSpecial files I downloaded were incomplete. When printed, there's no more W's etc, but the notes and notation is not complete. Opening the file in LibreOffice Draw indicates that the fonts still are not right. In Draw, I still see the W's for example; if I change the font from Opus to OpusText, the note appears correctly. Either the correct font files are needed, or there's some other problem related to font usage. :?
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by macglennlmd »

Thanks for the efforts. It is still curious that you can open the file directly in Dropbox and print it without problem but not if you download it and print it. You wouldn't expect whatever operating world that Dropbox is working in would have such esoteric fonts.
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by Sue Millard »

I've been having the same problem.

The embedded fonts in the PDF (MuseScore) are Edwin and Leland. I have installed a lot of fonts and packages, including some for MuseScore, to try and overcome the problem but no luck.I still get the staves and the tails of the notes, and the text, but the note heads are missing. Opening in various drawing packages results in letters and lines and boxes but no notes.

HOWEVER, opening the PDF in the GIMP enables me to print a normal looking score! (This is only a single page score at the moment.)
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by MAC089 »

I had this problem just now, and the GIMP workaround was successful. Thanks, I'll have to remember that! :D
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Re: linux can't print music score pdf -solved [sort of]

Post by RollyShed »

I didn't see anyone mention what PDF reader they were using in Linux Mint. If the default one, it doesn't work properly.

Master PDF Editor does work properly and will show a PDF correctly. I found this out when being given and installing on a website, PDFs from someone who was using WORD. The fix if needed was to open in Draw and then Export. However the files were only wrong when reading with Evince Document Viewer and Xreader.

To check, go to -
https://cracroftuku.wordpress.com/songs-201-240/
and look at 214 Annies Song. All the letters should be bold and the line just above VERSE 3 should be italic. The two readers mentioned above only give the last two words in italic and the verses not bold.
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