Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creating Digital Sheet Music

I’ve tried several programs for scanning music and turning it into PDF files.  My scanner is a flatbed, so it just spits out multiple JPG files.  I usually use some little freeware or trialware utility to convert those multiple JPGs into a single PDF file.  But for this upcoming concert, I realized I needed the stronger inking capabilities of Journal.  I know some Adobe products have good ink annotation tools for PDF files, but they’re not free and Journal is.  I will sometimes insert my PDF into Journal with the Journal note printer, but then I found a more direct route. 

Scanning MusicThis time, I decided to scan straight to the TC1100, and since I’m running a pretty fresh install of Windows 7, I had none of my little PDF creating utilities.  I just went with Windows Fax and Scan to do the scanning, and was pleasantly surprised to see how easily is allowed me to crop before the final scan and then kept things organized once it was done.

From there, I created a blank note in Journal, and inserted the JPG of each page into a separate page of the note.  It’s a bit tedious to drag each image to the full size of the page.  I do wish for a one click “maximize” option for images. 

Music in Journal

If I did want a PDF version from there, I could use doPDF to print to a PDF file with or without the annotations I’ve made in Journal. 

I find Journal to be a great reader for practice and performance as the inking tools are great.  I just set the view to “Reading View” which puts on page at a time to the full size of the window.  That makes it easy to flip pages with the jog dial, and hopefully the footpedal when it comes. 

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