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software:musicpdf

MusicPDF is a Microsoft Windows program which I wrote to automatically processes pdf files which contain images of raw scanned sheetmusic and convert that into compact and well readable pdf files.
Although there exist also very good programs like scan tailor, this program is specially for users of Neuratron Photoscore who want to both store their scanned sheetmusic on their computer as compact pdf files and being able to process those pdf files further in the future, without losing any quality.

After scanning your sheetmusic, the concept is that all steps, starting from the actual scanning of pages, to eventually saving compact pdf files containing black and white colored music with leveled systems, should take as less time and user intervention as possible. The program takes the following decisions itself without user intervention. These are:

• If it receives pdf pages with only black and white colors, it will convert them to greyscale color with some blurring at the borders. This will improve the quality of your pages during the automatic 'cleaning up' and 'making level' stages.
• If a page size of one or more of your pages exceed the dimensions of an a4 page, all pages will be scaled down so that the largest page will fit exactly into an a4 sized paper. The reduction factor from that largest page will be taken for all other pages as well. This approach will guarantee that while scaled down, text and music on each page will keep the same dimensions in comparison with other pages.
• If an outputfile is not specified the program will add to the supplied filename “_Processed.pdf”. If that name already exists, it will not overwrite that file, but instead add “_Processed(i)”, with i representing an index number which is still unused in that folder.
• The program handles both landscape and portrait pdf files.

If not done already, Neuratron Photoscore Ultimate 6 should be purchased.

Please click below to see some program results.

pdf source Click play to see the program in action. pdf output file

Installation

The program has been written for and tested on a Microsoft Windows XP system with the script language autoit3. In order to function it needs to cooperate with a few other applications, which need to be installed as well. Apart from Neuratron, these are Ghostscript and ImageMagick. It uses Neuratron Photoscore for automatic page rotation and cleaning up pages. Because Photoscore can only save one processed page as tiff file per time, this script controls Neuratron in such a manner that it sends specific keyboard and mouse commands to Photoscore, mimicking the clicking behaviour to iterate through the rest of the pages and save them.

NB 1. If you decide to download and install Ghostscript separately from Neuratron Photoscore, you can, while you install Neuratron Photoscore, ignore any further message about installing Ghostscript. It's not necessary to install it twice.
NB 2. Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 should be installed due to incompatibility issues with the script.
NB 3. During installation of ImageMagick you have to enable manually the option “Install ImageMagickObject: OLE Control for VBscript, Visual Basic, and WSH.”

Usage

Just drag and drop your pdf file onto the MusicPDF.exe application. Everything should go automatically. It outputs in the same directory a new pdf file with a filename with _processed.pdf attached.

Note the following:
In a console window you can also specify the output filename with the following command:

musicpdf inputfile <outputfile>

where <outputfile> is optional.

Scanning Tips

In order to get the best and fastest results, after you have scanned your pages, roughly crop your pages in such a way that a narrow border will remain around your pages. Because this involves manual work, the fastest solution I found so far for cropping and preparing pages, is using Abbyy FineReader (Professional).

In the edit mode in FineReader, select the crop item.
Draw a rectangle around your sheetmusic keeping a narrow border left and right from the staves. The rectangle should be at least large enough to contain music on the largest page.
If not there, go to the first page. Move the rectangle in such a way that it is equally around the staves (Make sure the option to advance to the next page automatically is selected). Press the keyboard shortcut Alt+A. Do the same for each successive page. Your speed could be about 1 page per 2 seconds.