Move "Save as ..." formats such as .pdf to dedicated "Export" menu item

• Apr 12, 2011 - 18:38
S5 - Suggestion

Why doesn't you have a button called 'Save as PDF'? Maybe not all, but many notation software have that button! I think you should do that in the coming version! I'm very tired of, to upload the piece to! Then wait until the piece is ready, and then i can click on the button 'Save as PDF'!


You can save directly as pdf in MuseScore.

In the MuseScore menu: File > Save as ...
And then select: Save as filetype: .pdf

Still, I've said this before - save as PDF really should be more prominent. It's not just another "save as" format, and indeed, it's not a "save as" at all, really, it's an *export* ("save" normally implies something you can then open normally).

Title PDF Move "Save as ..." formats such as .pdf to dedicated "Export" menu item
Status (old) closed active

Is there an open issue for this Marc? I agree we should consider implementing export.

What filetypes should be on the export function? It would seem to me that everything but MSCZ and MSCX should be there as all other save types are exporting to a format that cannot either be read back in, or be read back in without loss of some kind. Perhaps even a greater breakdown should be considered:

Save/Save As/Save Copy As (MSCZ, MSCX)
Export to audio (OGG, FLAC, WAV, MP3)
Export to graphic (PDF, SVG, PNG, PS)
Export music file (XML, MXL, LY, MID)

Also, I'm trying to wrap my head around the difference between Save As and Save A Copy. The difference is subtle and I really wonder if it's worth it to have the Save A Copy option and use the menu real-estate for the Export functions.

Save As / Save a Copy is a fairly standard distinction on Windows. Both save the current document to a new name, but Save As actually changes the current document to that newly create one, so future "save" operations during that editing session save to that new file, whereas Save a Copy leave the current document alone, so future "save" operations during that session are saved to the original file.

I think your breakdown makes a lot of sense. One could argue that XML and MIDI could be considered "save as" formats because they *can* be loaded back in, but if you consider the above, only mscx and mscz can ever be true "save as" formats, because the "current document" can only be one of those two formats.

"Save As / Save a Copy is a fairly standard distinction on Windows". I completely disagree. I've worked in and on Windows for many years, and being the Windows image builder here in my university department I have seen a lot of software. While I _might_ have seen it on the rare occasion (but I don't recall it), I just did a cursory look over my installed software base and _none_ of them had this feature. That includes the Microsoft Office 2007 suite, Adobe Web Premium suite, Notepad, Irfanview, Thunderbird, Firefox, IE and several more. There was Save, Save As, Save As Template, Save For Web, but not Save A Copy.

Regarding XML, MXL and MID, it's the loss factor thats most important. I would never consider them full featured enough to be trusted to safely, and without loss, save and reload my scores. Thus I would consider them "export" formats.

To counter my own argument, Microsoft Office has almost everything under Save As, including exporting to PDF, XML, etc. I still support separating the "save" and "export" formats onto different menu commands.

[ Edit ] After some searching around I did find "Save As Copy" as an option on the Save As dialog. I'm still trying to see the benefit of using this over the occasional Save As with auto-save.

Perhaps I should rephrase. The save A copy dialog itself isn't all that common, but the *distinction* between the two is standard behavior where it exists. Every program that uses "save as" uses it the way I described, and every program that uses "save a copy" uses it the way I described. As far as I know, these behavior are specified by Microsoft, although actually that's just a guess. Anyhow, it's an occasionally useful thing to have both options available, and I've definitely taken advantage of this in other programs I've used that provide these options - you wish to save a snapshot of what you're currently working on, but continue working on the main version.

I agree to this suggestion of moving (or replicating) Save as PDF to Export too.
As for the Save As /Save Copy debate, I believe the Save Copy is very useful in it's current form as a means to enable one to do some form of versioning.
The Latest Sibelius has a build-in version control system, witch I believe is an excellent feature to be included on future. Until such feature could be replicated in MuseScore, I would favor leaving Save Copy option untouched.

I must be daft. I still don't see what the benefit of "save as copy" really gives you. Even when I read this: "This command is useful when you want to save a copy of your image in its current state, but continue to work with the original file without interruption" (taken from another prg) I still don't see the benefit or difference over judicious and careful use of Save As. You still end up with a file chain from project start to end, hence versioning. So can someone attempt to explain why Save As Copy is _so_ beneficial? Since I've never used it or seen a use for it, I must be missing something big.

Status (old) fixed active

I also have never used the "Save a Copy" option (I have even never seen it, a part from MuseScore). I gather that the main difference from "Save as", as Marc said, is that "Save a Copy" does not change the working file name of the document, so that any "Save" (or Ctrl-S) after it uses the original file name, rather than the file name used for "Save a Copy".

It might be beneficial; perhaps not "_so_ beneficial". Anyway as the option is there, if it works as intended, I see little reason to remove it.


Since a few trunk revisions, a new "Export" option has been added and ALL formats except .MSCZ (including .PDF) occur only under it ("Save as" and "Save a copy" only list .MSCZ).

I wonder if this is enough to consider fixed (and closed) the specific issue referred to in the thread title.


@Miwarre Can you elaborate "I wonder if this is enough"? You're referring to Save a Copy? My vote would be to ditch Save a Copy (never used it before), but perhaps power users really want/use/need it.

No, Miwarre was referring to the original intent of this issue, namely the breaking out of "export" formats to an export menu option. This apparently has been done. I never meant my questioning of "save as copy" to mean "lets ditch it". I'm still trying to understand its allure or necessity vs using Save-As. Personally, I'm glad the export function is done. I will test it when the latest build is available.

Status (old) active fixed

So we can put it on fixed for the time being. Don't hesitate to reopen if export needs more work.

FWIW, Save A Copy is indeed not a big deal. It' just a slightly more convenient way of doing the same thing that could have been done, with slightly more effort, using Save As. If the intent is to keep working on the "main" version of a file while occasionally saving snapshots, using Save As would keep changing the current file to the snapshot, requiring you to either rename the files as you go along, or else close each snapshot as you create it and then reopen the main version. Save A Copy simply eliminates those extra steps - saving snapshots but letting you continue to work on the original without resorting to one of those workarounds. Indeed, a lot of programs don't provide this feature, and it is possible to live without it. But it it *is* a nice convenience to have when available, I find. I don't remember where I first encountered it -, maybe? - but I find it is present in most programs I use these days.

Anyhow, the point to me isn't that a "Save A Copy" feature is particularly important - I'm glad it's there, and see no reaoon to remove a perfectly useful little feature, but that's either here nor there. I was just pointing out there *is* a distinction between what "Save As" and "Save A Copy" would be expected to do, and creating a PDF is definitely a case of "Save A Copy", not "Save As", because the PDF file does *not* become the current document. Sounds like this has now been addressed, presumably by creating an export menu, so, great.

But the distinction is worth understanding keeping in mind as new formats and capabilities are added. If a save operation does not change the current document to the newly saved file, then it should be implemented somewhere other than under "Save As". I'm not saying we need to *remove* all of these formats from the "Save As" dialog, but users *will* be looking for them elsewhere. that's why we continue to get so many users wondering how to create an MIDI file or audio file or PDF file - because most people are not in the habit of thinking of creating these files as being "Save As" operations, so they don't even look there.