Note heads look strange in PDF

• Jul 14, 2014 - 19:38

Windows 7
MuseScore 1.3
Adobe Acrobat 9.5.5

I've searched the forums and Help, but am still having a problem converting an .mscz file to PDF.

I've tried both 1) print to PDF directly, and
2) "Save As" PDF.

I've seen that doing the above has worked for most people, apparently, but not for me.
In both cases, the resulting PDF (on screen) has rounded note heads that look like "e"s, no key signature, an "N" where the time signature should be, and other strange things.

Is this a font issue, or something else?




In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I just tried the deletion/addition of measures/new note entry that you suggested. I used normal note heads for the final chord rather than square ones.

There is no change if I save as PDF or Print To PDF: I still get the odd "e" shaped notes etc. when I view the PDF on screen.

I've attached the PDF of the latest version.

Please let me know if I'm not being clear, and I'll do my best to explain -- thank you!


Attachment Size
Serenata Malinconica.pdf 30.29 KB

In reply to by CelesteMcC

I was following this discussion and trying to keep all the various 'Serenata Malinconica' files in some kind of order. While some of them can be differentiated by the .mscz file extension vs. the .pdf extension, it's good practice in the forums to label subsequent file postings of a score with a modified name: for example, 'Serenata Malinconica.pdf', then 'Serenata Malinconica 2.pdf', 'Serenata Malinconica 3.pdf' etc. (or use A, B, C... like Shoichi did). This way the various iterations can be distinguished from each other.

Now, regarding the strange note heads:
The harmonics in bar #87 are not 'strange' notes - they are intentional, as you mentioned earlier. Also, in this entire thread, there is at least one 'Serenata Malinconica.pdf' which correctly displays the score with the harmonics, as well as at least one 'Serenata Malinconica.pdf' which shows the note heads as regular half notes. So, the harmonics are not the problem.

The 'strange' notes are the ones displayed in the .pdf files with a file size in the 30 KB range. These files, I suspect, were created by a third party 'print to .pdf' application.

Shoichi's (Pdf Qt.png) comparison of two .pdf files' properties shows:
One was produced by 'Acrobat Distiller 9.5.5 (Windows)' using Application: PScript5.dll Version 5.2.2
This pdf does not display correctly. This pdf is 30.29 KB in size.

The other was produced by Qt 4.8.4, which indicates MuseScore's application framework. This one displays correctly and is 42.16 KB - perhaps the size difference indicates an embedded font, or other instructions, for Adobe Reader.
It's the same story for all the other 'Serenata Malinconica.pdf' files in this thread.

The good pdfs in this thread are those with a file size in the 40 KB range. They were created within MuseScore as a pdf. They display correctly in Adobe Reader.

To avoid this in the future, check the pdf's properties if a score displays incorrectly and make sure it was created by Qt (MuseScore).
Also, for clarity, try to differentiate successive file names in ongoing threads, so they all don't have the exact same name.

Regards, and welcome aboard.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Jm6stringer, thank you. It's great to understand what was happening better than before. Duly noted to create PDFs within Musescore, rather than "print to PDF".

Next edit, I'll put those harmonics note-heads back in, glad to know that wasn't a problem.

And yes, better file names next time for sure.

Thanks to all who helped, greatly appreciated!


Neither MuseScore nor Windows 7 offers a "print to PDF" option, so I am assuming that is so e sort of third party program. I can't say what might be going wrong with that; you should probably focus on Save As / PDF within MuseScore.

Definitely a font issue of some kind. Weird that things look fine on screen. But I'm guessing you have a font installed that is causing problems. Maybe somethnping with the same name as MuseScore's own fonts (Mscore & Mscore1)?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Actually, it looks wrong on screen!

How can I find out what fonts MuseScore is using? Thank you for naming them; but how do I access them to add to my Adobe Acrobat?

I am definitely doing "Save As" within MuseScore. I save both as .mscz and as PDF. When I go to open the PDF, it looks as I described....

Puzzling, I know...

Thanks very much --


In reply to by CelesteMcC

Sorry, I was unclear. I mean, issues with MuseScore fonts will generally cause th score to look wrong *within MuseScore*. So I'm surprised you have issues with the PDF only, not with MuseScore itself. But I guess there are other types of fonts issues that do affect the PDF only.

Anyhow, the fonts MuseScore depends on are the ones I mentined: Mscore and Mscore1. But you are *not* supposed to have these installed. They are built in to MuseScore. And in fact, if you have fonts by those names installed on your system, it *causes* problems.

I guess the most logical thing I can think of is, it seems you have versions of these fonts installed, but they are only screen resolution, so it works within MuseScore, but not when generating the PDF? I don't know, I'm really just guessing here.

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