Exported Pdf files unreasonably large

• Jan 14, 2016 - 10:58

I have been getting pushback from the people at IMSLP (where I am occasionally posting a typeset score or parts) because they consider the files too large (they accept only Pdf). It is true that they are larger than they need to be (like 100 kB per page or more rather than about 15) for good print quality.

This is probably only a problem for Mac users (OS Yosemite / Musescore 2.02). I can either use the Pdf export command or I can use "print" and use the OS to save to Pdf. In both ways the files will be of identical size. I suspect that Musescore is "outsorcing" the export to the OS. Any ideas on how to ask the system to "lower" the quality, i.e. reduce the overkill? I can't find a way to influence this except on the scanner (back when I had one--and anyhow I don't want to print and then scan the pages). Any tips?

I put the same question to the forums at IMSLP, but so far no results.

BTW: If you don't know IMSLP (imslp.org) check it out. Well worth it!


See #64871: fonts are not embedded in the PDF on Mac, leading to much larger files, this indeed a Mac-only Problem.

You may be able to uploade the scores to MuseScore.com and let it do the PDF conversion, then take that to send it to IMSLP? Or find some Windows or Linux user to to the conversion for you?

I don't expect the fix (which involves switching to a new Qt library) to happen any time soon.
Provided that this newer library really does fix the issue...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I just tried the trick with going through preview with the four movements of the cello part of string quartet and the results are convincing:

mvt. 1 (4p. + simple title page): File size direct export: 830kB. File size via Preview: 22kB
mvt. 2 (4p.): File size direct export: 769kB. File size via Preview: 50kB
mvt. 3 (2p.): File size direct export: 432kB. File size via Preview: 43kB
mvt. 4 (4p.): File size direct export: 644kB. File size via Preview: 39kB

Total: File size direct export: 2,675MB. File size via Preview: 154kB

All four movements look fine when watched at 200% size and will print perfectly well. Interestingly the new file sizes are not at all proportional to the size of the movements, especially the first movement comes out very small indeed.

To be clear here the procedure step by step:

1. Print (from menu or command P)
2. Open menu on bottom left corner of print window
3. Choose "open Pdf in Preview"
4. Preview will open and show the file.
5. In Preview open the "file" menu and pick "export as Pdf".
6. Choose file name and folder and save.

Kudos to the person who figured this out!

In reply to by azumbrunn

I have to qualify the above procedure: It leads to wider margins; the process adds margins on both sides--as well as top and bottom I suppose, but the music shrinks more than those new margins would require. The result is a page with wide margins and somewhat smaller though still readable systems with extra paper to spare at the bottom.

The better solution is to upload to Musescore.com and then download as Pdf: The resulting file will be almost 10 times smaller than the one exported directly from Musescore (on MacOS only as said above!) and perfectly good for printing.

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