No matter what notation software you use, Finale, Sibelius, Notion, Dorico, or others, you can save your scores and parts in PDF format and share them with others who do not own the software. You can also save documents in PDF format from Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Google Docs or any other program that is capable of printing.
PDF stands for Portable Document Format and was created by Adobe. It is the standard print format for all applications. A PDF file has the file extension that you would expect: .pdf.
If you are using Mac OSX, you can create PDFs from any application. It is built into the operating system. I often save in PDF format to post on web pages and to share with others.
- Select File > Print
- click the PDF button at the bottom of the Print window
- select “Save as PDF.”
Check out this PDF file I created in Sibelius. It is snare drum exercises my brother John Rudolph created. John plays in the Toronto Symphony.
Windows 10 has native or built-in support for printing to PDF.
- Open your document and choose File > Print.
- Under Printer or Destination, choose Print as a PDF.
- Click Print, give the file a name and click Save.
If you are running an version of Windows that came before Windows 10, it does not come with a built-in PDF converter. However, you can download a free PDF creator program such as:
- PDFCreator http://www.pdfforge.org/
- PDF995 http://www.pdf995.com/
Here are the steps to creating PDF files on Windows 8 and earlier using PDF creator:
- Open the document you wish to convert into a PDF in its default application.
- Print the document as you would on a standard printer: choose File > Print.
- When the print dialog appears, change the printer from your default printer to the PDFCreator printer. If the PDFCreator printer is your default printer, you do not have to change it.
- click OK.
- Another window will appear asking you to fill in some information to create your PDF.
- Click on the Save button to pick the location where you want to save the PDF or click the Waiting button to create the PDF at a later time.
Programs that Include an “Export as PDF” Option:
Sibelius Music Notation Software
Microsoft Word (and all Office products)
- Open the Google Document
- Choose File > Download As
- Select PDF Document (.pdf)