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Thread: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

  1. #1
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    I've been purchasing leadsheets, but sometimes have to buy sheet music with piano accompaniment. It occurred to me that, rather than cutting the music apart and taping the solo parts back together, I may be able to copy and paste from a PDF to Word. I actually did that successfully with one piece of music that had no chord notations and no lyrics. After my initial excitement, I found I am unable to copy from other music that does have chords and lyrics.

    I have Adobe Acrobat Pro. Does anyone know how I can copy and paste successfully to Word - or edit the PDF to delete the piano part? I Googled my question and a couple of PDF editors came up. If someone can vouch for one of those, I'll give it a try.

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    I think you need a PDF editor. Acrobat is able to make PDFs but not necessarily edit another file.

    Photoshop allows importing PDFs and then you can edit as an image (at least my old version 6 does). You can then save as a PDF or JPEG.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    It can be tedious, but you can:

    1. Take a screenshot
    2. Paste into Word
    3. Use Picture Tools... Crop to isolate a solo part
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary

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    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    Are you working from hard copy (paper) or a PDF file

    OLD SCHOOL
    1) Print out the PDF or make a paper copy of your hard copy sheet music.
    2) Cut the (copied) sheet music into strips (horizontal) and throw away the piano stuff
    3) Tack the melody/lead lines onto a piece of white card stock with a glue stick. (You may want to print some regularly spaced gray horizontal lines on the chard stick to use as guide and spacing lines - it'll keep your pasteups "level". Card stock will keep your pasteup from buckling because of it's thickness. Don't paste up on 20lb bond if you can avoid it.
    4) Put your pasteup on your printer/copier and print out a copy, or scan the page into your computer (at 8.5 x 11 it will probably save it as a PDF).

    DIGITALLY: (more trouble to do, imo)
    1) Cut your on screen pdf into pieces with individual screen shots
    2) assemble those screen shots into your pianoless lead sheet with a photo editing program.
    3) save completed page and print out.

    I did mechanical paste-up for years and years. Mandocrucian's Digest was all "analog" ... IBM selectric typewriter copy (reduced in point size on a copier) pasted onto the tabloid layout grid pages (provided by the printing co.) Now, everything can be done on a computer. Doing multi-color separations for T-shirt silk screening - what might take a day or two to do with multiple mylar overlays can be done on a computer in several hours.

    If you find a fast way of doing your sheet music digitally, I wouldn't mind hearing your process.

    Niles H

  5. #5

    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    If you have adobe acrobat Pro you should be able to edit it, unless it's an image, then you can copy paste the whole image only, there were some OCR around but not sure how they'll handle sheet music.

    With acrobat Pro you should also be able to export to various formats, the latest version of adobe acrobat pro DC, I don't have it at hand but i have it at the office, do you have an example sheet to try out ? i might try it out for you...

    cheers
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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by brogh View Post
    If you have adobe acrobat Pro you should be able to edit it, unless it's an image...
    Sheet music is likely to be an image. When I work up a chart and "print to pdf" it encodes as a jpeg or one other compressed image.

    An image editor might be the best approach. I've cleaned up pdf versions of tunes using Photoshop.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    iSkysoft PDF Editor Pro can delete staves and move staves around (I just tried it).

    I own it but don't use it very often how 'bout you send me what you want edited (PM me for my email address), tell me what you want accomplished, and I'll see if it's possible (and send you the results) before you go buying the app.

    Seems I can delete anything notes, chord symbols, clefs, and still leave the staff intact if I wanted to.
    Last edited by Jim Bevan; Sep-26-2020 at 12:28am. Reason: more experimentation

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    I doctor PDF's on Mac with PDF Expert.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    So, for the public record:

    My initial experimentation was on pdf's that had been exported directly from Sibelius, and I could make all sorts of edits Sherry's are pdf's of scanned music, and (using iSkysoft, at least) I couldn't do much of anything.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    I live in the Mac world and thus don't have to fuss with Acrobat, but if you have the pro version I would imagine there's a "select" tool where you can draw a selection rectangle around the portion of the PDF you want, copy it, and then paste it into a Word doc. Repeat, arrange, resize, etc and then save your Word doc. I do this all the time for church music I get in PDF form.

  11. #11
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    I live in the Mac world and thus don't have to fuss with Acrobat, but if you have the pro version I would imagine there's a "select" tool where you can draw a selection rectangle around the portion of the PDF you want, copy it, and then paste it into a Word doc. Repeat, arrange, resize, etc and then save your Word doc. I do this all the time for church music I get in PDF form.
    Thanks, Rob. I tried the "select tool" thing and once again got gobbledy gook.

  12. #12
    Registered User stevo58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    I believe MuseScore can import PDF for editing.

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard James View Post
    It can be tedious, but you can:

    1. Take a screenshot
    2. Paste into Word
    3. Use Picture Tools... Crop to isolate a solo part
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary
    I have done this many times with church music, but I find it works better in PowerPoint. I change the page size to 8.5x11" portrait. I do as many pastes as I have solo lines in the page. I crop each line vertically down to size and then stack them. Then I select them all and group them into one image. Then I use the "Save as Picture" function to create one image of the whole solo line. If there are two pages, I can often get two pages on to one. I've done it enough that I can make it look pretty good and get it done fairly quickly. I just find PowerPoint has better image editing than Word.

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    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copying from a PDF to Word - or Editing a PDF

    Simple the way I do it, since I work a lot with graphics. I take the pdf to https://pdf2png.com/ and convert it to a .png file and then edit to my heart's content in a graphics editing program. If I want, I can then convert it back to a .pdf file afterward (I use Foxit Reader).

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