8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2016 6:30 AM by Steve Cordero

    Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable

    kirkdickinson Level 1

      I play in the band at church. I get music chord charts that come from CCLI. The charts are in PDF format. They have the header, song information, and maybe the page number inside the PDF as text, and the actual lyrics and chords as an embedded graphic. My goal is the extract all the text out into a straight text document that I can send to my iPad to my music program called OnSong. OnSong uses straight text with some tags in it to display songs for musicians and can change the key, organize into sets, etc...

       

      So, I open a file and click Edit PDF. I never can get to the OCR because it recognizes some text in there. In the previous versions of Acrobat, when I tried to OCR, I would get an error that said there was text already recognized or something like that. In the past I would print to PDF with Advanced, print as Image selected, then open, OCR, cut and paste into my text editor.

       

      That no longer works with the newest version because it puts most every word and every chord in it's own little box. Except when it doesn't and takes a random column of stuff and puts it in its own box. Can't cut and paste. it doesn't read from top left to bottom right and organize in any order either. When I export from there to text I get a jumbled out of order file.

       

      This weeks song list, I tried for 5 hours with Acrobat and every possible export format. I tried using online converters and several other things. I finally gave up and just typed the entire songs from scratch.

       

      Is there a better solution for me using Adobe Acrobat Pro?

       

      Thanks,

      Kirk

        • 1. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
          kirkdickinson Level 1

          Oh BTW, the print to PDF and printing as an image only works on windows. That does get me a step closer to usable output. I can't even do that on the Mac. It tells me I can't print to PDF, that I just need to save it because it is already a PDF. I can open the individual pages in Photoshop, save as graphics, then put them back into the pdf, then OCR it. Wow, I have really wasted a lot of time messing with this.

          • 2. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
            Karl Heinz Kremer Adobe Community Professional

            You are correct, on the Mac there is no 'print to PDF" feature as on Windows. With quite a bit of work, you can create a "Print to PostScript" printer, and then use Distiller to manually process the produced PostScript file and covert to PDF. You can however save your PDF file as a high resolution (e.g. 600dpi) TIFF image (or a series of TIFF images), and then in a second step, import these TIFF images into Acrobat again, which will convert it to to a PDF file. You can then OCR these files without the limitations you mentioned.

            • 3. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
              kirkdickinson Level 1

              Karl, In my follow up post, I said that i had exported to an image then created a PDF with images only. That is a lot of work and still doesn't solve my problems. The biggest problem is how Acrobat creates the OCR. It doesn't follow the standard top down left to right. It chops it up into a bunch of apparently random blocks that when exported to RTF causes the file to be completely jumbled.

               

              In the past, Acrobat did a much better job of this than it does now. That is my complaint.

              • 4. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
                Karl Heinz Kremer Adobe Community Professional

                If you think that Acrobat DC is doing things less reliable that an earlier version of Acrobat, please file a bug report: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

                 

                I was trying to present you with a way to do what you can do on Windows on a Mac as well.

                 

                OCR'ing musical scores is not something that I would have expected Acrobat to do successfully. Keep in mind that Acrobat is not a general purpose OCR application. For more challenging OCR jobs, I keep a copy of Abbyy's FineReader around, but I have no idea how that would perform when confronted with a musical score.

                • 5. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
                  Steve Cordero Adobe Employee

                  You may want to try software meant to import scanned music like Make Music Finale or Avid Sibelius.  There may be other software that can do this too but the ones mentioned are the ones I know offer some type of scan and OCR capability for music.

                  • 6. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
                    kirkdickinson Level 1

                    Karl,  I did not say a musical score I've said a chord chart. The chord chart is a very different thing than a musical score. Here is what a chord chart looks like:

                     

                                   D                G               D

                    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

                                                        A7

                    That saved a wretch like me.

                          D                       G          D

                    I once was lost, but now am found,

                                           A7      D

                    Was blind, but now I see.

                     

                     

                             D                              G           D

                    Twas grace that thought my heart to fear,

                                                    A7                  D

                    and grace my fears released. How precious

                           G              D                      A7   D

                    did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.

                    • 7. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
                      kirkdickinson Level 1

                      Not a musical score, a chord chart. Very simple. See example I posted in reply to karl.

                      • 8. Re: Converting Music Chord Charts to Editable
                        Steve Cordero Adobe Employee

                        Yes,  chord charts can be with the both notated music, notated music with finger charts,  words with finger charts and lyrics with the letter abbreviated chord method example you have posted.  That being said, then as  a process you need to make sure that your scan is at least 300 dpi for Acrobat to OCR the scan properly.  Scanning at a resolution of 150 - 200 dpi might work too, but as a general rule the better the scan, within reasonable file size limitations, the more accurate the OCR.  Do you have an example scan??