Questions & Answers

Can Notion 6 read musical scores (and guitar tablature) from PDF files?

+2 votes
asked Jan 5, 2021 in Notion by roberttrede (3,150 points)

Greetings Earthlings,

Does anyone know if Notion 6 has the ability to read PDF files of either/both standard musical notation and/or guitar tabulature scores? Upon reading online comparisons of various Music Notation software programs, I am lead to believe the answer is "Yes", but upon installing the program, I see no way to do that. All I see is the ability to open digitized audio files, but when trying to import a PDF file, I get the dreaded "file-type not supported". sad 
sad​ sad

Programs like "Smartscore" can easily read PDF files and/or scanned images. (Although I must say, available documentation/training for Smartscore is even worse than for Notion 6, if that is possible.)

So am I missing something? Can Notion 6 read pdf files (both std. notation and guitar tab) files or not? 

If "no", I hope that will be a new feature in the next (overdue) version of the program.

3 Answers

+2 votes
answered Jan 5, 2021 by leedickholtz (1,370 points)

Hi Robert,

Notion is not able to import or read PDF files, unfortunately. I'm not familiar with Smartscore. PDFtoMusic can be useful for opening music-font based PDF files. Once you've done that, you can export to MusicXML, for importation into Notion. The non-pro version is free, but is limited to a page at a time.

Tablature in Notion can change the way note data is performed, but the standard notation is native. In other words, if you make changes to the tablature, the notated notes will change. Here's an introduction to feature suggestion for Notion:

0 votes
answered Jan 5, 2021 by roberttrede (3,150 points)


Thanks for the thoughtful answer. While it's not what I wanted to hear, it tells me what I need to know. Thanks also for offering an alternative solution with PDFtoMusic. I could certainly live with "one page at a time". I've been playing with the demo version of Smartscore and it works fairly well. The demo version is fully functional but files cannot be saved or exported. Their version specialized for Guitar is $80, which would be yet another expense to deal with.

One of my main "gripes" about any of these notation editing software tools (including Notion 6) is that (compared to Presonus Studio One and other DAWS), there is precious little documentation out there, and what is out there tends to be pretty lousy. A person must pretty much already know how to use the software before they could understand the scarce training/documentation that's already published. These programs each seem to approach a workflow in their own way, so working with the programs are not the least bit intuitive. The learning curve seems to be needlessly steep. It would be so much easier if there were simply more good videos and other documentation out there.

But I digress...

Thanks again for the great reply. It was very useful.

+1 vote
answered Jan 5, 2021 by Terry Hornsby (970 points)
I requested this ages ago! Presonus should amalgamate these requests into one.