I'm trying to create a video of a musical score, similar to this, and I want to make it look as good as it can given my limited knowledge and software resources. The musical score (my own composition) was created in a high-end music notation software (Finale). Finale is capable of exporting pages as PDF. These always print and look great on screen. It can also export JPG, TIFF, EPS, SVG, and PNG files. It will allow me to choose a resolution of 300, 600, 900, or 1200. I also have Acrobat 9 Standard (a full copy, not just the reader, but also not the "professional" version) and Windows Video Editor (bundled with Windows 10).

What is the best way to make the text and music notation smooth and readable? Should I export a PDF from Finale, and then use Acrobat to export an image file for each page; or should I export directly from Finale into a particular format. Which format is best to use if my goal is for the video to look great on youtube?

I'm not able to invest in new video production software at this time.

NOTE: I wonder if this question would be better served on video.stackexchange.com but because the core issue is a font reproduction, this seems the better home.

  • You can use imagemagic (with ghostscript installed or part of bundle) to make very high quality rasters out of PDF files.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 8:17
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Yeah, I think his might be more suitable for Video Production Stack Exchange. Video editing questions are generally off-topic here. Sorry about that.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


So, you want to insert a readable score to the video content. It's not how good quality score PDFs you can make. It all must be rasterized because there's no way to make YouTube watcher's computer render it from score fonts nor other vector data.

There are captions and subtitles, but they are plain text with restricted formatting possibilities.

Read this: https://typito.com/blog/best-video-format-for-youtube/

You should test how big chunk of rasterized score can be shown properly in a video screen. That's different in different video resolutions. Most of us probably can watch HD. But that's full screen.

Your score editor obviously can export the proper chunk one at a time as PNG. It must be exact HD screen size 1920 x 1080 pixels. If you do not have control that much, make a little bigger image and crop it absolutely without scaling in GIMP, Photoshop or other bitmap image editor. Save as PNG or TIF, avoid JPG because it increase blur. The image must have exact screen pixel dimensions because scaling in video editor makes it more blurry.

If you want a pointer for beginners it can be a highlight which jumps one bar or one row at a time. It shouldn't cause any degradation. I'm afraid that inserting any continuous movement in the video calls Youtube to blur it to save space. Smooth scrolling can be only a dream (a guess not tested).

  • Perfect solution, thank you! The missing piece for me was knowing that it wasn't the format that was important but the resizing that was causing issues. For any future users, I was able to achieve good results exporting a TIF directly from Finale at 600 dpi. (Finale couldn't export to an exact 1920x1080.). Video was never intended to include scrolling as it's only for trained musicians who wouldn't need that but I get that motion would definitely cause blur.
    – nuggethead
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 11:27
  • To help others struggling with the same problem insert the successful method as an ADD to the question. I mean format, export size&DPI and what processing was needed for good result.
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 11:58

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