'Comment: outputting "Concert" size as 9.01 x 12.01 is a bug and a bother'

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Comment: outputting "Concert" size as 9.01 x 1... - PhilShaw, 16 May 10:59PM
     Re: Comment: outputting - Bob Zawalich, 17 May 01:04AM
         Re: Comment: outputting - PhilShaw, 17 May 04:45AM
             Re: Comment: outputting - Kai Struck, 17 May 11:01AM
                 Re: Comment: outputting - Robin Walker, 17 May 01:58PM
                     Re: Comment: outputting - Philip R, 17 May 06:28PM
                         Re: Comment: outputting - PhilShaw, 19 May 05:40PM
                             Re: Comment: outputting - Philip R, 19 May 06:26PM

Comment: outputting "Concert" size as 9.01 x 12.01 is a bug and a bother
Posted by PhilShaw - 16 May 10:59PM


Sibelius outputs Concert size scores with a size of 9.01x12.01. When you email such a document to FedEx for printing, it's treated as "non-standard size", and you have to go to the store and 'consult' with an advisor.

When I've raised this question before, I was told it was a "rounding error". It's not a "rounding error". Sibelius shouldn't be calculating the size of Concert or ANSI Arch A paper. It's defined as a fixed 9x12.

I can use Acrobat to "print" the 9.01x12.01 document as ANSI Arch A (which is 9x12) and get a 9x12 document, but that document is about 2/3 the size in bytes of the 9.01x12.01 document, so information (i.e. sharpness) is being lost.

This should be a simple bug to fix.

--
Phil Shaw
Sibelius 8.6 - Windows 10

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by Bob Zawalich - 17 May 01:04AM
FWIW, Sibelius stores most sizes internally in units of 1/32 of a space, not inches, or mm, or any other "normal" unit. This allows it to convert easily when you decide to show units of mm or inches or points. It also lets it adapt units easily when the staff size, and thus the size of a space, changes.

Even the staff size is stored that way. A space is defined at 1/4 of the staff size, so for a 7mm (or .28") staff size, Sibelius stores 128 units of 1/32 spaces (The Convert Units To Spaces plugin is a good calculator for this kind of thing).

When you enter a page size of 9" x 12" in Document Properties, that will get converted to a value in 1/32 spaces. I could take you through the calculation, but it displays in 4 places as 4114.2956 units, but really this is stored internally as a floating point number, so what you see is something of an approximation.

Every calculation Sibelius is making with floating point numbers (which is indeed what they are using) involves some amount of rounding. Just look at the Technique text style definition of a 12 point font size. Create a piece of Technique text and the select it and look at the Text pane and it will tell you the size is 11.9. Change it to 12.0, click somewhere else, click back and it is 11.9 again. 12.0 gets converted to 76.8 or so units, then when it needs to redisplay the number the conversion to display at 1 decimal place it ends up at 11.9 points.

The point of all this is that even through you told it the page width was 9 inches, that is not how Sibelius stores it. And it is very likely not a simple thing to change.

This is not to say that it is not vastly inconvenient at times to do things that way, but it has many benefits as well.

--
Bob

An experienced user of Sibelius. Sib 1.2 - 8, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit, 32 G RAM. Year 2018.
For plugin lookup and categories see https://www.nycmusicservices.com/musicresources
For manual plugin installation see http://www.sibelius.com/download/plugins/index.html?help=install

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by PhilShaw - 17 May 04:45AM

Bob,

Thanks for the explanation. It sounds like the explanation I heard decades ago when early accounting programs wrote checks for "$17.3700001".

I never said "9x12". "9x12" is what's written next to the "Concert" option in Layout. They should change it to "9.01x12.01"

If it looks like a bug, walks like a bug, and quacks like a bug, it's a bug, even if it makes things easier for the developers.

Again, thanks for the explanation.

Phil Shaw
Sibelius 8.6 - Windows 10

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by Kai Struck - 17 May 11:01AM
The rounding error in PDF page size can really be found in PDFs from all different kind of programs. I looked at PDFs exported from Musescore, Finale, Sibelius etc. and most of them don't have exact page dimensions.
The page size in a PDF is always stored in points and the exporting program perhaps could be made to export correct sizes. Don't know how much control Sibelius can have over its Qt component.
Here's a list of PDF page size dimensions in inches,mm,points (15 Appendix: Paper sizes known to Ghostscript)
https://ghostscript.com/doc/7.07/Use.htm

Actually it seems that it also depends on the PDF viewer involved how it interprets the page sizes. For example:
Ghostscript defines A4 with 595x842 points or 210x297mm.
PDFXchange viewer interprets this as 209,9x297mm
Sibelius outputs 596x842 points.
PDFXchange viewer interprets this as 210,3x297mm

A PDF with 595.22x842points gives accurate 210x297mm in PDFXchange Viewer.
But Foxit PDFreader behaves differently and gives other sizes.

Of course also FedEx could change their program too so it better recognizes page sizes even when they are not 100% accurate.

--

Windows7 Pro, Lubuntu 15.10, Sibelius 7.1.3
Free Project: LibreOffice Songbook Architect (LOSA)
http://struckkai.blogspot.de/2015/04/libreofficesongbookarchitect.html

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by Robin Walker - 17 May 01:58PM
> Don't know how much control Sibelius can have over its Qt component.

I am pretty certain that the Qt4 framework is the underlying problem. I suspect that Sibelius code itself doesn't get anywhere near the PDF export feature: it is all done in Qt4, like all the other graphics exports.

I guess that the scope for fixing these rounding errors in Sibelius must be pretty limited.

--
Sibelius 2018.4.1/7.5.1/7.1.3/6.2/5.2.5, PhotoScore Ult 8.8.2, Dolet 6.6 for Sibelius, Windows 10 64-bit 16GB. Desktop, and Microsoft Surface Book.

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by Philip R - 17 May 06:28PM
If this is causing a problem, until (or unless) it is fixed in Sibelius, you could try batch converting all of your 9.01 x 12.01 to true 9x12 through the app PDF Batch Scale, freely available at my web site:

https://www.nycmusicservices.com/musicresources/

Just because a file size is smaller when you "print" it through Acrobat doesn't mean that you will lose print quality, unless you are rasterizing the document somehow. Everything will still be fonts and vector graphics. Often Acrobat will consolidate fonts and other data, resulting in a smaller file without any outward-facing difference.

--
Sibelius 2018.4.1, Mac 10.12.6
Mac Pro (Late 2013) 32 GB RAM
https://www.nycmusicservices.com/
https://www.scoringnotes.com/

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by PhilShaw - 19 May 05:40PM

Philip R,

That PDF Batch Scale did the job just fine. With that tool I don't mind if the Sibelius developers make life easier for themselves.

Many thanks

Phil Shaw
Sibelius 8.6 - Windows 10

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Re: Comment: outputting
Posted by Philip R - 19 May 06:26PM
Happy to hear it!

--
Sibelius 2018.4.1, Mac 10.12.6
Mac Pro (Late 2013) 32 GB RAM
https://www.nycmusicservices.com/
https://www.scoringnotes.com/

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Messages in this thread

Comment: outputting "Concert" size as 9.01 x 1... - PhilShaw, 16 May 10:59PM
     Re: Comment: outputting - Bob Zawalich, 17 May 01:04AM
         Re: Comment: outputting - PhilShaw, 17 May 04:45AM
             Re: Comment: outputting - Kai Struck, 17 May 11:01AM
                 Re: Comment: outputting - Robin Walker, 17 May 01:58PM
                     Re: Comment: outputting - Philip R, 17 May 06:28PM
                         Re: Comment: outputting - PhilShaw, 19 May 05:40PM
                             Re: Comment: outputting - Philip R, 19 May 06:26PM