PDF and XPS files

PDF and XPS files are a convenient way of circulating all kinds of document.   XPS files can be written and read as an integral part of Windows (from Windows XP onwards), and PDF file readers are widely and freely available and, because the format is both general purpose and common, most people already have a PDF file reader installed on their computer.  Writing PDF files with Mozart requires other software however. Both free and commercial PDF writers which will work with Mozart are readily available as described below.

Distributing Mozart files

This article discusses the pro's and con's of distributing your pieces in native Mozart format (.mz) or as PDF or XPS files.

The Mozart Viewer

Mozart's .mz files may be viewed directly using the Mozart Viewer.   One doesn't need to buy Mozart in order to view, print, and play files written with it.   And the Mozart viewer is free.   So if you have received a Mozart file, just download the viewer from the Mozart viewer page, install it, and use it to read the file.   If you wish to send Mozart files to a friend who does not have Mozart, then please just show them where the viewer may be found.

If you are sending .mz files to friends who don't have Mozart, then please encourage them to download the free viewer: it is by far the best way of viewing and printing Mozart files.

PDF files

PDF (Portable Document Format) is well known. It is readable by most computer systems (not just Windows) and PDF files are found everywhere on the internet.

In Windows 10 the Print command offers an option to "print to PDF" - sending an image of the music to a PDF file of your choosing, instead of to a printer.

Previously the most popular way (and an option which is still available) of creating PDF files from Mozart was to install a 3rd party PDF-writer program which acts in the above way as a 'pseudo-printer'. Quite a number of these are available on the internet and quite a few are free. When you install such a program it adds a 'printer' to the list of those which you already have. We make no recommendation here of any particular such software, but recommend that you ask on the Mozart Discussion Group where you'll find many people who have used different programs of this kind.

Another way of producing a PDF file is to export a page image from Mozart, and paste it into a word processor document (see below), as many word processors (for examle Word or WordPerfect) can export PDF files without needing any other software.

XPS files

XPS is a Microsoft file specification designed also to embody portable documents. Its capabilities are essentially the same as for PDF for the purpose of distributing Mozart documents. It is less well known than PDF, but like PDF it is implemented as a 'pseudo-print' option. The difference is that versions of Windows, starting with Windows XP, include this possibility natively in their printer lists - no recourse to 3rd party software is necessary. Computers with non-Windows operating systems may not always be able too read these files though.

Comparison of FORMATS

  Composition in Mozart format
.mz files
Composition to PDF
.pdf files
Composition to XPS
.xps files
Create file Save from Mozart Write with Windows' own 'pseudo-printer' or with a readily available 3rd party 'pseudo-printer' Write with Windows' own 'pseudo-printer'.
Read file with Mozart Viewer
downloadable from www.mozart.co.uk
with PDF reader
You almost certainly have one.
with XPS reader
included with Windows from XP onwards
Printed output Good Good Good
View on screen Good. The Mozart Viewer ensures that parallel stave lines are always equally separated and coincide with screen pixels for an optimaly sharp image. Can be poor.
Closely spaced horizontal stave lines are not guaranteed to match screen pixel spacing, and the result can look uneven.
Can be poor.
Closely spaced horizontal stave lines are not guaranteed to match screen pixel spacing, and the result can look uneven.

Other possibilities

If you export a page image with Mozart's CopyImage or SaveImage commands, you can paste the image into a word processor such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Word. These days word processors are very good at scaling bitmap images and you can easily adjust the image to fill a page of your document. Printing on a high resolution printer can give results close to Mozart's own carefully controlled print quality. You can also save PDF files from some word processors without the need for 3rd party software.


This article owes much to a number of people's contributions to the Mozart Discussion Group. Thanks to all those who have contributed to the discussion there.



Mozart pages copyright © 1995-2021 David Webber.

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