Creating a different time signature for display

I need to notate something in 4/2 but it should display as common time. How do I do this?

Create a common time signature with a pick-up of 8 quarter notes in the first bar (meter popover, type c,8). Then create a 4/2 time signature in the second bar and switch on Hide time signature in the properties panel.

Thank you! That really isn’t a pick-up bar, though, is it? The flag shows 4/4 (q, 1+1+1+1), so it’s just a 4/4 bar with 4 extra quarters, right?

Well, it’s how you generally create pick-up bars with the popover. Who knows whether a bar that is longer than a regular bar can rightfully be called a pick-up bar…

You don’t need to do this now.

Create a 4/2 time signature with the popover. Open the properties panel (Ctrl-8), select the time signature, tick the “Common/Cut Common” box. Done!

But then you get ¢. I think Vaughan was asking for a normal common time signature, which is not currently possible without this old trick – unless I’m missing something?

Fair enough. It wouldn’t be a surprise to learn than somebody in the baroque era used common time rather than cut time for 4/2, but I can’t think of an example myself right now.

William Byrd, etc, etc…

Neither Common Time or ‘Cut’ Common time existed. The symbols are Mensural symbols based upon a circle. We moderns have bastardized their original meaning. As far as ‘cut’ common is concerned this is a complete misnomer but in common (pun intended) practice. The correct term is Alla breve.
The entire Graduale settings of Byrd use C (a semi-circle) rather than C with a vertical line through it which is more common at the end of the renaissance to indicate minims (or semibreves depending upon context) as the beat value.

I have the same problem with using the Common/Cut common override. There seems to be only one result and that is to change Common to Cut common. I would like it as a ‘rocker’ switch giving you the option of either or. Further, Cut common is the result if you input 4/2. If you try to get a Cut common with 2/1 or 8/4 the override has no effect.