How to copy time signature into Shift-X text?

Hi everybody.

I’m trying to include a composer’s marking in a score: “quasi 12/8” where 12/8 is a time signature. This seems like it should be possible, by copying from the bottom of this SMUFL page. But I can’t seem to select the 12/8 ligature to copy it (the attached GIF shows me trying to do that).
If I copy do the little space before the 12/8, that turns into “(bb)” in Dorico.

How can I copy a time signature into a Shift-X text object?

Thank you!

Hmm, I just tried this unsuccessfully as well. I can copy glyphs from, but I can’t copy them from GitHub. And the smufl site doesn’t have the 12/8 glyph. I tried copying 1, 2, but they were just superimposed on each other in shift-x text - I couldn’t get the cursor to move forward.

I was able to use the Opus font to create a reasonable facsimile of 12/8, if that helps.

You can type these kinds of time signatures directly using the Unicode Hex Input input method on Mac (see here). Open a Shift+X text object, set the character style to ‘Music text’ in the top right-hand corner of the editing popover, then type the appropriate Unicode codes by holding down the Alt (Option) key and typing:

E09E E081 E09E E082 E09F E088

The end result will be the 12/8 time signature ligature you’re looking for.

Thank you Daniel for these explanations! Now I know how to input those characters using Unicode! :slight_smile:

Thank you, this is super useful!

This is very useful and informative.

This is insane. It’s two numbers for f#@$ sake, why can’t you just use the same font used for time signatures? Another example of Dorico taking 15 steps to do what should be done in 2.

I would write the directive in plain text - “quasi 12/8”, just like that. It may not be necessary to match the time signature font and format. After all, it serves no purpose. And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some respected publishers do it that way.

Besides that, you can do it with Unicode superscripts and subscripts: ¹²⁄₈
I clicked these together from the Emoji and Symbols panel, natively available in any recent Apple OS, but entering them via Alt-hex works also: 0089 0090 2044 2088. The 2044 is the appropriate fraction slash.
If your default font doesn’t support these characters, some other font will (even the forum font supports it, apparently).
I think a music font using traditional (19th century style) time signature digits wouldn’t be very legible in a small font size anyway, it would become a dark blob. Better to use a proper typographic fraction.

Not that anybody is asking me, but while I agree that it can be pretty annoying to deal with the Unicode characters from Dorico’s font (especially if you need to edit later, the hidden spacing characters are a HUGE pain) — I think using plain text or using typographic fractions is completely out of the question. A time signature is not a fraction; it is a time signature, and it must be formatted as such. (We can find examples respected publishers doing all sorts of things, right and wrong…)

Some user here ought to just convert these entire time signature, both numerator and denominator, into dedicated glyphs that are appropriately scaled, with baselines all set.

The same goes for the most common musical symbols, like half note, quarter note, etc. Scaled correctly without funky baselines that require adjustment.

TBH, that’s basically what the typographic fractions do: appropriately scaled dedicated glyphs, optimally spaced horizontally and vertically. I know, they don’t look exactly like a traditional, vertically-stacked time signature in a nineteenth-century extra bold music font, but I doubt any musician wouldn’t understand the expression “¹²⁄₈” to indicate a time signature of 12 eighths.

Sure, but to Jeffrey’s point, they’re not the same. When you want a “proper”-looking time signature, that’s what you have to make…

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Jeffrey, try this out: Dorico Glyphs: Bravura for writing in time signatures and other glyphs - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

I’d be curious to hear if you find this easier…

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Dan, that is fantastic! Thank you, this is great. It works like a charm, especially for something simple like “quasi 3/8”. Wow. Awesome!

I mean, one might posit that a version of Bravura could (should?) be included that makes typing all the common symbols easy—they could call it Bravura Text, for instance… :roll_eyes: But Dorico Glyphs MusGlyphs makes a lot of things easier!

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Thanks Jeffrey, glad it’s helpful!

PS: since “Dorico” is a trademarked name, I need to call it something different… I’ve settled on MusGlyphs. I’ll post a link to the Github on the other thread shortly.

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