Time signature properties should apply to all selected time signatures where possible

• Aug 31, 2020 - 13:09
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 43c5553

  1. Open the attached score in 2.3.2. Click on the Flute time sig.
    Result: Only that time signature is selected (as expected).

  2. Open the same file in MS 3.5. Click on the flute time sign.
    Result: All time signatures are selected (unexpected). You need to Ctrl + click to select only the one.

  3. Leave the selection as it is. Right click over the Flute time sig. Change the 1/8 note group pattern to 2 per beat (for example).
    Result: Despite all the time sigs being selected, the changes only apply to the Flute staff—as expected.

Selection worked as expected in MS 2.3.2, but there has been a regression somewhere in MS3.

Attachment Size
time_sig_selection_issue.mscz 16.24 KB


See the comments on that page. Selecting a single time signature now selects all time signatures. This is the same behavior as key signatures. (If you click on the flute key signature in 2.3.2, all key signatures will be selected.)

Title Selecting a single time signature selects time sigs on other staves too Time signature properties should apply to all selected time signatures where possible
Severity S3 - Major S5 - Suggestion

This is correct and by design, since the time signature is normally global to all staves. Otherwise, selecting a time signature and deleting it would do something very different from what one would normally expect. To select time signatures individually for a single staff only, use Ctrl+click. Same basic idea as when adding local time signatures.

However, it would certainly be nice to be able to set beaming of other properties for all staves globally, so as a new feature, we should certainly consider that. The trick would be making sure we don't allow selecting of different time signatures for this.

I think a default beaming should be used when someone selects different time signatures. As is the case with other items (like lines) the first one selected is the one displayed in the editor (the dialog for time sigs or inspector for lines).

In the case of time signatures, one possibility is to truncate the beaming scheme for shorter selected time sigs or keep the previous beaming for any beams not adjusted by the shorter time sig.

An example. User has default 2/4, 4/4 and 9/8 time sigs and the user chooses 4/4 first then the others in any order. Here are the default beam patterns (using only 8th notes)

  • 4/4 2 groups of 4 notes
  • 2/4 2 groups of 2 notes
  • 9/8 3 groups of 3 notes.

Since in this example, the user chose 4/4 first. Here are sample results you would get

  • 4/4 1 group of 4 notes followed by 2 groups of 2 notes (this is the sample changed gropuing)
  • 2/4 1 group of 4 notes (the first 2 beats of the edited 4/4)
  • 9/8 1 group of 4 notes followed by 1 group of 2 notes followed by 1 group of 3 notes (the last note in 9/8 is beamed to the previous note so it would be attached to the final group in the edited 4/4 time sig).

I don't think most users would normally want these results but this is a predictable result that could be used to the users advantage.

The other obvious choice I see is to only change the time sigs that match the first one selected and ignore all that don't have the same text and value.

I have time signatures for voice and time signatures for other instruments. Those for voice default to no beams. I apply them to the appropriate staves.

In reply to by mike320

I tried that but couldn't find a way to distinguish between different versions of 4/4 in the palette.

Also I don't really see how this gets around the difficulty that changing one time signature's beaming properties changes them all. Having different versions of time signatures allows you to set up a score so that the beaming properties are different for different instruments, but if you then make a change in an accompaniment stave (say), your set up is lost in the voice stave.

To distiguish between them in the palette, have more than one palette or arrange all of the instrument ones first followed by the vocal ones. You can also change name of the an item so when you hover over it you see the name of the item.

If you need to adjust the beaming for some palettes in one song, create the time signature in the master palette, apply it as needed then delete it if you don't think you'll use it again. These questions are at best tangentially related to the original issue.

Not user friendly at all, at best a workaround. And certainlai not at all unrelated to Time signature properties should apply to all selected time signatures where possible

In reply to by mike320

I agree, adjusting the properties in the palette is not the issue at hand, but you brought it up as a suggestion of how to deal with the situation where a user wants different beaming properties for different instruments/staves.

What is the question that I am raising is whether this will suit all users, and if not, how users that it doesn't suit can be accommodated.

As I understand it the proposal is that changing one instance of a time signature will apply the same change to all instances of time signatures or all instances of time signatures "of the same type" (however that might be defined). This seems likely to cause difficulties for a user who has used a time signature with a specific beaming pattern for one instrument (let's say voice) and then changes the time signature properties for a different instrument in the score (let's say piano). An obvious workaround is to add the time signature again to the voice stave after adjusting the beaming in the piano stave. But that seems like we would be taking a step backwards.

Perhaps a better approach would be to have something like a "paste format" facility as in Word, so that the user could adjust the properties in one time signature and then paste it onto others. And that gets me thinking; could that approach be applied elsewhere so that in addition to the existing "save as style" option, a style could be pasted selectively to other elements.

In reply to by SteveBlower

The suggestion is to apply property to all items selected (which, when you think about it, is the only "correct" way to behave).
You say: it doesn't (always) suit me that beaming is applied to my various instruments.
Yes sure, ... But then just select one time signature instead of all in the first place !