How to select tracks in audacity

Audacity"s capability to select precise parts of a sound for editing and enhancing renders it a very effective editing tool.

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Special features of audio selection

In a word processor, many operations are performed by picking a range of message (usually via the mouse), then choosing some choice from a toolbar or food selection, for example to reduced the message, or make it bold. Audacity works much the very same way; the majority of operations are percreated by selecting audio via the computer mouse and also then applying some operation.

Audacity selections deserve to be more complex than word processor selections, though. In Audacity, the selection involves a set of selected tracks, and also then a selection of time within those selected tracks. This is because sometimes you can want to choose multiple tracks so that any kind of alters you make apply to all of them, yet various other times you might desire to impact the tracks individually. In either situation, you might or might not want the edits to apply to the totality time range of the tracks.

Typically, you pick both the tracks and also the moment array concurrently, by clicking and dragging. For instance, to develop the selection in the picture below, make certain you"re using Selection tool , click in the track just after 2.0 secs in the initially track, then drag rightwards to just after 5.0 secs as displayed on the Timeline , then downwards so that the gray selection area now includes the second track:

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Note that because the drag started in the first track and extfinished right into the second track, just those 2 tracks are schosen, as suggested by the darker grey shade of the Track Control Panel. As such, any kind of operation you perform will certainly currently affect only the selected area of the initially two tracks.
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Mac users: remember to substitute the Command also vital for the Control essential.

It"s possible to change the schosen time selection and which tracks are selected individually. To readjust the selected time range, you have actually several options:

Move the computer mouse tip to among the edges of the selection until it transforms to the "finger through pointing hand". Click and also drag to change that edge of the selection. Hold SHIFT while clicking near one of the edges of the selection to extfinish or contract the selection to the time suggest you clicked on. Hold SHIFT while pushing LEFT or RIGHT to extfinish the selection from the left or appropriate edge respectively. Hold CTRL + SHIFT while pressing LEFT or RIGHT to contract the selection from the appropriate or left edge respectively.

To adjust which tracks are selected without affecting the moment range, you likewise have multiple choices.

Hold SHIFT while pushing UP or DOWN to extfinish or contract the selection up or dvery own tracks. Press UP or DOWN to readjust the focused track, then press the Get in key to toggle its selectedness.

Keep in mind that it is possible to have a time array selected however no tracks selected. In that instance, you will certainly only view the evidence of the schosen time variety in the timeline.

Audio editing is various from message modifying in an additional method, also. With audio, it generally isn"t apparent from the waveform what you desire to choose, so you really want to listen just to the left and also ideal edges of a choice to make sure you are editing the correct component. But if you are new to audio editing and enhancing, do not worry. For currently, you have the right to just click and drag to create a selection on a solitary track, and press to listen to all of it. Come ago right here for even more aid once you begin to work-related on even more advanced projects and also are having actually trouble choosing what you want.


There are numerous ways to pick audio, some of which will be better for visually impaired individuals or those that have actually obstacle through the mouse. The complying with sections give details on the miscellaneous ways you deserve to make audio selections in Audacity, utilizing either the computer mouse or the key-board.

Let"s research the assorted means to choose audio...


Selecting regions utilizing the computer mouse

The easiest means to choose a region of audio is to click and drag. If it"s not currently schosen, choose the Selection tool from Tools Toolbar, below:

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Now click the left computer mouse button almost everywhere inside of an audio track, and click and also drag to the various other edge of your selection, and release. Some tips:

You deserve to drag from left to best or from right to left, it does not matter. You deserve to start your selection in one track, and also finish it in one more track, and both tracks (plus the tracks in-between) will all end up schosen. If you relocate the mouse past the left or best edge of the home window while dragging, Audacity will certainly scroll the window in that direction as lengthy as the computer mouse button is down.

To extfinish or contract an existing selection, hold dvery own the SHIFT crucial while left-clicking the mouse. The nearemainder edge of the selection will certainly jump to the present computer mouse reminder location. This is really beneficial if you know precisely what you want to choose yet it doesn"t easily fit on the screen at once:

Click at one edge of the selection Scroll until the various other edge is in view Shift-click to set the other edge of the selection.

You have the right to likewise extend or contract a choice by hovering the mouse near the edge of an option, then clicking and dragging. When you float cshed enough to the edge of a selection, the mouse guideline alters to a hand through pointing finger, indicating you deserve to now click and also drag the selection:

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Do you discover it annoying as soon as Audacity drags the edges of an option once you were trying to create a new selection in that area? No difficulty, you deserve to rotate off that feature! Open the Preferrals, then click on the Tracks tab, and also uncheck "Enable dragging of left and also appropriate selection edges".

Selecting tracks utilizing the mouse

There are two incredibly advantageous points you have the right to carry out by clicking in the Track Control Panel to the left of a track - make sure that you click in a neutral location, not inside one of the buttons or sliders. See Audio Tracks for even more around the Track Control Panel.

Clicking on a track"s Track Control Panel will select the entire track. That"s an extremely basic means to apply an result to an entire track. If you want to pick all tracks, you deserve to alternatively choose Select All from the Edit food selection.

There"s an additional handy means to pick an entire track or clip: simply double-click inside it.

If you host down the SHIFT key while left-clicking a track"s Track Control Panel, you can toggle the selectedness of that track. For instance, if you desire to choose the first and third tracks only, you might choose Edit > Select > All and then shift-click on the middle track to deselect it while leaving the others schosen.

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Note that it is feasible to have actually a time selection schosen but no tracks schosen. In that instance, you will just check out the evidence of the selected time range in the Timeline.


Selecting using the key-board

You can modify the selection totally making use of the keyboard. The currently focused track is suggested through a glowing border, as you can view from the track called "Guest" in this image:

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To adjust the focused track, simply press Up Arrow or Dvery own Arrow. In this photo, we pressed down arrow to change emphasis to the "Bkgnd" track:

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Once a track has focus, press Go into or Return to change it from being schosen to not selected, or from not selected to schosen.

Hold SHIFT while pressing UP or DOWN to extend or contract the selection up or down tracks.

To modify the selected time range:

Hold SHIFT while pressing LEFT or RIGHT to extend the selection from the left or right edge respectively. Hold CTRL + SHIFT while pushing LEFT or RIGHT to contract the selection from the appropriate or left edge respectively.

If you do not currently have a choice, just a cursor, then pressing Left Arrow or Right Arrow will certainly move the cursor. If you do have a choice, pressing the left arrow will certainly take you to the start of the selection, and the right arrowhead will certainly take you to the end.


If you put a checknote in the
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 Snap To checkbox in Selection Toolbar, then you deserve to usage the keyboard as over to relocate the cursor or selection edge to the nearest second, hundredth of a 2nd, CDDA framework or any favored selection format.

Menu regulates for picking

The Edit menu has actually numerous regulates that are helpful for selecting:

Command also Action
Select... All Select all audio in all tracks
Select... None Dechoose whatever and move the cursor to 0.0
Left at Playearlier Position Sets the left selection boundary based upon audio playback
Right at Playback Position Sets the ideal selection boundary based upon audio playback
Start to Cursor Select from the start of the track or clip to the cursor place.
Cursor to End Selection from the cursor position to the finish of the track or clip.
Region Save Catches the currently schosen time range
Region Resave Restores the moment range from Region Save


Selecting while audio is playing

Sometimes the easiest method to choose a precise portion of audio is to note the selection borders while you"re playing audio. To execute this, push the < essential to note the left edge of the audio, and also the > vital to mark the right edge.

After you"ve done that, you"ll certainly desire to listen to the resulting selection to make sure it was appropriate. Press Gap to hear simply the selection. There are added keyboard shortcuts that let you listen to just the start or finish of an option - check out Special Playago Keyboard Commands for details.


Selection Toolbar

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One handy way to save track of what you"ve selected and to make precise modifications is to use Selection Toolbar (displayed above). For our objectives here, let"s concentprice on the main purpose of the Toolbar, the Selection Start and also End/Length boxes. By transforming the radio switch from "End" to "Length", you can display screen and manage the size of the selection instead of the endpoint. Which one is advantageous for you counts on the circumstances: if you need a clip from a song that"s precisely 30 secs long, you may want to collection the length to 30, and also then modify the begin till you have just what you want. Other times you might know the precise end time but must number out wbelow to begin, independent of the resulting length.

Selection Toolbar likewise display screens and also deserve to move the cursor place without tright here being a region selected. To move the cursor to a specific position utilizing Selection Toolbar, collection the "Selection Start" and "End" boxes to the same worth.

You have the right to set the worths displayed in the Selection Toolbar boxes making use of the mouse and/or key-board. To readjust a certain digit in a box, click it, or you can navigate to it using just the keyboard:

Key Action
CTRL + F6 Move the focus to/from Selection Toolbar
TAB Move between the Selection Toolbar controls
LEFT / RIGHT Move cursor in a box or to/from End/Length
UP / DOWN Increase or decrease the highlighted digit
BACKSPACE Recollection the last digit entered to zero

Once you have actually clicked on or navigated to a digit, it will highlight in white to show it is active. You deserve to then increase/decrease its worth utilizing the computer mouse wheel or UP/DOWN, or kind a brand-new value over it:

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After typing a worth, the cursor instantly moves to the following digit along and also selects it so that you deserve to type the required values one after the other.


Selection Formats

By default Selection Toolbar lets you enter worths in devices of hours, minutes and secs. This does not allow any kind of even more accuracy than that, so even if we had dragged a selection in the track from zero to 30.5 seconds, Selection Toolbar would certainly still only show a schosen length of 30 secs. That"s no problem, because numerous Selection Formats are available to represent time. To select various other formats, click on the triangle to right of each box, or right-click everywhere over a box. This opens up a conmessage menu which lists the formats. Click to select the format required, then all three boxes will show the brand-new format. For instance, the photo listed below reflects the result after altering the format to samples :

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For the technically minded, assuming the selection was exactly 30 secs, Selection Toolbar over shows 1,323,000 samples because the sample rate of 44100 Hz means tright here are 44100 audio samples per second, so multiplying (44100) by the size in seconds (30) produces 1,323,000.

All the accessible Selection Formats are detailed in the table below. It"s okay if many of them don"t suppose anything to you. Most of them are intended for world making use of Audacity for incredibly particular purposes, specifically editing soundtracks for video, and also those human being will certainly know which one they desire.

Selection Style Example Notes
seconds 005,408 secs
hh:mm:ss 01 h 30 m 08 s Hours, minutes, seconds
dd:hh:mm:ss 00 days 01 h 30 m 08 s Days, hrs, minutes, seconds
hh:mm:ss + hundredths 01 h 30 m 08.51 s
hh:mm:ss + milliseconds 01 h 30 m 08.512 s
hh:mm:ss + samples 01 h 30 m 08 s + 22500 samples
samples 238,514,850 samples
hh:mm:ss + film frames (24 fps) 01 h 30 m 08 s + 12 frames
film frames (24 fps) 129,804 frames
hh:mm:ss + NTSC drop frames 01 h 30 m 08 s + 14 frames American video format
hh:mm:ss + NTSC non-drop frames 01 h 30 m 03 s + 02 frames
NTSC frames 162,092 frames
hh:mm:ss + PAL frames (25 fps) 01 h 30 m 08 s + 12 frames European video format
PAL frames (25 fps) 135,212 frames
hh:mm:ss + CDDA frames (75 fps) 01 h 30 m 08 s + 37 frames
CDDA frames (75 fps) 405,637 frames Audio CD frames

Changing the Selection Format does not change the systems shown on the Timeline, which are constantly in hrs, minutes, secs and parts of seconds according to the existing zoom level.

Snap-to Guides

Audacity provides it really simple to make a choice that starts or end at a organic boundary, like a label or clip boundary.

The present variation of Audacity has assistance for a brand-new kind of snapping, in addition to the Snap To checkbox in the Selection Toolbar above. For the new snapping, when you take the complying with actions:

Creating a choice via the mouse Modifying the selection borders Sliding / time-moving a clip

the selection borders or the boundaries of the clip you"re time-shifting will snap to the complying with locations:

Time zero (0 on the Timeline) The begin or end of any track or clip The start or end of any label

Whenever before snapping is ensuing, a yellow vertical line shows up to suggest snapping is occurring. To err on the side of caution, if there is even more than one logical area within a couple of pixels at which to snap, Audacity will certainly not snap all over. In that instance, zoom in.

In the picture listed below, we"re dragging a clip in the "Guest" track leftwards via the mouse. When the clip reaches the right-hand boundary of the clip over it, a yellow vertical guide line appears showing the position of the snap boundary through all the tracks. Now that the overview line has actually showed up, we have the right to release the computer mouse and the dragged clip will be perfectly aligned with the one above:

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A Snap Guide appears (the vertical yellow line) as soon as the selection has actually snapped to the start or end of an audio clip from any type of of the tracks.

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If tbelow are 2 boundaries exceptionally close to one another and also it"s not obvious which one is better, Audacity will not snap to either. If you desire to snap to one of them, zoom in so that you have the right to plainly place the mouse closer to one than the various other.

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Label Tracks

A exceptionally beneficial method to respeak to certain selections is to label them in a label track. For more information, view Label Tracks.