Learn how to edit audio projects much faster with simple tricks in Audacity.
1. Zoom shortcuts
- Zoom in: Cmd-1 (OS X) or Ctrl-1 (Windows)
- Zoom out: Cmd-3 (OS X) or Ctrl-3 (Windows)
- Zoom to normal: Cmd-2 (OS X) or Ctrl-2 (Windows)
- Fit the entire timeline in the window: Cmd-F (OS X) or Ctrl-F (Windows)
- Fit all tracks vertically in the window: Shift-Cmd-F (OS X) or Shift-Ctrl-F (Windows)
- Zoom with mouse wheel: hold down Cmd (OS X) or Ctrl (Windows) and use the scroll wheel
2. Scroll shortcuts
Hold down Shift and use the scroll wheel to scroll horizontally across your timeline.
3. Selection jump
Quickly jump to a specific time in your project:
- Ensure the Selection Toolbar is activated. If it isn't, enable it through View menu > Toolbars > Selection Toolbar.
- Enter a time under “Selection Start.”
- Double-press Spacebar.
- The view will jump to your selected location.
4. Backwards editing
While recording, keep a log of times where you need to edit (if necessary). Then edit these from end to beginning.
By editing backwards, your logged times will always be correct. But if you edit forwards, then your proceeding times will be off-sync and make editing exponentially harder.
5. Playback speed
If you can listen to audio at chipmunk speed and pitch, then you can edit your audio faster by dragging the playback speed from the Transcription Toolbar.
This will sound crazy, but it could help you edit twice as quickly!
To make navigating your project easier, use a Label track to add notes at certain points. These help you mark and quickly find any portion you want to remember.
- Go to the Tracks menu > Add New > Label Track.
- Click in the new label track where you want your label to be, or select a region of audio you want labeled and press Ctrl-B (Windows/Linux) or Cmd-B (OS X).
- Type your label and press Enter.
Here are a couple notes about Labels.
- Labels can overlap and move with your multi-track selection, or with Sync-Lock Tracks enabled.
- Move a label by clicking and dragging the small circle.
- Expand a label's region by clicking and dragging one of the triangle handles.
- Delete a label by clicking on it and removing the text and pressing Backspace one final time.
- You can also add a label during playback or recording by pressing Cmd-[Period] (OS X) or Ctrl-M (Windows/Linux).
Learn how to setup and use Chains in Audacity to automate tasks and remember effect settings.
8. Keyboard shortcuts
Learn keyboard shortcuts for anything you keep doing. You can usually find these under the appropriate menu, on this cheat sheet, or adjust the keyboard shortcuts yourself.
- Go to the Audacity menu (OS X) or Edit menu (Windows) > Preferences.
- Go to Keyboard to learn, set, or change keyboard shortcuts.
- Go to Mouse to learn, set, or change keyboard shortcuts associated with mouse tools. (The OS X version incorrectly says “Ctrl” when it means “Cmd.”)
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