2.3.3 Bug: keyboard shortcut for "Export Audio..." sometimes brings up keyboard preferences instead

Sometimes when pressing CTRL+SHIFT+E to export the project, I get the keyboard preferences window instead of the file export window. This seems to be triggered by using space bar to play/stop audio directly prior to issuing the CTRL+SHIFT+E shortcut.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Record a few seconds of audio, or drag an audio file into Audacity.
  2. Press spacebar twice to start and stop audio playback.
  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT+E.

Result: Sometimes instead of getting the file export window, the keyboard preferences window pops up instead.

Expected result: CTRL+SHIFT+E should always bring up the file export window.

Here is a video showing the bug in action. My key presses are displayed at the bottom of the screen.


  • This bug seems to occur more commonly on my slower laptop than it does on my faster desktop PC, both running Linux.
  • The bug occurred most frequently for me with the file export set to .WAV (16-bit), though that could just be coincidental.
  • I can also reproduce the bug in a Linux VM running in VirtualBox. I cannot reproduce the bug on macOS, and I haven’t tried yet on Windows.
  • The bug occurs in Audacity version 2.3.3 using either the .deb (via Panda Jim PPA) and FlatPak Audacity packages. Essentially, every build of Audacity 2.3.3 I have tested in any Linux configuration has exhibited the bug.

Here are the system configurations under which I have been able to reproduce the bug, all using Audacity version 2.3.3:

System #1: Custom-built desktop PC

  • OS: KDE Neon 5.17 64-bit (Plasma Desktop 5.17.3, KDE Frameworks 5.64.0, Qt 5.13.2)
  • Linux Kernel: 5.0.0-36-generic
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-990x Bloomfield 3.46 GHz hexa-core
  • RAM: 12GB

System #2: HP Pavilion m6-1035dx laptop

  • OS: KDE Neon 5.17 64-bit (Plasma Desktop 5.17.3, KDE Frameworks 5.64.0, Qt 5.13.2)
  • Linux Kernel: 5.0.0-36-generic
  • CPU: AMD A10-4600M 2.3 GHz dual-core
  • RAM: 8GB

System #3: VirtualBox VM running on system #1

  • OS: Xubuntu 18.04 64-bit
  • Linux Kernel: 5.0.0-36-generic

I’ve not been able to reproduce the exact same symptoms, but I do occasionally get the keyboard preferences window when I press
“Ctrl + Shift + Z” (“redo”).

I think what is happening is due to the shortcut “Shift + Sub-menu item”, which opens keyboard preferences at the sub-menu item. For example, if you hold down Shift and select “File menu > Export > Export Audio”, then the keyboard preferences opens, showing “Export Audio” as the first item (as in your video). I think there must be a race condition, where Audacity is seeing “Ctrl + E” first and interpreting that as “File menu > Export > Export Audio”, and then adding the “Shift” and interpreting the whole combination as “Shift + File menu > Export > Export Audio”.

I’ll log this as a bug.