Audacity 2.3.2 - track loses focus after applying effect


I am using Audacity 2.3.2 on Pop!_OS 19.04 (basically Ubuntu 19.04), compiled from source.

After applying an effect, the currently selected track loses focus, which makes Audacity very difficult to use. For example, if I select a very long region of a track and apply noise reduction, I will often want to move the cursor to the beginning or the end of the selected region. Before, all I had to do was press the left or right arrow, respectively (or comma or period) to move the cursor. This was the behavior with Audacity 2.1.2 and is still is the behavior now if the track is selected.

Now, however, as soon as the effect is applied, the track loses the focus, and the arrow keys or other cursor position keys have no effect. The only way to re-enable them is to click on the track to select it, which loses my selection so that I no longer know where the beginning or end of it is any more. Undo will re-select the region, but again, it will deselect the track, so I am in exactly the same situation.

Is there some setting that prevents this from working as it did before? I first noticed this behavior in version 2.2.2 (installed when I had to upgrade my OS, using the built-in package manager), which is why I decided to compile the latest version of Audacity from source, hoping that this might be a bug that had been resolved.

Just now, right after applying the effect, I noticed that the focus is actually somewhere in one of the control widgets, e.g., volume, input/output device drop-downs, project sampling rate, audio position, etc. I can press tab to move among those, but I never seem to be able to tab back to the track pane–wait, I take that back. It seems that if I press tab enough times I can indeed get back into the track pane and then the track has the focus again.

Is this a bug, do you think? It sure would be nice to be able to apply an effect without having to hit tab 12 or 15 times just to get back to my selection.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Unfortunately it’s a bug. I’ve logged it with high priority on the Audacity bug tracker.

There’s a workaround that works for me with Audacity 2.3.3 alpha, so I’m hopeful that it will also work with Audacity 2.3.2:
After applying the effect, hold down the “Ctrl” key and tap the “left cursor” key twice. I’ve no idea why this works, but it works for me.

That is so strange! I think I had actually stumbled on it by accident, but I could never remember the keys I hit to make it happen again. Yes, it also works in 2.3.2, and makes for a much more convenient workaround. Thank you again for your help.