(Audacity 3.2.0) Please Bring Back Cut, Copy, & Paste Buttons

Audacity Developers,

I am new to this forum but not all new to Audacity itself. I’ve been using Audacity ever since its first release years ago, and up to now I’ve had absolutely no complaints…it has been perfect for what I use it for (which is everything pertaining to recorded sound editing and creation). I’ve been really, really satisfied, at least, until now. While all the new features are amazing and truly useful, as well as all the past functionality as well, the only complaint I have now is this:

The new interface. In fact, I really like the new interface, although frankly the previous one was fine with me. The new one though has its advantages, except for one thing: The removal of the Cut, Copy, & Paste Buttons!!

I consider it completely unacceptable that the cut, copy, & paste icon-buttons were removed and not given the option to show or not-show them on the toolbar as needed. It slows down operation to have to stop every time one wishes to cut, copy, or paste audio or labels, to use either the keyboard or clicking on the menu options when just clicking the buttons on the front panel with the mouse was so much quicker, effective, and overall convenient.

Please either reinstate the small, non-obtrusive buttons (which took up little space anyway), or at least provide an option to show them or not show them (for those that don’t use those functions that often). I happen to use them a lot, probably as often as I use the Recording and Play buttons.

The other thing missing from the front, which was useful, was the volume control during playback instead of having to select view from the menu, then select View to show the Mixer just to adjust the volume when simply sliding the indicator on the front did the same thing.

It seems to me that replacing the ease of using cut, copy, & paste buttons to rearrange sound clips or segments with the more complicated and time-consuming process of menu-hopping or having to let go of the mouse to use the keyboard to do what used to be simple, was NOT very well thought out, and maybe even just a bit insane.

I am sorry my first post on this awesome forum for such an awesome application had to be a complaint, and as stated previously, my only one so far since its creation. I hope you will consider that I am not the only one out there with this complaint.


Socrates Rook

Audacity Developers,

Please either reinstate the small, non-obtrusive Undo & Redo buttons (which took up very little little space anyway), or at least provide an option to show them or not show them (for those that don’t use those functions that often). I happen to use them a lot, probably as often as I use the Recording, Play buttons, and the Cut, Copy, & Paste buttons (see my other pos (“(Audacity 2.3.0) Please Bring Back the Cut, Copy, & Paste Buttons”).

Their usefulness is obvious and the need to quickly use them sure beats having to click 2 or more menu items.


Socrates Rook

Thanks for the feedback.

Personally, I never used those buttons, but I agree that removing them entirely was the wrong decision. Audacity has “user Preferences”, and in my opinion it would have been much better (not to mention considerate and respectful) to let users enable those buttons if that’s what they prefer.

Here’s an even quicker option: Right-click in the waveform. It’s mere millimeters away from your cursor at all times, no need to move the cursor all the way up to the top bar.

Those have not been taken away - thetyy are still there, albeit a bit less obvious as their icons are now a little thinner:
Undo & redo.png

For 3.2.0 Muse decided to remove the Mixer Toolbar and instead incorporate its functionality in the Recording an Playback meters which now have sliders to control recording and playback levels:
Playback slider.png

Indeed, I agree.

Like Steve I never use those buttons, much preferring the shortcuts, shortcuts that work on most/all other editing apps, but is is “horses for courses” and one should recognize that some users may prefer the buttons and not just take them away altogether. They have been there since the very early days of Audacity - 1.0.0 didn’t have them but 1.2.4 (where I cam in with my vinyl and tape conversion project) certainly did.

I think it would have been better if those buttons were moved to a new toolbar all of their own (probably now hidden by default *like the old Device Toolbar) but then allowing the user to display them again from View>Toolbars


That you Socrates for bringing this issue to light. I just updated today and was beginning to record and couldn’t find the buttons. I realize there are other methods, but the keyboard method won’t work with my set up and the right click sometimes produces poor results for me. I too use those buttons as often as record.

Please developers, have some mercy and let us have our buttons back!!!

Just Cheesy🧀

I have added a Feature Request to Muse’s GitHub issue tracker for:

Restore the Cut, Copy and Paste buttons as a new hidden (by default) toolbar #3693


Just to let y’all know, Muse have decided to reject this feature request, Leo wrote:

Cut/copy/paste buttons are primarily used by people who don’t use keyboard shortcuts, so by and large fairly novice users. And hidden things aren’t seen by novice users. Therefore this feature request completely misses it’s target audience.

I appreciate there’s some people who started out using these buttons in previous versions and have developed quite a fast workflow using them and now have the change in 3.2 mess with their muscle memory. I’m also confident that they’ll become just as fast using ctrl+x/c/v (or, in case they just want to remove content: backspace or delete) or the right-click options within a few days of using those options.

and Tantacrul wrote:

No matter the function, if you remove something, someone’s workflow will be disrupted. To cater to every complaint means that no changes or improvements are possible. Removing these options is a clutter saving exercise that is necessary to continue reorganising the interface.

Apart from that, In this case there are already three other ways one can cut, copy or paste in Audacity.

I came here just to report/ask for this.

I tore my hair out for an hour or so trying to work out where the edit toolbar button was that would allow me to select a toolbar that matched how I work and how I’d messed it up that cut/cop/paste had gone.

I’m sure it’s important to the developers to add a share button in the toolbar, but I have no intention of sharing copy right audio, and I’m sure Audacity wouldn’t want me to, in fact it says that in the T&C’s.

At least for me I used Audacity to edit recorded vinyl albums. I’m over 2,000 and counting. Some need hours of manual editing and it’s not uncommon to rescue micro parts of tracks by copy from the left channel to the right etc. Of course I can use a keyboard, but when I’m working like this it’s so much more intuitive to use a toolbar since I’m using it for many other operations.

I get that parts of the code that are unused and legacy or deprecated are going to be taken out from time to time. Surely toolbars where invented to allow users to customize them for what THEY need not what some marketing type prioritizes in the user stories and decides to take away other useful function.

Since my setup is relatively stable, I’ve already removed the Audio Setup and Share buttons from the toolbar, I know where to find them IF I ever need them. Meanwhile cut-n-paste…

If this is what you are mainly doing and you don’t need or want the real-time effects capability - then you can stick with 3.1.3 or earlier and thus retain the cut/copy paste buttons

Not everyone can use two hands to press ctrl and a character. I have been using Audacity for years and the latest version, missing the cut copy and paste buttons is terrible. What possible reason could there be for not giving an option to have them on the toolbar?

It seems that the developer view is ‘you do it our way or not at all’ and I for one will either use a previous version or look elsewhere

For what it’s worth, the reasons are given here: https://github.com/audacity/audacity/issues/3693#issuecomment-1259556419 and here: https://github.com/audacity/audacity/issues/3693#issuecomment-1259725118

You can set Cut/Copy/Paste to be single key custom shortcuts.

See: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/keyboard_preferences.html#custom


buttons are primarily used by people who don’t use keyboard shortcuts, so by and large fairly novice users.

Curious as to the basis for this assertion? I mean, I do UI work for a different open source project, and have never encountered this attitude, except maybe by devs.

scott s.

Do not misquote me. I’m talking about the cut/copy/paste buttons specifically, not buttons in general. If you have them, look at user metrics, specifically the difference on how the cut/copy/paste buttons are used vs how the undo/redo buttons are used.

Hear, hear - whether one uses them or not, it’s never good practice to remove functionality. It’s caused me to regress to v.3.1.3.

No functionality has been lost. You still can

  • right-click > cut/copy/paste
  • use the edit menu
  • ctrl+x/c/v (or delete/backspace if you just want to remove content)

…when clicking one button is easier than any of them. I give up. In my development days we carried out the users’ requirements. If we’d imposed what we wanted on them we’d have been called before the I.T. Manager and asked if we really wanted our jobs. With Audacity the tail’s wagging the dog.