Thanks for the tip (someone) about pressing Home before pasting. That merges them nicely. My method is now:
- click in the tracks area of the label track I want to copy to select it all
- click somewhere in the label track I want to merge it into
- press Home
- press control+V
My “Retain Labels if selection snaps to a label edge” preference is unticked, presumably the default, and I didn’t lose the end label, despite the selection appearing to end at the label. Perhaps that wouldn’t be true if I’d manually selected everything up to that label.
So the surprise for me was the difference in behaviour between selecting a point to paste into and pasting “over” the whole track. Perhaps this should be mentioned in the manual (http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Label_Tracks) or wiki (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Labels_Tips). I’m not sure why I would be surprised by that. I wasn’t surprised it overwrote when I selected the whole track, but I assumed it would insert and move the other labels along if I chose a single point, like it would for audio. Pity I didn’t try it.
I’m slightly uncomfortable using this merge operation unless it’s documented. Is it supposed to do it? I wonder if it’s ever annoyed anyone who did want the other labels to move along.
I’d forgotten about the Edit Labels command. That method wouldn’t have been practical for this operation because there are too many labels involved, and it forces you to do them one by one.
I see that you can select more than one label in that command, but it doesn’t seem to let you do anything with the selection. If I could select all the labels in a track, then change their track in one operation then that would be a neat way to do it that also feels safe.
My next task is to move a few individual labels into their own track, and I see Edit Labels as the best way to do that. I think copying and pasting is going to be tedious for single labels. Luckily I will be able to identify the labels involved by their text, so this will be fairly quick.
It would be quicker if I could specify a filter string in Edit labels so I could only see those I want to move.
Does anyone think it would be generally useful to be able to do operations on multiple labels in Edit Labels? And to be able to filter them according to their content, and perhaps by their track?
My operations on labels recently makes me think this is a slightly neglected part of Audacity, and I’m wondering if this is for lack of demand more than anything else. Would that be true?