Can I begin recording with a hotkey?

It sounds like another vote that Audacity should support “global shortcuts” that work whatever program has focus.


Which is terrific provided that the Audacity global shortcuts don’t clash with any shortcuts used in gyro89’s game.

…and any other game on all three computer platforms.


All this is hypothetical, but what else is the original poster asking for? Shortcuts clash is a problem with any global shortcuts feature, but is that a reason to oppose it? Winamp didn’t think so. Simply change the global shortcut (or change the application shortcut) if there is a clash.


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I’m not opposing it, I’m pointing out that it is not all a bed of roses.
If we went charging ahead and added dozens of global shortcuts, then I suspect that would NOT be what the user wants , and I suspect that we would get a lot of complaints.

What gyro89 has requested is a global shortcut to start recording.
He has not said so, but he may also was a global shortcut to stop the recording.

Many modern games have dozens of keyboard shortcuts. If the user is familiar with a game and uses the shortcuts, then they will NOT want to change the shortcuts in the game.

Yes, the feature request is for global shortcuts, but only in a very limited sense. I imagine that what would suit gyro89 would be “options” (there’s that word again) to tie a few basic functions (such as Record and Stop) to global shortcuts. They should probably be disabled by default so that the user does not discover them by accident just as they reach the climax of the final shootout.

Serious game players are usually familiar with the idea of “reading the manual”.

You can change the global shortcut in Audacity if you won’t change it in the game.

If the user wants the feature they have to accept that they may have to configure it to avoid shortcut clashes. I think they would say this is better than not having the feature.

I’m not suggesting global shortcuts should necessarily be on by default, given Audacity is not a player application. You could have a checkbox to enable/disable individual global shortcuts rather than find some are conflicting with other applications and have to change those shortcuts so you could use the ones that are not conflicting.

Also the issue of interfacing with media transport keys found on some keyboards would have to be considered. That is an on/off choice in Winamp.


record and stop won’t probably enough.
Some users might want to do transcriptions or translations with Audacity, which requires global shortcuts for play, play at speed, short/long seek etc.

For most applications, the general keyboard mapping won’t work. This makes it necessary to save different layouts, maybe for each game/application separately.
In all those schemes, the shortcuts have to be defined individually as “global”.
This could be done, either by a check box or a secondary tab for global shortcuts.

Another approach is a “pass to Audacity” key combination, for example Windows-A.
Thus, record could be started by pressing Windows-A and then R. The advantage would be that all common shortcuts would be available, the GUI hadn’t any changes and only this “Pass thru” command had to be added.
The disadvantage is that fast key sequences are not possible. It is a pity that not more modifier keys are available. Screen readers use for instance seldomly used keys like caps lock or insert as additional modifier.

Another interesting idea would be the hardware solution with an keyboard extension or a foot pedal with all main Audacity functions plus the above mentioned Pass-Thrue key, exclusively made for Audacity and available in the (now closed…) shop. This would at least generate some income.

Thanks, Robert.

Windows 8 now uses most of the Windows key and letter combinations for system shortcuts. Windows + A is still available but it could be used by Microsoft any time I guess.

I don’t think using CAPSLOCK as a modifier is a good idea seeing how many users write in UPPER CASE. Some say that due to repetitive strain this is the only way they can type. I don’t see anything wrong with using INSERT. Are there any unused modifiers?

I like the idea in principle of partnering with a manufacturer to make a keyboard or foot pedal that has exclusive actions for Audacity (however we would still have to ensure that these actions didn’t switch focus to Audacity when it did not have focus).

The Audacity Technical Leaders have shown themselves very cautious in the past about allowing manufacturers to make hardware for Audacity. I understand why, but I hope that might change.


What’s the status on the global hotkeys feature? Has it been decided if it will be implemented or not? I’d love this feature to start/stop recordings while gaming. :slight_smile:

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It is not in the next release.

As I think I’ve indicated before, making global shortcuts available for other than Windows requires us to update to a later version of wxWidgets:


So wait, it’s available for Windows already? How do I enable it?

You don’t. :wink: The support is there in wxWidgets for Windows, but Audacity has not enabled that support.


I see. So is it planned to be included in the next release?


It is likely to be a release or two before we update our version of wxWidgets. A lot of work is involved.


OK gotcha. Thanks for the feedback and the link! :slight_smile:

In the meantime, some other recording applications can record using a global shortcut:


So, it’s been quite some time (half a decade) since the last post in this thread!
Have developers come to implement this feature for Windows user, yet?
Actually, I did look in the preferences in my Audacity, just now.
Although there’s a section with hotkeys, they don’t seem to be global.

There are currently no plans to implement global shortcuts.
If such a feature is important your particular workflow, you could use AutoHotKey.

The default hot key for recording is “R”, but as with other keyboard shortcuts in Audacity, it only works when the Audacity app is in the foreground. Audacity does not have “global” hot keys that work when Audacity is running in the background.