Clip start time vs. Track start time

Hello, first time post here. Hope I do it right.

I have a multi-track project that I’d like to export as multiple separate tracks. Everything is sequential within audacity, but when I export, some tracks start at the right place, and some start at the wrong place.

When I select a track, some of them have a blue line in the timeline/quickplay area that starts at the very beginning of the project. Some of them, however, have a blue line and quickplay that begin where the first clip is instead of the beginning of the project. I’ve attached some pics to help further explain.

I’ve tried locking the play region for all tracks, but the play region doesn’t seem to have anything to do with exporting start times. It has something to do with that blue highlight line, but I can’t select it or engage with it in any way. The only way to move it is to move the clip, which defeats the purpose of the project.

I’d like to not insert silence for each track if possible. How do I manipulate that blue highlight? Why are some seemingly locked to the clip, and some locked to the beginning of the track?
starts at track beginning.JPG
Starts with clip.JPG

Use Audacity 2.4.2.

In “Edit menu > Preferences > Import / Export”, ensure that “Ignore blank space at the beginning” is NOT selected.

Thank you, that solved it. Is this a new, recently updated feature?

Originally, leading “whitespace” (empty track space before the first audio clip) was always rendered as silence.

Then someone changed it so that leading whitespace was ignored. That was good for some users, but a pita for people wanting to move multi-track projects into other DAWs.

I think it was the Audacity 2.4.2 release (or shortly before) that a preference setting was added to allow the user to chose either behaviour.