Editing Tools Not Working

I’m new to the forum and I did do a search but did not find an answer. I have read the manual and only find “how to” do something.
I am new to Audacity.
I have downloaded the latest version. Opened a new audio file and need to selected about 12 seconds of audio from it. I use the arrow keys to select the section (it does play only that section) however the section does not highlight, nor do the edit tool icons become available nor does the option to “trim” become available through the Edit menu. I am super frustrated. I’ve read the manual, followed the instructions to make sure to “stop” the file and not “pause” it etc… I hope this is an easy fix because I’m on hour 2 of doing everything to try and remedy.

Thanks in advance!

The Desperation Method is do it inside out.
Make sure you have a protection copy of the original work, so no mistakes can destroy it by accident.

Select before your IN point to the beginning of the work and delete it. Now select after your OUT point to the end and delete that. Now chip away at the work until your remaining clip is the desired work. Zoom is handy to do this.

Zoom (Windows)
– Drag-select something on the timeline and zoom into it. Control-E
– Zoom out a little bit. Control-3
– Zoom out full. Control-F

– Shift-ScrollWheel will shift the timeline view left and right (sooner and later).

Change the timeline so it doesn’t shift by itself:
– Edit > Preferences > Tracks > [_] Update display while playing. (de-select)
…Note: Update Display is good during recording.

When you get the timeline chipped down to the desired work, File > Export.

There are ways to do this with Labels…


…but if all you need is one single clip, chipping is easier.

Edit > UNDO is available anywhere in this process if you mess up.


That could be the problem if you downloaded from anywhere other than us: http://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows. There are rogue versions of Audacity around.

Are you sure you are selecting in the blue waves and not above the waves?

Is the Track Control Panel to left of the blue waves grey or light cream? If it’s light cream the track is not selected so the selection in it is disregarded. To select the track retaining the selection hold SHIFT and click in empty space in the Track Control Panel. Using the keyboard, use UP or DOWN arrow if necessary to move the yellow border into the track then use the ENTER key. ENTER toggles selectedness in the track that has the yellow focus border.