Feature Request: Auto select between labels

I don’t see any command for what seems like a universal need: selecting audio between labels.

This is highly useful to my podcast/audio book editing because I need to break long stretches of audio into chapters which can include overdubs, transitions and music, and more across multiple tracks in a mix. Labels allow me to specify these chapters and then I need to easily select the audio for one or all tracks between labels for exporting and other editing needs.

I don’t see any commands in the obvious Select menu. I notice there are Move to Previous/Next Label (option-left/right) commands. But that’s all they can do: simply jump to previous or next labels and no selecting possible.


Add commands to Select menu:
[] Select > Labels > Between Labels of Current Track
] Select > Labels > Between Labels of All Tracks

This way I can select audio of only one track for time-shifting or copying, etc. or on all tracks like when I’ve created a multi-track mix and want to export all audio as a complete song mix or a chapter in an audio book.

Another solution is allowing a select modifier key on the Move to Previous/Next Label commands. Seems really simple to place the cursor at a label, then press option-shift-right to select all of the audio between that label and the next.

Obviously, this would only work on the audio of the current track where the cursor was placed. Yet maybe a third modifier key can be used so that if I press option-control-shift-left/right, the audio of all tracks is selected between the two labels.

There are several options available:

  1. Use Region Labels rather than Point Labels.
    Clicking on the “flag” of a region label selects the region marked by the label.


  2. With Point Labels:

  3. Click on the “flag” of the first label

  4. “Select > Store Cursor Position” (https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/select_menu.html)

  5. Tab to the next label

  6. “Select > Cursor to Stored Cursor Position” (https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/select_menu.html)

By default there are no keyboard shortcuts for the two “Select” menu commands, but if you use these functions regularly it would be worth adding shortcuts. See: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/keyboard_preferences.html

3. Use the mouse pointer:
The way I do it (which is very quick and easy) is to tab to the first label, then hold down the Shift key and click and drag to the second label. When the pointer is lined up with the label, a vertical yellow “snap line” appears - then Left click.

4. Create a “Nyquist Macro” plug-in to select between labels:
I think I’ve previously posted a plug-in to do this, but not sure where. I’ll post it here if I find it.

I couldn’t find it, so I’ve written a new one:
SelectBetweenLabels.ny (945 Bytes)
This can be installed in the same way as any other Nyquist Plug-in: Customization - Audacity Manual
When installed and enabled, it will appear in the “Tools” menu.


Thanks for the SelectBetweenLabels.ny plug-in.

I installed it and trying to use it.

I was able to use it for Part1 label. For other parts it just fails.

I select the WorkW1 track.
I click on Part2a selection area in the label track.
Corresponding region gets selected in the WorkW1 track.
Now I do the Tools->Select Between Labels.
Selection Disappears.

Happens all the time.

The procedure is not clear. Like the original poster this functionality is so basic and staple and I wish there is a reliable procedure.

This is what I am/was doing…

I created labelled regions with lot of diligence so each region seamlessly loops that music part. I want to select these regions on the audio track using the Label Track, and copy paste the regions (in various sequences) to assemble a new Final Track (for exporting).

The precise requirement is:
a) Select a Label region in the Label Track.
b) Invoke Select Between Labels,
c) it should ask for the Desired Audio Track, and
d) Select the corresponding region on that Track.
e) For completing the copying and Pasting.

How to do the step ( c ) is unclear to me with your plugin.

P.S. For some significant time I somehow got cut off and signed out from the forum. Missed it. Happy I am finally able login today.

The “Select between labels” plug-in was intended for use with “point” labels.

The way to use the “Select between labels” plug-in:

  1. Click on the audio track where you want the selection, between the two label positions where you want the selection.
  2. Apply the plug-in.

The region between the two point labels is selected.

(The start of the track (time = 0) is treated as an implicit label position)

If you have region labels rather than point labels, the selection will be from the start of the preceding label, to the start of the next label. Clicking within a region label is not supported (an error will be shown).

If you make an audio selection (rather than just clicking on the track), the plug-in uses the start of the selection as the reference point and will uses labels that are either side of that position.

Thanks Steve for the quick response and clarification.

Yes what you have created will be useful - for some other user cases like silencing and deleting clips between the labels. I am not surer how to express things when label regions overlap. Will try that as well soon.

For the use case I wrote about, I just Select the region in the Label Tracks and then deselect all the tracks I do not need, and then Copy and Paste. It is a bit tedious but is a workable procedure. May be you can create a Nyquist script/procedure for that as well. I will give it a shot in a day or two - though I may have to develop the idioms for listing the tracks and selecting from them. You may know it in your sleep!!

regards Sri.