Grid Layout Plugin?

I’m currently doing a project that involves trying to synthesize my own voice to say a simple message. Because I am doing this through customized sample rates and it being binary controlled, I’ve been looking at a recording of my own voice to try and copy. It’d be a lot easier if I could have a grid-like layout over the audio recording. The single vertical line I can place is helpful, but I am looking for a general grid that has multiple vertical and horizontal lines overlaying the recording. Is there any settings or plugins available that would allow me to do just this?

You can create labels at regular intervals.
When you select up to a label edge, there is a weak “snapping” to the label position and a yellow vertical line appears.
Some useful links:

While not 100% what I had in mind, the interval-labeling is working nicely to have 2 vertical lines at once. Thank you very much. Would there be a similar workaround for the horizontal lines(amplitude instead of time)?

Not really a workaround, but there are some features of the vertical track ruler that can help in viewing specific amplitudes.

  • Left click on the vertical ruler to zoom in.
  • Right click on the vertical ruler to zoom out
    (OR shift + left click)
  • Left click and drag up/down to select a vertical zoom range.
  • Shift + right click to zoom to normal.
  • Scroll wheel to scroll up/down

See: Audacity Manual

There are also some “feature requests” logged on the Audacity wiki that you may want to “vote” for. (Voting does not mean that the feature will be implemented, as development of Audacity is by volunteers in their free time, but it allows us to log user interest in new features).
If you search this page (Missing features - Audacity Support) for “Waveform Grid lines:” you will see a number of related features that you may want to vote for. If you tell us which features you want to vote for, one of the forum moderators will add your vote(s).

Thank you once again. I would like to place a vote for the “Horizontal and vertical” subcategory.

I’ve added your vote.

How does one vote for an adjustable Horizontal Grid Line on waveform edit screen?
Can I vote for it myself, or can you vote for me?
Thank you!

I’ve added your vote on the Wiki Feature Requests page - now a total of 24 votes I note.



Thank you for helping me WC!
My usage is while editing concert recordings, typically between 45 minutes to 2 hours long. Depending on venue and band, my original recordings (stereo split into L/R channels) need ‘Normalize’ effect applied to remove DC offset and increase amplitude to near maximum.

But before applying the effect, I spot the most extreme spikes in the recording, then zoom all the way into the waveform until I see the single portion of the wave responsible for creating the spike line. I then carefully reduce just that portion of the wave (by applying a small negative ‘Amplify’ level) until its waveform comes down to some “suitable” horizontal level. Then I do this to other spikes across the entire length of the recording, one spike at a time (very tedious if there are lots of spikes I want to bring down), until all spikes are reduced to the same “suitable” horizontal level.

At that point, I finally apply the ‘Normalize’ effect to the entire recording. This boosts the recording’s volume to a level I like better than had I applied ‘Normalize’ to my original raw recording. Having an adjustable horizontal grid line, one for the top and one for the bottom of the waveform per channel, would help me better visualize the operation when reducing the spikes down a touch to this “suitable” horizontal level. As it is now, without horizontal grid lines in Audacity, I size a window of another application (like Notepad or whatever), and then bring that window over the top of Audacity’s window to act as a “horizontal ruler” that shows the spikes sticking out over the top of the “ruler”. So I’m flipping this other application’s window over Audacity back-n-forth, back-n-forth between each edit of each spike, thereby making an already tedious task more burdensome.

Not too keen on “Plug-Ins” (Like it’s a lot of work and subject to mistake, etc.) .

Reading the Request for “Grid” - may I suggest Audacity considers that as “Option” - when you set-up Preferences - but I’d offer _ grid to time ( accentuated at 1min, perhaps - there are colours available ) and Grid to dB so we can see the waveform reaching the 0db ( or other?) limit - shown as red-line perhaps?

…I’m using Win7 32 - and just downloaded Audacity 2.1.2 - thankyou…

  • yet I may still use ex-Sony Sound Forge Studio ( which has its own User-interface issues!), because it’s very easy for most “adjustments” - Sadly with Magix in the mix I doubt I’ll update - never had any joy with two of their software pieces . . . so I’d hope Audacity “Interface” to be plenty friendly.
    I’ll post this elsewhere if I can find suitable… when I go to Effect ( looking for “Amplify” ) the program thinks I want to minimise the screen - so for several “tries” I’m fighting the screen. This is whenever the effects-list is too long ( so why not make it two columns with a decent space between?)- and the tiny Triangle is right at the top of the Screen . . it just need a dummy-line above the triangle to act as “mouse-pointer-buffer” . . . . or perhaps there is already an easier way to scroll the listing - not blatently obvious - to me.

The Poster who has long audio recordings - My to-be suggested interface would be a bonus. Will say elsewhere, but I’m not holding breath. This would reduce the time for a “Volume correction” session very conveniently - but would allow it to be “tweaked” at a later time if saved as a “Project” (ie with the controls recorded. )
I get the impression Audacity does have a Project/session facility - (but it’s far from clear) when what I want to SAVE is a simple WAV file, for use elsewhere.

This is very-much like Video-Editing where the User “instructions” only become “Real” when the project is Rendered - if the PC is fast-enough, Instructions will play almost correctly -but the rendered version is the only final version worth showing.


Thank you for your contribution 123har456, but you have raised many issues that diverge from the topic under discussion. So that we can remain focussed on the issue stated in the subject line, I shall address your other questions very briefly, and if you want further information, or wish to discus these matters further, please start new a new thread (a new subject) for each topic.

I have added your vote.

I think we would need a more flexible approach as some users will be working on long recordings where 1 min intervals will be appropriate, but other users will be working on much shorter tracks where much smaller intervals will be required.

I’ve added your vote for that also.

That sounds like something that shouldn’t happen, but as far as I’m aware it is not a known bug. Please start a new topic and provide step by step instructions for how to reproduce the problem.

There are several options to order the Effect menu in different ways. See: Effects Preferences - Audacity Manual

On Windows, if you open the Effect menu and then type a letter, the menu will scroll down to the first effect that begins with that letter. Press the letter again and it will scroll down to the next effect that begins with that letter…

See the track “Gain” slider: Audio Tracks - Audacity Manual

Yes, an Audacity session is handled as a “project”. See: Managing Audacity Projects - Audacity Manual

To create a normal audio file you need to “export”. See:

I get bitten by the little triangle at the top at times when I have the full long list, minimizing my full screen window.

It happens when I am working in full scren mode and need to scroll up the menu. What seems to make the minimize happen is that once you get to the top of the list the little black triangle turns gray - double clicking on that will cause the minimize. Actually on testing just now I note that double-clicking on that top triangle when it is black (as scrolling up is enabled) will also cause the minimize (this is on W10 and on my previous W7 installation too). This doesn’t happpen when you double-click the bottom sroll-down traingle - and double clicking the top scroll-up triangle has no effect when working with a minimized Aufacity window.
@Steve/Gale: do you think this is a bug?

I have a cute workaround for this situation on my production configuration. I realized that I only regularly use a small subset of the effects, so I shorten the list by disabling the ones I don’t need with the “Add/Remove Plug-ins” at the top of the effect menu. That way I get a nice short dropdown menu that doesn’t need any scrolling :sunglasses:

I can always re-enable any of the disabled effects if I realize I need them later.

Plus, for my really commonly-used effects like Amplify and the fades I have set handy custom shortcuts. See: Shortcuts Preferences - Audacity Manual


I’ve just checked on Windows, and yes it’s a bug (doesn’t happen on Linux), and it’s been around for a very long time (reproducible in Audacity 1.3.4 on Windows XP).

Testing on XP (the only version of Windows that I have available:
Normally, main menu items are below the title bar, but in the case of the Effect menu, the top of the menu overlaps with the title bar (top of the main Audacity window). When the menu is scrolled to the top, the top “menu item” (the arrow) is disabled, so the the menu is unable to capture the mouse clicks, thus the clicks pass through to the underlying title bar, thus triggering the title bar click behaviour (maximize or un-maximize the window). I presume that the behaviour on later versions of Windows is similar.

@Steve: do you want me to log this one?


Yes, please do (I only have obsolete XP, so I can’t be sure precisely what you see on later versions of Windows).

That seems a good description of the problem as I also see it on Windows 10.

I understood that the Effect menu overlapping the Menu Bar was a wxWidgets bug.

So I don’t see how it can happen in Full Screen (F11) because there the Title Bar is hidden and the Effect Menu can only overlap into the Menu Bar itself.

I assume the “minimise” happens when the Audacity window is restored down with the Audacity Title Bar below the top of the screen and the click is above the grey triangle. The click then gets passed through to another application so as to give that application focus. I can’t make that happen when Audacity is maximised - the Audacity window just gets restored down.