How to get out of Envelope Tool

Windows 10, Audacity 3.2.1

I accidentally activated the envelope tool & stupidly didn’t Edit → undo. I made some changes since then and would rather not have to do a lot of undos to get out of this envelope tool mode.

The manual seems to indicate that I could do so by Tracks → Mix → Mix & Render to a new track, but when I do so it reduces the volume a bit (I had used the Effects → Volume & Compression → Amplify to increase it earlier on in my editing process), but the new track is still in Envelope mode.

Any ideas on how to get out of it? All help is appreciated, of course.

Edit: I switched my focus to work on a 2nd track & used the envelope tool beginning point to raise the volume of that track a little, going out of bounds giving the dotted line boundaries. I clicked on zoom to zoom out & somehow I was automagically out of the Envelope tool mode. Yay! Unfortunately, however, I don’t know how I did it.


Thank you so much, Trebor. I had seen that section of the manual but didn’t see anything showing me how to do that. It was driving me crazy, but the fix is so easy. I probably should have been able to figure that out on my own, but it hadn’t occurred to me. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was a button on the tool bar until I was looking through the manual. I tried clicking on it again to “undo” it, but that didn’t work. Had I clicked on the select tool I would have been set. Duh!

Thanks again!

Ever since recent updates (now on 3.2.2) whenever I use the envelope tool like what is seen in the gif, I can’t see the point position until after I release the left click. In the old version, it would visually drag the level as I placed the point. Anyone else having this issue?

Don’t feel bad about it, it’s a bear-trap that has long been present in Audacity (and a logged issue at that) many folk have fallen foul of this over the years).
Sometimes people accidentally click the Envelope, or they inadvertently click F2, F3 or F6 function keys. BTW F1 is the shortcut key for returning to the Selection tool

Muse are planning to fix this in a later version by removing the Tools toolbar. The Envelope and Draw will be tools that will be accessed by a different method, probably menu items - and importantly Selection will be always-on and thus always available. The Multi-tool will disappear as will the Zoom tool I believe.

You may want to take a look at the other known bear-traps'Stuck_In_a_Mode'
Note that Stuck-in-Tool is top of the list :wink:


I still see them testing on W10 with 3.2.2 and the latest Beta test build for 3.2.3.

Until you release the mouse button the dots are blue, which can appear lost against a blue waveform. They become white when you release the mouse button. This may be seen a poor design choice, but that’s the way it’s always been - all the way since Audacity 1.0, the first release 22 years ago.

I may find some time to write a short enhancement request to change this colorway for the dots.


The dots aren’t really relevant unless / until you are wanting to move an existing point (and then they are bright white).

When creating a new envelope control point, look at the waveform rather than the dots. It’s the shape / amplitude of the waveform that is important.
Hold the mouse button down and move the mouse pointer around until the waveform looks like you want it to, then release the mouse button.

When I move an existing point, with mouse down the dots become blue again, not white, only becoming white again when I release the mouse button.

I totally take your point about the changing waveform being more important than the blue dots - but my point is that if you are going to provide a GUI element like the transitioning dots then it makes more sense to give them greater visibility - a better visual cue.


But there are two white arrows pointing at the position.

A “point” by definition, has zero size. While being dragged, the mouse pointer (which has turned into two white triangles) is pointing at the “point”. When not being dragged, if the envelope tool is being used, the “points” are conveniently highlighted as white dots (much bigger than “zero size”) so that you can see them - the actual “point” is at the centre of the dot.

Try this in Dark theme or High Contrast theme.

There you will notice that the transitioning dots are much clearer.