I want to print an Audacity manual, a COMPLETE manual

(1) First, I don’t know which version of Audacity I’m running. I want 2.0.3, but when I click on “About Audacity” i’m told that I have version 2.0.0 (Unicode). However, no matter how many times I download version 2.0.3. I keep being told that I’m running version 2.0.0. This has happened many, many times. Sometimes, I’m told that I can’t install what I have just downloaded because another copy of Audacity has been detected and bad things will happen if I try to run two copies. What am I supposed to do? Yes, I have tried to uninstall version 2.0.0, but it must be there in some tiny crevice that I don’t see, because I have obviously been unable to rid myself of it.
(2) Maybe it’s not important for me to be unable to install version 2.0.3. However, it is important for me to be able to use Audacity, and to use it, I need a manual, a COMPLETE manual, a paper manual. I don’t need or want list of links, I want a COMPLETE manual in my hands. Is it possible to download COMPLETE manual that I can print?

Did you install Audacity? That may seem a strange question, but it’s possible to run Audacity without installing it. Do you have this folder:

Go (top of the desktop) > Applications > audacity folder? (lower case “a”)

Really odd things can happen if you try to run Audacity from the downloaded DMG file instead of the actual program.

If you do have an audacity folder, restart the machine and drag that folder to the trash. Then try and install the new Audacity. Don’t empty the trash until we determine what went wrong.

You need to restart the machine to clear any active software that could interfere with the install. I know too many Mac people that leave a thousand things running all the time.


A note about open-source, free software. Programming Audacity is a lot of fun and there are a number people working on it. Writing the book sucks and there is a very tiny number of people working on it. The books always lag the program version sometimes by a lot. We’re perfectly happy to get any documentation at all much less comprehensive “books.” If we had to stop and write books, the documentation would be three versions late.

But it would be pretty.

I suspect you’d stand a much better chance to get a tool, effect or filter changed than a single book.

That said, the “Documentation” link at the top of this page is probably the best the instructions have been in years. If you wanted to print out those pages, you could do that.



Re. the manual: There is not yet a “complete downloadable manual”. The manual has been written more as a “reference” rather than as a “good read” and is very big, so you may be better to just print out pages that you are interested in. However, there have been some books written about using Audacity that you may find useful if you want “real paper in your hands”: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Books_about_Audacity

This can happen if you already have a version of 2.0.0 running and then try launching 2.0.3 (or 2.0.x where x is not 0) then what will actually be launched will be a second copy of 2.0.0.

So just make sure thay you’ve closed down all copies of Audacity before launcing 2.0.3


To clarify, an extra project window is opened in the current instance of Audacity, just like doing File > New. It is not running two instances of the same Audacity executable - doing this is blocked because it could cause a crash. To verify, look in the Processes tab of Windows Task Manger and you will only see one Audacity process.

On Linux you cannot even open a second window by calling the same executable again, as per http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=202 .


It is important that you use the latest version with the latest bug fixes, unless you have a strong reason to go back to a previous version, for example because a feature or functionality changed in the latest version.

When people ask for this, they don’t appreciate that a supplied paper manual would never be free, especially when Auadacity itself is free. Hard copy printing and publication costs are too high.

The only way to accommodate what you want for free with such a large document as the Manual would be a PDF Manual, which you could then print as one process instead of a page at a time. Unfortunately, there is no official PDF Manual for Audacity 2.0.x because we do not have the resources to make an official, polished PDF Manual from our HTML source material. It needs a lot of scripting work by a developer to get it right.

If you want a rough, unofficial PDF for 2.0.3, you can try this:

which was made using HTMLDOC 1.8.27
http://www.htmldoc.org/ .

There is a a table of contents, then after the Manual Front Page and the Quick Help index page, the rest of the pages follow in alphabetical order.

No links work where they are part of an image. Most internal text links work, although they may not go exactly to the target location.

Underlining of links looks shoddy and is only approximate to the intended underlining.

Please use at your own risk, without any comeback.

Please note that the books for sale on http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Books_about_Audacity are not official reference Manuals for Audacity. They are basically a “nice read” (as Steve said) that try and “tell a story” about working through how to use Audacity. They may not cover every feature and they mainly refer to late versions of the previous Audacity 1.3 series. Therefore these books will not relate exactly to the current Audacity version.



Yes, I now have Audacity 2.0.3. It wasn’t there when I made my first post, but it’s there now.


After discovering that Office Depot could print books from PDF files, I’ve had them print five manuals, the last one being a 115+ page (single side) of a Samsung camcorder manual for about $14.00. That’s what I had intended to do with the Audacity manual.


As mentioned above, when I looked today, 2.0.3 had been installed. It wasn’t there before, but I’m not complaining.

kozikowski, Steve, and waxcylinder,

Thanks for your help. Of course I’d like to have a COMPLETE Audacity manual, but since is no such thing, I’m going to review what you have suggested and print what I find to be useful. Thanks again. I’ve been using WireTap for many years, but I can’t wait any longer for them to make their program compatible with Mountain Lion. That’s why I decided to try Audacity. I’ve had it installed for more than a year, but the dread of having to learn another system kept me from trying. Because of this, there are a number of programs I would have finished if WireTap had been made functional, and I don’t want to wait any longer. Is it THAT difficult to catch up with new operating systems? I’m certainly no expert, but if everyone else manages to do it…

Is it THAT difficult to catch up with new operating systems? I’m certainly no expert, but if everyone else manages to do it…

No, they don’t. You get programs for Windows and Programs for Macs and programs for linux. Very few programs operate cross platform on all three and the ones that do are emphatically not free. They have corporate staffs, design teams and actual help desks to keep up.

Most of us who like to record from Mac use Soundfower. There is a very good piece written about how.



One of the most common things I do is to copy songs and put them in my
iTunes library. From there, I might want to create a video with iPhoto or iMovie for posting on YouTube. You mean I need both Soundflower and Audacity to do this? I had thought that Audacity could do it all.

There is a complete HTML Manual here http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/ .

It is included on your computer in the Audacity “help” folder if you got the DMG of Audacity. If not, you can download it (as HTML) here http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/unzipping_the_manual.html .

Did you actually try http://gaclrecords.org.uk/man.zip which is a complete PDF Manual and the only obvious solution to printing the lot? I am certainly stressing it’s unofficial but if you were to give some constructive feedback about it (particularly about the page order) then it might be possible to improve the next one for 2.0.4.

It’s just no good complaining it looks shoddy, because it does. I wish we had the resources to produce a professional-looking PDF, but we don’t. :frowning:

I think that is a perfectly reasonable solution for some cases. Just print off what you are working with at the time.

Audacity can only record computer playback exactly at the time that it is playing on the sound device. Macs do not allow computer playback to be recorded in that way.

Wiretap could record computer playback on Mac because it grabbed a digital copy of the audio from the program making the sound, before it got to the sound card. Audacity cannot do that.


Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Gale, but I just started to print my manual using some of the links you so kindly provided. IT’S 884 PAGES! So, I compromised my putting the PDF file in my Documents section. I prefer reading from paper, but sometimes getting what you want is just not feasible.


Warren Jones

The actual HTML Manual is almost 200 pages (“page” not being a printed page size, but however long that page is).

I see in the “unofficial” PDF Manual, even the shortest page is at least two pages, because the Wiki sidebar links are added below each page’s content (which is useful or not according to your point of view) and this overflows onto another blank page that just says “Views”. This is what we mean about having to script HTML to PDF conversion.

How do you manage with the other Manuals that are only 100 printable pages? Most PDF software should let you print the whole range of pages, then if your printer has an automatic sheet feed it should just do the job (up to the capacity of the sheet feed).


I took the time to write you a detailed reply, but when I clicked on PREVIEW, it disappeared. Sorry, but I don’t want to go through that again.

I’m sorry if that happened (it shouldn’t), but if you still have that browser window or tab open you should be able to use the BACK <— button on your browser to get the text back.

Don’t worry if not. I think you said you got a company to print longer Manuals for you.


I’ve had Office Depot print the following binders:

  1. 32-pages (one-side), 2. 74-pages (one-side), 3. 81-pages (single-side), 4. 254-pages (both sides). The two prices I remember were $10.00 and $14.00, but they gave me one for nothing, because they had given me so much trouble.