Mark points in the waveform

While I’m editing, I often need to “mark” points for selecting. I currently search through the file, the listen and write down my “cut in” and “cut out” points, then I select from one point to the other by dragging the selection, which can take a while when I need to go back 20 minutes of file time to where I want the selection to start.
What I’d like to do, it “mark” the cut in point in on the waveform, then after I’ve found the end point, be able to just click a button to select everything between the two points, so I can process that region.
Is there a way to do this that I just haven’t found yet? Could this feature be added?

There are at least two ways to do this (assuming you are using 1.3.x - this is a good reason to post in the forum section for your operating system and version of Audacity).

In both cases make sure that “Snap To” (at the lower left of the project window) is not checked.

  1. Using Labels
    Find the cut in point and do Tracks > Add Label at Selection. Name the label.
    Find the cut out point and create and name a label there.
    Zoom out.
    Click to the right of the cut in point and drag left until you see the yellow “snap” line.
    Hold the shift key and drag to the right (to extend the selection) until you reach the cut out point and you see the yellow snap line.
    Process the selection.

  2. Using clips
    Find the cut in point and do Edit > Split. A split line appears and the track is now cut into two clips.
    Find the cut out point and create another split. The track now contains three clips.
    Zoom out.
    Double-click between the in and out points to select that clip.
    Process the selection.
    To remove the clips after processing, click in the track panel to select the entire track and do Edit > Join.

– Bill

A third way to do this: The [ and ] keys may be used to select the left and right ends of a selection while the track is playing.
When you get to the cut-in point, press [. They you may either listen to the end, or use the right arrow (short seek forward) or shift+right arrow (long seek forward) to move forward while playing. The size of the short and long jumps is set in Preferences->Playback. The normal keyboard auto-repeat will cause playback to skip forward in short or long jumps until you release the key – a sort of fast forward button.
Once you get to the cut-out point, press the ] key. Play continues, but all audio between the cut-in and -out points is selected.


[ and ] only work during play? Sooooo close.


Thanks, but those don’t work. I’m running Audacity 1.2.6, on Windows Vista. Been using this version for a couple years now. This is a production environment, doing all our recording and editing on it, so I’m not confident in the Beta version.

Most people aren’t that lucky. The early Audacity versions can be seriously unstable on newer computers.

Audacity doesn’t have Edit Markers like your video editor does. You can zoom in and place Labels at your edit points and then, when you zoom out, they become sticky or magnetic when you select over them.


At work I use Audacity 1.3.12 in a production environment. On our computers it is just as stable and considerably more able than the old 1.2.6 version.
You can have both versions (1.3 and 1.2) installed on the same machine but you can’t run them both at the same time. Audacity projects that have been saved in v. 1.3.x cannot be opened by Audacity 1.2.x