Menu items and ellipses


I use Audacity with German translation. There are some menu items that have “…” (6 dots) at the end. (See for example the menu item for generating silence.) I guess it’s because an ellipsis is programmatically added to a menu item that already contains one. Please take into account that for German it’s preferred to have a space before the ellipsis, so I think it should be a matter of the translation string.

Which operating system are you using, and which exact version of Audacity?
Some menu items should have three dots after the name. This indicates “more to follow”. Specifically, it indicates that the effect has an interface window for selecting options, rather than an effect that is applied immediately.

I’m using Windows 8.1 and Audacity 2.1.0.

I’ve moved this to the Windows forum as 6 dots should not be happening, so it’s not a “feature request”.

Try updating to the current version of Audacity (2.1.1) and select “Reset Preferences” during the installation, then see if the problem still occurs.

Yes, the problem’s still there.

Searching the current de.PO File for “…” (three periods – not an ellipsis) finds:

9993: msgid "&Use SSE/SSE2/.../AVX"
9994: msgstr "SSE/SSE2/.../AVX &verwenden"
10115: msgstr "&Ergonomische Anordnung der Transport-Buttons (Start, Stop ...)"

Searching it for “…” (an actual ellipsis) finds:

189: msgstr "OK … Audacious!"
426: msgstr "Audacity wird gestartet …"
434: msgstr "&Öffnen …"
438: msgstr "Kü&rzlich verwendete Dateien öffnen …"
442: msgstr "&Über Audacity …"
446: msgstr "&Einstellungen …"
541: msgstr "&Speichern …"
783: msgstr "&Auf Dateien anwenden …"
804: msgstr "Datei(en) für die Stapelverarbeitung auswählen …"
812: msgstr "Wird angewendet …"
916: msgstr "Audiodaten ins Projektverzeichnis kopieren …"
1314: msgstr "Durchsuchen …"
1435: msgstr "&Exportieren …"
1722: msgstr "&Importieren …"
1743: msgstr "Neu …"
1747: msgstr "Textdatei mit Textmarken auswählen …"
1825: msgstr "Projekt speichern &unter …"
1833: msgstr "Abhängigkeiten &überprüfen …"
1837: msgstr "Me&tadaten bearbeiten …"
1845: msgstr "&Ton …"
1849: msgstr "&Textmarken …"
1853: msgstr "&MIDI …"
1857: msgstr "&Rohdaten …"
1861: msgstr "Ton &exportieren …"
1865: msgstr "Ausgewählten Ton expo&rtieren …"
1869: msgstr "&Textmarken exportieren …"
1873: msgstr "Mehrere Dateien ex&portieren …"
1877: msgstr "MIDI exportieren …"
1881: msgstr "Stapel&verarbeitung anwenden …"
1885: msgstr "Stapel&verarbeitung bearbeiten …"
1889: msgstr "Seite ein&richten …"
1893: msgstr "&Drucken …"
2101: msgstr "Ein&stellungen …"
2153: msgstr "&Verlauf …"
2157: msgstr "&Karaoke …"
2253: msgstr "&Zeitgesteuerte Aufnahme …"
2273: msgstr "Schwellwert &Pegelsteuerung …"
2321: msgstr "Samplefre&quenz der Spur ändern …"
2389: msgstr "Te&xtmarken bearbeiten …"
2430: msgstr "Kontrast …"
2450: msgstr "&Bildschirmfotowerkzeuge …"
2454: msgstr "&Vergleichsindex ausführen …"
2462: msgstr "&Tongerätinfo …"
2466: msgstr "&Protokoll anzeigen …"
3104: msgstr "MIDI-Datei auswählen …"
3123: msgstr "Unkomprimierte Tondatei auswählen …"
3602: msgstr "Datei(en) auswählen …"
3800: msgstr "Komprimiertes Projekt »%s« speichern unter …"
3811: msgstr "Projekt »%s« speichern unter …"
3919: msgstr "Auswählen …"
4177: msgstr "Be&arbeiten …"
4181: msgstr "Zurückse&tzen …"
4189: msgstr "&Laden …"
4377: msgstr "&Andere …"
4453: msgstr "&Schrift …"
4465: msgstr "Bereich einstellen …"
4477: msgstr "&Name …"
5627: msgstr "&Exportieren …"
5969: msgstr "Importieren …"
5973: msgstr "Exportieren …"
6245: msgstr "Kurven &verwalten …"
6373: msgstr "&Umbenennen …"
6377: msgstr "&Löschen …"
6381: msgstr "&Importieren …"
6385: msgstr "&Kurven herunterladen …"
6949: msgstr "DC-Versatz wird entfernt und normalisiert …\n"
6953: msgstr "DC-Versatz wird entfernt …\n"
6957: msgstr "Es wird normalisiert ohne DC-Versatz zu entfernen …\n"
10362: msgstr "&Suchen …"
10390: msgstr "S&uchen …"
10771: msgstr "Andere …"
11665: msgstr "Ein&stellungen …"

A reason that plugin effects can acquire six dots for ellipsis (even in English language) is if you change between Audacity 2.1.x versions that are located in different folders. But in that case you should have two instances of each menu item, the older version’s item having six dots.

I suggest you quit Audacity, then delete the file

Users\<your user name>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\pluginregistry.cfg

and restart Audacity.

If I do that, running Audacity 2.1.1 in German, I see only three dots in “Erzeugen > Stile im Bereich der Auswahl…”. De.po contains no ellipsis there because as you guessed, the ellipsis is added programmatically.

The translators appear to be doing that already (look for example in the “Hilfe” menu). But it does not happen for effects, generators and analyzers because the ellipsis without space is added programmatically by Audacity.

No doubt you could call it a small bug, but a very low priority one.

Which languages other than German expect a space before an ellipsis?


I don’t see 6 dots anymore.

They could add a space character at the end of an item that gets an ellipsis.

Doesn’t have Audacity a kind of bug tracker where you can manage also minor bugs instead of having to forget them if they are minor? If someone feels lucky, he can solve a minor bug.

I know of at least one, but I don’t remember its name, maybe Ukrainian.

Good. So are there any more cases of six dots?

OK. I made that suggestion here:

Yes, But if German is the only language concerned and the translators agree to your idea, there is no need to track it.

Our Ukrainian translation does not add a space, but I asked the translators as above.


All cases of six dots are gone.

The argument of consistency is the right one that you told on the page you linked. And for your information: In German no space indicates a character ellipsis (Kindergar…, Zeitgei…) and a space indicates a word ellipsis (Word1 word2 … word4).

This is certainly true, alas, the so called ellipsis is in this case neither the former nor the latter.
We don’t have an “Auslassung” but actually an indication that this item opens a new dialogue.
I do not even know if the Duden deals with that case.
What’s more, the ellipsis has its own Unicode character and is denser than three dots.

I noticed that, although with wx3 I cannot really tell the difference between three dots and the translator’s character symbol when looking at the menu.

It this character a problem for screen readers?


To quote the German Wikipedia article on the “Auslassungszeichen”:

Verwendung in grafischen Benutzeroberflächen[Bearbeiten]
In grafischen Benutzeroberflächen besagt eine bei Menüfunktionen oder Schaltflächen angehängte Ellipse, dass bei Anwahl ein weiterer Dialog folgt, in dem der Anwender weitere Eingaben machen kann oder muss. Fehlt hingegen die Ellipse, dann ist die Funktion mit der Anwahl allein bereits ausgeführt.
• „Speichern“ – es wird ohne weitere Eingabe die geöffnete Datei unter ihrem gleichen Namen abgespeichert.
• „Speichern unter …“ – im folgenden Dialog kann z. B. ein anderer Dateiname, ein anderes Dateiformat oder ein anderer Speicherort gewählt werden.

My screen reader says for “…” simply “Punkt Punkt Punkt” but faster than for “…”.
However, some voices say also “Ellipsis” or “Auslassung”, it depends on the definition for the symbol itself.
Since most users don’t use a symbol level of “All”, the symbol will not be spoken when the menu point is read.

In summary:
Ellipsis with preceding Space for German
Ellipsis with no Space for English
Three dots for French (points de suspension).) or Spanish.


I thought your complaint was about using a single non-spaced Unicode character in the German translation for an ellipsis, rather than using three dots.

How do you want the ellipsis to be entered into the PO files in German, and how do you want the ellipsis to be entered into the PO files in French and Spanish?

In other words, what is the distinction you are making above between “ellipsis” and “three dots”?


According to the Wikipedia article, the GUI should use a Space, followed by an ellipsis Unicode character (for German).
However, my Windows Explorer (also in German) attaches just three dots to the menu item - as in Spanish or French (and probably also for English, if no Unicode is used).

I do personally favour the latter method - three dots without a Space.
All clear now?


I think three dots are just a “less professional” way for the ellipsis that also has its own Unicode character. A really great user interface would also take no-break spaces into consideration, the correct dash lengths and would use a number of other Unicode symbols, e.g. minus. But that’s something not taken serious or its considered a minor minor minor issue. If a user interface would even use the correct system font size, much would be won.

In computer science, first comes the usage and the rules afterwards and they are naturally dictated by the majority which in this case consists of major companies and an English based GUI.

In my opinion, the three dots after a menu entry are a random choice by any obscure GUI developer and afterwards artificially connected to the ellipsis symbol.
One can as well compare them to a table of contents, where the lines are just filled up with dots.
It is just an indication that there is more to follow - a dialogue in the GUI case and a page number in the TOC case.

In a lot of places, Utf-8 is not available but only e.g. Latin-1 or another code page.
Try e.g. “Sample Data Export” (Analyze menu) to a file like “Hörbaispiel”, it won’t be saved correctly.

What’s more, assistance technology (screen reader) has a lot of Unicode Characters not defined per se. Especially the minus sign comes in a lot of versions and is not always correctly assigned.

Do you mean the correct Dpi scaling here?


No, Windows 8.1 lets you set a general scaling for UI elements and additionally change the font size for different purposes.

If space and the ellipsis character are not causing problems, it is probably simplest for the translators to leave it like that and add a trailing space to translations of effects.

It’s probably unlikely developers will change to using the ellipsis character for effects when language is German, unless some user contributes a patch or Git pull request to to so.