Meta keys to control playback

I love Audacity and have been using it for years.
What I miss are meta keys, which I can use to control the playback while I transcribe what I hear. Right now I have to stop Audacity, switch to my wordprocessor, type what I heart, switch back to Audacity, start playback and so on. Sometimes I need to rewind a couple of seconds or fast forward.
I have a foot “keyboard” with three paddles, which I would like to programm to do that.
Is there any hope to get that functionality in Audacity (similar to VLC)?
Keep up the good work!

Why not use VLC?

VLC doesn’t allow me to add labels to the file, which helps me to get around. Or did I miss something in VLC?

Audacity does not support foot pedals, but there are some keyboard shortcuts available for controlling the play position:
Left cursor key
Right cursor key
Shift + Left
Shift + Right
Spacebar (play / stop)
P (pause)
X (stop at playback position)

See also:

Yes, I know, but there are no meta keys, that is, keys which work, independent from which application has the focus right now. That is, what I was asking for.
Audacity shouldn’t care, whether I produce those keys with my finger or my foot :wink:

We refer to those as “global shortcuts”. I’ve added your vote for this feature.

Thanks Steve.

How can I support that development?

How can I keep uptodate on its progress?

Kind regards,


I see requests for that feature since 2008! What is the holdup?

Initially the hold up was that WxWidgets did not support global shortcuts.
I believe that the version of WxWidgets that we now use does support global shortcuts, but Audacity is free software that is primarily developed and supported by volunteers in their spare time, and there are a lot of competing priorities for the small team of developers. Patches are welcome.

Thanks Steve, understood.

I just did a donation. Will that help? :wink:

Actually, I promise another one, if that functionallity is added within this year.