Moving a selection

Seems kind of an obvious feature, but moving a selection,
can’t tell you how many times I needed to move a selection, instead I need to memorize the time stamps, or worse, I often need to calc the diff of the 2 points so I could duplicate the selection length at another stop/mark/point/sample.

Maybe there’s a “trick” to this that I don’t know of?

I’m not sure exactly what it is you are trying to do. :frowning:

Perhaps it will help if you take a look at this video announcing the new features in Audacity 3.1: Redirecting to: :smiley:

You need to turn the selection into a clip to move it.

  1. make the selection
  2. Edit > Audio Clips > Split (shortcut Ctrl+I)

You can now move the clip by clicking and dragging on its Clip-handle drag-bar


What is it with this generation? Everything has to be a visual video.
I prefer to use raw data.

waxcylinder, thanks, but I’m not looking to move a “clip”, I asked for “selection” in the title.

Here’s an illustrated representation:

The other way you can move a selction is to use Cut & Paste


I do not want to cut or/and paste.

Set the selection toolbar to “Start and Length of selection” (Selection Toolbar - Audacity Manual)

Now, when you’ve got a selection that you want to move, just set the “Start” time (in the Selection Toolbar) to the time that you require. The “Length” of the selection remains unaltered (unless you want to change it).

In you’re looking for mouse driven “dragging” way to do this, there’s a fairly nasty hack you can do:

  1. Starting with a selection in a single track project…
  2. “Ctrl + D” (Duplicate)
  3. “Enter” (deselect the original track)
  4. Drag the new clip by it’s “clip handle” (“drag bar”). The selection moves with the clip.
  5. “Tracks menu > Remove Tracks” (removes the new track)
  6. “Enter” (reselects the original track)

(for multi-track projects you would need to move focus, with the “up” cursor key, to the originally selected track before step 6.)

This method is more efficient if you create a keyboard shortcut for “Tracks menu > Remove Tracks”.


Never used this feature before.

Steve to the rescue, once again!

So, as I understand it, you want to move the selection (i.e. the edit in and out points and the region in between) by click and dragging, but not the audio associated with it.
As an alternative to the suggestions above, how about using a label track?

  1. Create the edit region across the relevant track or tracks, plus a label track.
  2. Create a label (Ctrl-B or from the Edit-Labels menu)
    3.Click once on the label region in the label track to select it, and then click and drag to move the selection.
    (If you want the selection to apply to a different track, select either the clip or the entire track, before clicking on the label).

Yes, that’s another way.

Labels are slightly different in recent versions of Audacity from older versions, but this approach works in both older and newer versions. The difference is that in older versions (step 3) you click on the label’s text area to make the selection, whereas in newer versions you need to click on the label’s horizontal bar.

After creating a region label (Add Label at Selection) I can move the label region left and right in the label track.

– In scenario 1: I drag the region (left mouse click on the label’s horizontal bar) left to align to a new point of interest – I can zoom in to align with a specific sample – it works perfectly! :smiley:

– In scenario 2: I drag the region right to align with a point of interest. This works if the entire region is visible on the screen. However, when the left boundary of the region is off the screen (e.g., zoomed in), the left edge of the region snaps to the left edge of the screen / label track. This makes it impossible to right align my region with a point of interest. :astonished: :frowning: I’ve examined preferences, Selection Toolbar Snap-to is Off, etc. – what am I missing?

Yes. I agree. :astonished: This doesn’t look exactly right nor can I think of a simple work-around. Perhaps we can get another opinion. Steve, for example.

Sure looks like a bug to me.

This issue has been reported to the developers here: Problems Positioning Region Labels That Overlap the Left Edge of the Screen · Issue #3835 · audacity/audacity · GitHub


So here is perhaps a clumsy work-around. So I’m thinking you would set the Audio Selection Toolbar to display the Length and End of the Selection; also change the resolution to samples.

Then when you select the audio region, make a note of the # of samples in the length field. Locate and zoom-in on your new end-point, click on it, and type in the desired number of samples back into the length box. Then Ctrl+B to create the new label.

jademan, thanks for your response. I’ve been using Audacity in the many you described (see my post:, I just thought repositioning a labeled section would be easier and more straight forward. I’ll continue using the samples method until labeled section movement is revised.

Testing on W10 shows that this is effectively a regression on version 3.0.5, introduced in 3.1.0 when the range label drag-bars were introduced.

I have added this note to the bug thread on GitHub.