Navigate Audacity Playback

How can you skip around on Audacity playback like you can on Microsoft Windows Media Player playback?

Audacity will play from wherever you click on the time ruler over the blue waves.

Audacity won’t “scrub” if that’s what you mean. You can’t whip the cursor back and forth at random and have the playback follow you.

That and the zoom and navigation tools are as good as it gets. These are the tools I use. Add SpaceBar Play to the list.

Zoom (Windows)
– Drag-select something on the timeline and zoom into it. Control-E
– Zoom out a little bit. Control-3
– Zoom out full. Control-F

– Shift-ScrollWheel will shift the timeline view left and right (sooner and later).

Change the timeline so it doesn’t shift by itself:
– Edit > Preferences > Tracks > [_] Update display while playing. (de-select)
…Note: Update Display is good during recording.


As you know, Audacity 2.1.1 and later has a (somewhat unintuitive) Scrubbing and Seeking feature initiated by CTRL-clicking in the waveform.