Nudging Edges of a Label (without moving the labelled region)

It is wonderful to be able to select a position on a track and nudge that “line/position” left or right using cursor keys on the keyboard.

Once I have that done, I want to get the left/right edge of a label allied with that line/position.
Doing that with a mouse – is possible, but I am finding it extremely difficult.
Invariably, when I release my finger on the mouse, the label edge position gets disturbed.
It takes me quite some non-trivial time and tries, often, to get the label edge and the selection line on the track perfectly aligned.

This would activity be trivial and reliable without tries, if there was a way to nudge the end of a label – without having to drag the circle or the chevron handle. With nudging it will be so much reliable and fast for creating loops, among other things.

I searched for a such shortcut or how-to-do here as well as on the net, but I am not seeing any way to nudge label edges using Cursor/KB keys. Does it exist? or Can one create a Keyboard shortcut?

Steve, I am hoping to draw on your wisdom and get some directions.

Thanks Sri.

How far would a “nudge” move the label edge? What if you want to move the edge by “half a nudge”?

No it doesn’t.

What I normally do is to zoom in, (using “Ctrl + Mouse Wheel”), on the end of the label that I want to adjust, so that it can be easily adjusted with precision.

Another way, which is useful if you know the precise time or length required, is to use the time controls in the “Selection Toolbar” (see: to create a selection of the exact length, add a new label, and delete the old label.


Thanks for confirming that “Nudge” capability does not exist for Label Edges.
Would appreciate if you could submit a feature request for this.
It would eliminate unnecessary struggles and significantly save time and promote precision.

With Zoom and Nudge one can interact and precisely Select a Position (the Visible Line) on a track.
This is just perfect.
Why Stop there? – as that itself is usually not the end goal.
One has to be able to leverage that for other things.

Ideally there should be a simple command to say “Align the Left or Right Edge” of a Labeled region to that Position.
That is it.
I do not know why this does not exist yet, or being deemed as unnecessary, if I am inferring what you are saying.
Nudge is an interim, a useful, but less ideal pathway for accomplishing that.

The fact that there are various handles through which a user can exercise their DEXTERITY with a [precision backlash-free] mouse, and get things aligned is GOOD BEYOND DEBATE, but is MISSING the POINT.

UI design should be such that Users can not not only directly interact/do, but they should also be able to express what they need to do, and invoke a named command (scripting, automation build on, and take these further).
So they are not forced to do tedious/laborious things – they should be spared from these by Computers/Apps/Developers.
Any CONS raised against such features things should not hold - except for some interim roadmap period.
I think Audacity is, as a fantastic creation, far beyond those infancy points.

regards Sri.

P.S. I wish I could ramp up quickly as a scripter/developer/contributor to Audacity. But I know it would be just my wishful thinking - as I have been immersed in technology development for far far too long to know better. Yet, I am hoping that I would get there someday, with the help from folks like you, and through other efforts you may have for ramping new developers.

Did you answer Steve’s question about how big is a nudge? I think it’s an interesting point.

With 2D objects in a graphics layout, it’s fairly easy to fix - 2 to 4 pixels is a nudge. Maybe on HiDPI screens, 10 pixels, but at most you need a user config option.

What should it be for a label? 2 samples? 10 samples? i.e. about 0.2ms at 44.1KHz (if my calculation is correct).
Or should it be a fixed time - 0.1s? 5s?
Or a fixed percentage of the current label length? Obviously that won’t work for point labels.

I can’t see that anything is going to be generally useful for all track lengths and label lengths.

How big is a Nudge?? Thanks for bringing this up.

I do not know the motivation reason for this question.

Let me elaborate.
When we are doing Nudge with a “Selection line” on a Track - we are not and should not be asking this question.
It is not relevant.
Every Left/right arrow key pressed will move the Selection Line by a Unit (determined by Audacity based on the Zoom Level).

The same should hold for the Nudging for the Label Edges.
Since UI will be at the same Zoom Level for the Track and Label Region – amount nudged by a arrow-key press will be in the same unit.
Let me know if this would not be the case.

So Half-a-Nudge is not a well formed term/concept, as far as I can see.

Thanks both of you for bringing this up, though I missed answering it in the first pass.

br Sri.

Secret Code

You have raised a few other things in your note as well.

Or a fixed percentage of the current label length? Obviously that won’t work for point labels.
I can’t see that anything is going to be generally useful for all track lengths and label lengths.

My response holds for this/these as well.
Nudge that applies to the Selection-Line should apply for the Label Edges as well.

I am narrowly focused on Label Edges for the immediate task context - but is not limited to just that - it should be applicable universally for other contexts/tasks as well. (Universality will actually hold very well across task contexts - I will skip discussing that for now)

For example, I wonder why there is no Nudge for a:

Selected Clip (move the clip, if it can be moved)
Selected Area on a track (just shift the selection - and not do anything to the track).
I face this all the time when I am precisely aligning/realigning clips on multiple tracks.

Granted, one can do this and other such things through other indirect sequences - and that is what we should obviate.
I think we should get all the smart minds here together to focus on tweaking/enhancing UI commands/interactions for maximizing user productivity - not just giving low-level building block commands, and users do the tedious tasks (for accomplishing what they want to accomplish and can easily express).
Precisely cutting/pasting, positioning, aligning across multiple tracks would be a very productive place to focus on.

I hate to add this, but request tolerance given the context of this discussion.
This is a very important principle of Man-Machine Collaboration design that is often lost - drowned in the din of UI interpretation and attention to scalars of layouts, menu structures, colors, use-ability etc. etc.

br Sri.