Please Add Vote to Changing "Repair Selection is Too Big" UI

I’d just like to reply to a locked thread, https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/repair-auto-heal/37252/1 to add a vote to it.

Not the repair length part (though longer repair lengths would be a “nice to have”), but rather the “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that” part when you try to repair a too long area.

Even if the tool simply didn’t prompt, and just flashed the screen red for a moment, that alone would be a HUGE improvement. In a given session of audio fixing I probably remove 50 clicks (very rough/BS estimate). On average I over-select the area maybe 20 out of those 50 times.

If the UI simply didn’t make a new dialog box when I over-selected you would save just me about 20 clicks/key presses per hour. Others would probably appreciate it too, because repairing is this endless cycle of “find a click, select it, delete it, try to select the repair window (sometimes fail and get interrupted by a dialog) and repair”. Anyone doing that cycle … unless they can magically change zoom levels while remembering exactly how wide the repair length is (ie. almost no one) … would benefit.

Or could we compromise? Could that dialog just appear once per session maybe, and then after that do the flash of red thing? (Or some other indicator that the size was too large? Or honestly even no indicator whatsoever? Even that would be preferable).

And then of course there’s the dream scenario, where instead of failing completely the tool just:

A) found the center point of the current selection

B) selected exactly one “max repair length’s width” around that center point

(And then the truly dream scenario, which would be very similar to the above but “magic”: I just highlight a click and press the “magic remove click button”. It deletes my selection, then auto-selects a maximum repair width around it, and repairs it! True magic!)

P.S. One more thing: my magic click removal tool would also press “Z” for the user to change the selection to wrap an entire … unit (not sure of the correct term here) of audio.

Now true this might occasionally mean I select something, and a slightly different selection winds up getting removed (ie. what happens now when you use the “z” command) … but if this magic click removal tool existed it would be trivial to just undo and retry, so I don’t see this as a problem.

If I’m making a lot or repairs, I use shortcuts:

  1. Make the first repair (ensure that the selected region is not too long)
  2. Select the place for the next repair and press “Ctrl + R” (repeat last effect).
    If the “Sorry Dave” message pops up, press “Esc” button (hand is already over the keyboard) and the dialog is cancelled.

“Z” is the shortcut for snapping to zero crossings. See: Select Menu - Audacity Manual

I do understand what “z” is (well, sorta; I don’t really get what a “zero crossing” truly is … but I don’t think I need to in order to remove clicks effectively). And I do have a process that’s almost exactly what you described, only my process is slightly simpler: I have “r” mapped to repair, so I don’t even need to do CTRL + R …

… and it’s still unnecessarily difficult. Any of the changes I suggested would make the experience better for users (and they’d all be purely UI-only; capability-wise Audacity can already do everything).

If Audacity doesn’t have the resources to improve things I completely, 100% understand that … but please tell me that you at least understand how the current process is sub-optimal and could be improved, if the resources were there (and thus why I’d like to vote for it)?

I don’t think that “flashing the screen red for a moment” is a good solution. Without an error message, I expect that most users would be confused and not understand why the repair failed, or what the red flash means. Note that the vast majority of users never look in the manual.

I think this is a much better option for your use case, and it can be done already! You just need to create a Macro (see: Macros - Audacity Manual) containing the commands:

SelectTime:End="0.001" RelativeTo="SelectionStart" Start="-0.001"
Repair:

You can set a keyboard shortcut to run the macro.

(Note that if you are using a high sample rate, the start and end times will need to be reduced to stay within the 128 sample limit).

Wow, that is seriously nifty! That “Select and Repair Area” should be a default macro, if only because most people won’t know to use that exact increment.

But really, why stop there? Once I realized how easy and powerful the macro system was, I was basically able to create the “magic click removal button” of my dreams just by adding Snap-to-Nearest and Delete in front!

This made removing clicks an incredibly simple two-step process. Step #1: Highlight the click. Step #2: Pick the menu Tools => Apply Macros => Remove Click. Done!

The only thing that made me sad was that it’s not really two-steps, because I have to use the menu. If only I could have bound a keyboard key to the macro it could have literally been two steps … but that doesn’t seem possible :frowning:

But again, thanks a ton for the suggestion, and for anyone reading this later who wants a magic button (until such time as the macro comes bundled in at least), here’s a mini-tutorial.

Mini-Tutorial: Make The Magic Click Removal Macro

You want to go to Tools => Macros… Then click “New” on the left to create your macro.

Then, click “Insert” on the right: when you do a dialog will appear asking you to pick a command. You’re going to repeat this process of clicking “Insert” and picking a command four times.

Time #1: Pick “Snap-to Nearest”
Time #2: Pick “Delete”
Time #3: Pick “Select Time”
Time #4: Pick “Repair”

Then, click on #3, Select Time (it will be in the step list on the right) and then click the edit button. Check “Relative To” (so all three should be checked).

Set “Start Time” to -0.001 (note the negative sign), “End Time” to 0.001 (note the lack of a negative sign), and “Relative To” to “Selection Start”.

Click ok and you’re done: now whenever you want to remove a click just highlight it and apply the macro (it’s the menu option “Apply Macro” below the “Macros…” option, in “Tools”).

Sure it is: Shortcuts Preferences - Audacity Manual

The “Repair” effect has been part of Audacity for a very long time.
The ability to use the Repair effect in a Macro is new.

Oh, I see it now! Thanks.

What happened was I typed in “macro” to the search. When I did it hid everything except “Apply Macro - Apply a Macro” and “Macros…” All of the “Apply Macro - Some Macro” choices weren’t shown, and I didn’t think I’d need to clear the search and check the list (although if I had I wouldn’t even have had to scroll …)

Might be a bug? It seems like those options should show for a search of “macro”.

Selecting Macros for keyboard shortcuts is a bit clunky, but it does work. I expect that it will be refined in some future Audacity release, but as it’s a new feature, I’m just happy that it works :wink: (The developer is aware that it’s a bit clunky, and has said that he intends to improve it when he has time to work on it).

Amen to that! The “magic click removal” macro has saved me so much time already it’s unbelievable! Thanks again.

Man, I just finished updating a course’s worth of lessons, and using the “magic click removal” macro for the last few lessons really made a huge difference.

To anyone who has to do any non-trivial amount of click (or other weird noise) removal … which for me was something like at least once per minute of audio I recorded … you owe it to yourself to make this macro!

Thanks again Steve!