PLEASE bring back the Export Selected Audio command!

The changes to File Export in 3.4.0 are untenable. Most egregious is the unannounced removal of the Export Selected Audio command, from the menu, from the Keyboard (now “Shortcuts”) mapping options, and from the Macro commands. Many VO users map this command to a keystroke because they use Export Select Audio frequently in their workflow. The extra clicks and visual checks required to export the “current selection” in 3.4.x really slow down those workflows.

(Not to mention that it’s REALLY bad form to remove a feature for no useful reason–and EXTREMELY bad form to do so without even mentioning it in the release notes. Same goes for changing “Keyboard” to “Shortcuts” in Preferences. It may seem inocuous, but it trips up a lot of new users who are following instructional materials.)


Hi Stuart,

if you, and other VOers, are (mostly) using the “Current Selection” export range the that should be remembered and reused the next time you invoke the Export Audio command (provided you have a selection present)- so you should just be able to use a shortcut to that command.

Tip: even if you want to export the whole project rather than just a selection just select all to retain the “Current Selection” export range (for next use).


It is indeed remembered, but it kind of confused me the first time when the keyboard shortcuts to ‘Export Selected Audio’ I’d used for years ended up somewhere else.

The difference now, which has caught me out a few times, is that you have to select ‘Current Selection’ the first time and ‘Entire Project’ is default. Can I set ‘Current Selection’ to the default exporting setting?

Sorry, no.

What Audacity does is to remember you last use and only if it is appropriate will it reuse you last used export range - otherwise it will default to entire project.


a) IF you last used Current Selection AND you have a selection active THEN Current Selection will be offered, ELSE Entire Project will be offered,

b) IF you last used Multiple Files AND you have a label track with at least one label THEN Multiple Files will be offered, ELSE Entire Project will be offered.

a) IF you last used Entire Project THEN Entire Project will be offered


I have a single mono audio track and every clip within it is labeled with no gaps between them, but I am still not offered the multiple export option, it’s grayed out. What other requirements must be met to be permitted to export multiple?

And that’s just the problem, Peter. Yes, it remembers what you did last, but that’s not always the intention. Sometimes we need an excerpt; sometimes we need the whole project; and often to different output types. That’s why shortcuts and macros become important parts of the workflow.

The change has made it so that you can’t map a shortcut for Export Selected, so you MUST check every single time to make sure “Current Selection” is the selected option. Plus it breaks existing shortcuts & macros without warning.


Stuart, I note that the Macro setup still offers several Export commands (not just the one)

IIRC when you next use that command in a Macro it will remember and reuse settings for MP3, WAV etc that you last used with the format in Audacity (Macro or hands-on use).

I have not tested this with the changed export for 3.4.0/3.4.1 - but I do recall testing this earlier under the old multi-menu export regime.

So I would suggest building some simple Macros with these exports and assigning shortcuts to them and doing some experimenting.


Peter -

No consideration at all for breaking things that users might have made a critical part of their workflow? Seriously? Is it really so difficult to put the Export Selected Audio command back? Should Audacity users need to watch out for broken workflows at every release from here forward? I know this feature seems trivial to you, but please give it a bit of a think before you write it off.

  • Stuart

Sorry, but you can’t blame me I’m just an outside observer these days.


So unfortunate. Well, here’s to hoping The Powers That Be are observing inside! Thanks for your suggestions.

Frankly, yes. We broke workflows in 3.1 when we removed the time-shift tool and allowed you to drag clips to rearrange them. We broke workflows in 3.2 when we removed the zoom tool and added non-destructive effects. We broke workflows in 3.3 and 3.4 by putting the sample rate directly in the exporter and no longer showing it at all times in the main project window. And we will continue breaking workflows in the future. This is just the nature of change.

This isn’t to say that your complaint isn’t justified - for you, 3.4 is very probably an objective step back, as the features we added here mainly focus on music and not voiceover. To that I’d like to say two things:

  1. I will take your feedback. I cannot promise any immediate action regarding it, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind.
  2. Audacity thankfully isn’t a webapp of which there exists one version and one version only - the one currently deployed on someone’s server. Instead, you’re free to use any version you liked in the past, you’re even free to modify it to work better for you. You can download any version released in the past decade from Old Audacity versions download
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Thanks for listening.
To your points: yes, yes, and yes. Very accurate assessment. You are quite correct that the availability of past versions is one of the brilliant things about Audacity. I often write about my motto, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”; which means that I tend to resist new versions unless they bring measurable benefits. At the same time, I evaluate every new version, and write about what I find for my readers, so they can make informed decisions.
I also recognize that Audacity has an incredibly broad user base, with nearly as many purposes for which Audacity is a great solution. It is very true that you can’t please all the people all the time, but the Audacity team does an admirable job of keeping an amazing number of people able to do extraordinary things. We certainly appreciate that!
(I’m also a musician, so the additions in 3.4 aren’t lost on me; just irrelevant for this particular thread.)
Anyway, thanks again for your ear. Now I’m off to write up a “what you need to know” about 3.4.1. Onward!


@LWinterberg Leo, maybe you could give them an Export Selected Audio command in one of the Extra menus?

That way they could create a custom shortcut for it for ease of use.


@StuartGauffi any chance you can send me a link to that once you’ve written it please Stuart?


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It goes out as an email newsletter. You can get it at Stuart's Audacity Tips Signup

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Thanks @StuartGauffi , I just signed up


TL;DR : It’s not the end of the world but it’s definitely an inconvenience for a few Audacity users.

Although many Audacity updates first made me angry for the inconvenience, then made me rethink my workflow and sometimes ended up improving it, I really don’t see how it would for this one.

  1. Without this command/shortcut, there will always be the risk of mistakenly exporting the entire project instead of the selection.
    For example, for the last 20 exports, “current selection” was selected by default, but then I used the export once to export another Audacity project where I had nothing selected, then when I came back to my first one and wanted to export a selection for the 21st time, I had not realized that “entire project” was now selected by default… The only thing keeping me from exporting 10 more times the entire project was the abnormally long time of the export… Otherwise, I would never have known.
    (Yes, If I had selected the entire project before exporting, It wouldn’t have changed the default, but then what’s the point of having this menu?)
    It makes me think of the warning when exporting muted audio… Thank you Audacity devs for putting that in, even if, ideally, it should probably never happen, I can’t imagine the number of songs I would have lost like that… Without even realizing it.

  2. If I remember correctly, the keyboard shortcut I was using was directly prompting me for the folder in which to save the file, I just had to change the folder and “save”, and it was exported. Now I have to go to “browse” then change the folder, “save”, and “export”. That’s only two more clicks and one more window, but it’s oddly much more taxing, especially 20-30 times in a row.

Btw my use case is not for voiceover, it’s to extract songs from lengthy recordings.


If that was my workflow I would never export using “Entire Project” as the export range.

Instead I would use “Current selection” all the time and when I wanted to export the whole project I would use Ctrl+A to select it first.


Yes, using only “current selection”, being very careful to never use “entire project” or never export without a selection, and being very careful to put it back to “current selection” at each start-up, allows you to emulate what a dedicated shortcut would do, except for the “dedicated” part… But as I’ve said, what’s the point of the menu then?
Honestly, 90% of the time, it should be fine, but you know, there is always a risk, an odd chance, a lack of morning coffee and you can lose a lot…
It happened to me 3-4 times in the past two days, and I guess it will happen less and less, but without a foolproof method, it will happen for sure from time to time. And again, there’s a good chance I won’t even know it happened.

@StuartGauffi @JeanDaspry and @LWinterberg

I have raised an enhancement request for this on GitHub.
Add an “Export Selected Audio” to the Extra>Export menu #5581


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