Reducing footprint of Audacity on my laptop screen


Here I am, editing a chunk of an audio book over 60 minutes in length.
I recorded the book from a text copy, which is why we see text at the top of the screen, and I perform a “raw edit” by playing back the track while reading the screen.
In the track all I need to see are the spikes where I clapped my hands to signal a “known error”, and the gaps which must be reduced by macro to either a Sentence gap or a Paragraph gap.
For anything between two and three hours I will sit here, applying mouse and keyboard shortcuts to the track.

I do not need anything other than the waveform; the area circled in purple I could do without for this period.
The more text I can have displayed on my screen, the less time I spend in interruptions to:-
(1) Alt-tab to MSWord
(2) Scroll the text further up the screen and
(3) Alt-tab back to Audacity.

This is not a critical issue, rather, I don’t want to feel stupid at the end of the project when I learn that I could have worked more smoothly for these two months.

Thanks for any tips, instructions, or even a flat “It can’t be done”, which would stop me fretting about it (grin)

All of the toolbars at the top and at the bottom of the Audacity screen can be rearranged or floated or hidden. See: Customizing Toolbar Layout

Thank you, jademan.
Have I missed anything?
(1) I can access the horizontal scroll bar with the mouse to shift backwards and forwards a few seconds.
(2) I have maximized the horizontal span of the wave form (so I can see “hand-claps” looming up on the horizon)
(3) I have removed my Word2003 toolbars (which I don’t need when I am reading text) {thank you again!}
(4) I have sent MSWord into FullScreen mode. {thank you again, again!}
You get bonus points AND another coffee if you can squeeze another square inch out of my screen (grin)

I now have two CFG versions, one with “Show=0” for all toolbars, because I could find a fast way to hide all toolbars, and I can have a second Audacity.BAT for a three-hour editing session.

I need to keep the MSWord font and page layout at that size so that my old eyes can scan a line of text without losing my position. A wider line of text would fit more on the screen, but I can lose track of where I am. (Some of J.S.Mill’s footnotes are more than two screens tall)

How about using 2 monitors?
This way you can have Word on the one with all menus, etc.
and Audacity on the other.
Prices have come down as everyone wants the newer super duper, ultra 4K, ultra wide, ultra
quick refresh rate for gaming screens.

You just need an extra plain vanilla 21" monitor.

Your laptop’s screen can act as one of the monitors.
If you place the extra monitor on a stand or even a box, you can then have the laptop
below it.

I’m 99.999% sure that your laptop will have either a VGA or HDMI output.

This, will make it neat and compact and give you loads of screen “real estate”.

Multiple monitors are great. I’m a fan. However - I don’t know about ChrisGreaves - but I struggle just to fit my laptop in the tiny closet I use for recording :wink:

I have had three exception faults in 15 minutes while View Toolbars eliminating toolbars from my screen. The last two were “Sent” off less than ten minutes ago.

Your first thought in tracking down the cause should be “Chris Greaves has corrupted his CFG file”, so my first step will be to reset the CFG or, if it makes y’all happier, reinstall Audacity 3.1.3 (Win10).
I will, of course, document my steps one by one the next time I try this. (“I dragged all the toolbars onto the screen and then used View Toolbars to UnShow toolbars in this sequence …”)

Please and thank you, what other steps do you recommend for a controlled trial to help isolate this problem (which is not critical to me, but may point to a defect that looms large in someone else’s life).

Another coffee! I’m still working on this one! :wink:

  1. I am a fan of Alt-Tab to switch between two Windows screens instantaneously, although I don’t know if that will work for you.
  2. What Paul2 said.
  3. One of the developers has had it in his head to have a fisheye display of the audio track. He has been working on this for quite a while (5 years?), but you never know when his idea might come to fruition. :smiley:

two monitors? Kid-stuff (grin). I am using Two Laptops.
Back when i was being paid to do work, I had three computers, two monitors, and one keyboard. A nifty 3rd-party let me hot-key switch between them all. I loved it.

Today I can fit two laptops on my little desk. To the right is the Audacity laptop, to the left a “reading document” laptop with no mouse control (I’m a keyboard junky).

When I am Recording text I read from the laptop at left into the microphone on the right - which might have some pop-suppression by being now at an angle from my mouth, which is facing the laptop to me left.

That works fine.

After recording I get to the task of Raw Editing - deleting throat-clearing, standardizing the length of gaps, and noting to the mm:ss where the bits of Greek have to be spliced in down the road. This is the stage where I want to work with just one laptop, with a waveform at the bottom that responds to keystrokes alone (“X”, “space”, and my macros with shortcut-keys) and the document at the top.

In all my life I have met only one computer error; every other problem has been a human problem, so I focus on eliminating human activity, and that extends to reducing my own activity on a computer. The more I reduce my need to Alt-tab-Scroll-Alt-tab, the more I reduce the chance of an error. And in the book-recording business, an error that slips through can cost two weeks, if the Proof-Listener “comes in” only once each week!

P.S. Paul, I love your graphic editing work on those two screens, a sure-fire way to get my attention. :astonished:

Chris Greaves gets a strained back reaching backwards to get his coffee mug which now has to live on the bookcase behind him. :cry: :cry: Cheers, Chris

Hi jademan; yes, as outlined above, I am using Alt-tab on a single laptop to do the Raw-Editing (I think that a professional would do "post-production editing, or something similar with lots of big words). That works fine for me.
Yesterday I learned the names of all the Audacity toolbars (grin) and found that I saved practically no space at all. How can this be?

If I had thought about this before posting:-
(a) I have one mono-track which means I can squeeze the vertical height of the Audacity window down so that it shows just the waveform; the Windows pane scrollbar at the foot of the Audacity Window lets me fast-scroll along the track and
(b) With the Document Window squeezed correctly, that occupies the laptop screen except for that waveform segment at the foot of the screen. The Audacity toolbars above the waveform are always hidden by by the overlapping document window.
The image above shows the setup in Audacity with its full complement of toolbars, none of which can be seen.
This just proves that I am never quite as clever as i think I am.

  1. What Paul2 said.


  1. One of the developers has had it in his head to have a fisheye display of the audio track. He has been working on this for quite a while (5 years?), but you never know when his idea might come to fruition. > :smiley:

Won’t work here in Bonavista. “Fish” here refers to Cod alone; anything else is bait. :smiley:
Cheers, Chris

ChrisGreaves wrote:

P.S. Paul, I love your graphic editing work on those two screens, a sure-fire way to get my attention. > :astonished:

Thank you.
I’m a great believer in “a picture is worth a 1000 words”.

And here is an update - my best (for me!) layout so far when I am in raw-edit mode of proofing spoken text read from a document.
(1) I have the wave form visible to me; I can “look ahead” and spot sentence and paragraph gaps arriving, also my hand-claps which signal a need to carve out a serious chunk of badly spoken text.

(2) I have the scroll-bar visible so that I can scoot to left or right by one visible chunk of waveform.

(3) My document text is in full-screen mode and

(4) The clock is floating and visible, for those times when I need to Alt-Tab into a control document and type in the start/end mm:ss of Greek text, footnotes, parts and other stuff.