Selecting region left click + "space" =/= playing the region

Hello everyone!

This is my first post here.

I am working with Audacity from 2011, and since 2.1.2. version I encountered a problem which is bugging me and my radio station coleagues greatly.

Namely - in past versions, when I select a region of an audio file with left-click, and DON’T let go of the button, and press space to play, it played the selcted region with no problem whatsoever even if left-click wasn’t let go.

v2.1.2. doesn’t do this. I must select the region, then left go of left-click, and then press space bar to play the file.

I know this is a minor inconvenience, but it make 6 of us quite agitated.

Is there any solution to this, or should I revert to the past version?

I hope that i was clear enough in my explanation :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance.

If you want a faster way to play part of a track you could use the “Timeline Quick Play” feature. Just click and drag in the timeline (the time ruler above the tracks) and the region plays as soon as you release the mouse button (no need to press “space”).
Additional information here:

What a quick response!

Thank you Steve!

But, I must ask (since my programe manager is cracking the whip) - is there no way to use the previous region selection playing option as in previous Audacity versions?

I don’t think that was ever an intended “feature”, but rather a quirk of wxWidgets 2.8 on Windows. (WxWidgets is the cross-platform toolkit that Audacity uses, and it has now been updated to 3.0. We stayed with 2.8 for as long as possible but it was rapidly becoming too old and causing problems, so it was necessary to update it.)

I appreciate that if you are used to holding down the mouse button then it may take a week or so to retrain your “muscle memory”, but there is no way to change the behaviour as far as I’m aware.

I fully understand the convenience of dragging small adjustments to a selection and space to play.

The problem is listed as a bug which arose after we changed to wxWidgets 3 which changed so that on Windows and Linux you cannot use shortcuts while mouse is down. But on Mac OS X that change is not implemented.

Personally I feel we should allow transport shortcuts with mouse down unless we improve transport so that you can adjust the selection while playing.


Thanks mate!

I’ll spread the word throughout the studio network about this.

There is no guarantee anything will change for the next release. It is possible given the new version of Widgets that there could be a crash risk in enabling transport shortcuts while mouse is down.



Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I just installed an up-to-date version of Audacity and was disappointed to find that playing while selecting doesn’t work any more. The bug report now says CLOSED WONTFIX. Should I infer that this functionality is not coming back?

Unless WxWidgets (the cross-platform toolkit with which Audacity is built) changes the behaviour (unlikely), I’d not expect it to change in Audacity.