selecting section within track for editing [SOLVED]

Using v2.1.3 with Windows 10 for several months. I think I obtained the .exe installer but am unsure.

In new project I can’t select an area within an audio track for editing. Track was imported as WAV file. In other projects (typically with audio recorded within Audacity) I have no trouble setting cursor (vertical bar with crossbars at top and bottom) at start or end of selection area, then dragging it laterally to select an area within the track to edit. In current project with track imported from a WAV file the whole track is selected; cursor appears as double-headed horizontal area. Dragging laterally moves whole recorded track rather than selecting section within it. Selecting or de-selecting Solo makes no difference.

Similarly, I’ve added a label track but can’t select a particular point in it at which to insert a label.

Unsure if it’s relevant here, but my usual default recordings are 16 bit PCM with rate 22,050hz, while the imported WAV files are 16bit PCM with rate 44,100hz.

Why is whole track selected without ability to select section within it? What does double-headed horizontal arrow indicate? How revert to usual editing mode where I can select section within an audio track and select a particular point of a label track at which to insert a label?

That’s an attempt to enable scrubbing—grab the cursor and play either direction at any speed.

You can still drag-select a portion by clicking in the blue waves.

I’ve added a label track

I’m not a label track user, so we need to wait for a more talented elf.


Koz: Unfortunately I CAN’T select a portion of the track. No matter where I click in the track the cursor appears as the same double-headed arrow and it grabs the whole track.

I’m unfamiliar with scrubbing. Why/how did it get activated here (I didn’t intend it) and how do I de-activate it?

I was able to get a label track by clicking and then Control-B. Drag to the end point and then Control-B again. It prompted me to add text. That may have been a happy accident.


You either have the “Time shift tool” selected or the “Multi-tool”. You need to use the normal “Selection tool”.
Press the F1 key to switch to the selection tool.
See here for more info:

I CAN’T select a portion of the track.

Dueling posts.

Are you in Stop? One of the classic Audacity problems is the tools act funny or stop working if you’re in Pause or anything but Stop.

I’m unfamiliar with scrubbing.

That’s because you’re not a video editor. Audacity makes video editors crazy because it’s missing scrubbing.

In video land, you click and pull the cursor and show playback follows you either direction and any speed. It makes finding edit points dead simple. They’re stunned all the steps you have to go through to do the same job in Audacity.

Play forward, P Pause, set a label > Control-B…

I believe it’s built-in. You can’t turn it off (that I know of).


from Steve:
“You either have the “Time shift tool” selected or the “Multi-tool”. You need to use the normal “Selection tool”.”

That’s it! Deselecting the Time Shift tool and selecting the normal Selection tool did it. I never use Time Shift so didn’t think of it. Selection tool is normally on by default; I don’t know why it wasn’t this time.

Thanks…until my next problem and help request.