selection doc complaints re usual, visually impaired

In the doc for Selecting Audio at it says

  • Selecting regions using the mouse - this is the usual way to make selections

“Usual way”? That’s ridiculous. It is only the usual way if you haven’t learned an audio editing tool, and when you want just a rough, usually initial selection that you’ll fine-tune by a combinations of listening, zooming, using snap-to features, and keyboarding or button gestures. If you want to select with accuracy, it’s a terrible way. The vast majority of times you want to select you want some accuracy, maybe not for the initial rough selection but by the time you’re ready to do something with the selection (crop it, delete it, cut/copy it, replace it, apply effects, etc.).

Similarly, it says

  • Selecting using the keyboard - visually impaired users will find this the best method to make selections

It’s implied that this is mainly for “visually impaired”. Equally ridiculous for the reasons above, but by the way, what about people with “tremors”, poor ability to use a mouse, trackpad, or similar device, or just plain mouse-arm. Even if you have none of these problems, and superhero-level hand-eye coordination, you’ll just be doing a little better than “visually impaired” types or normal folks, but you’ll still never achieve as much reliable accuracy as someone using keyboard gestures for selection. So why bother doing it this way, in cases you care about accuracy and reliablity? Probably only because you have not learned the ways to select using the keyboard (or other ways, like buttons, menus, snap-to features, etc.).

These comments are useless and misleading. A minimal fix would be to simply remove them.

Thanks for your feedback, mhd.

Fortunately, the majority of users are not visually- or motion-impaired. Many of our users come to Audacity as novices to audio editing. The Manual is written for the majority but we do try to show how to do things with the keyboard where it can be done with the keyboard.

The page you are complaining about says at the top “Selection of an exact range accurate to various selection formats (time units, samples or media frames) can be made using Selection Toolbar.”

I think what the context text is “trying” to do is give a pointer of what to read if you are a novice or are visually impaired.

For the next release I changed it slightly

Selecting regions using the mouse - quick and easy
Selecting using the keyboard - useful for visually- and motion-impaired users
Selection Toolbar - mouse and keyboard users can use this to make precise selections without zooming in

Arrow key selection selects more coarsely when zoomed out, just like mouse selection. It does select the same amount extra or less each time.