Set in & out points than can be converted into a selection.

Moderator: Moved to Adding Features

  1. Am I wrong that the [ & ] brackets can set an in/out point than can be converted into a selection?
    What I want to do is to delete that portion of the track without dragging the selection because there’s a lot of conversation between the in/out points.

Does this have anything to do with labels? It seems that you already have to have the selection before you can label it.

  1. Also, is it possible to select an area, & then play from before that area without that selected area playing, and then pick up the audio after the selection? In other words, I want to preview the edit before the selection is deleted.

As far as I know, Audacity still doesn’t have In and Out points or Edit Markers.

Labels are single pointers you can use to define one single time. So you would carefully put a label in the show and then carefully put a second label in the show. Zoom out and the labels become sticky when you drag and the drag segment “sticks” to the labels. Then File > Export Selected.

Yes, I know. If you’re used to a video editor, this can seem awkward.


Missed one. Once you drag-select a segment, Audacity will play that segment as many times as you wish, but the instant you click anywhere else, the segment selection vanishes.


Thanks for the first answer! That would be a nice feature to have.

And if “Missed one” was in response to my second question, what I would like to play was before/after the selected area, but without the selected area. Sort of a preview before the delete process. ; )

When playing or recording, [ followed by ] creates a selection automatically without adding a label. It’s like a mark in and out, but the selection is not permanent unless you label it.

You can also use split lines as pseudo-markers in the waveform itself, but these are used to denote separate clips or sections in the waveform, so the markers are not permanent and can be removed by clicking on them. See here for a description of both these features:
Missing features - Audacity Support .

Do you still want to vote for permanent markers in the waveform (which could have various uses)?

Yes, Cut Preview (shortcut C). See Audacity Manual .


Surprise! The Navigation info didn’t survive my quick skim because I was more interested in Editing (Which I’ve read several times.) Crud!

[ & ], followed by B or C are exactly what I was looking for. THANK YOU!

Re: “Do you still want to vote for permanent markers in the waveform (which could have various uses)?”
No, I wasn’t looking for something permanent. I haven’t yet absorbed all the functions of the buttons yet, but what I had in the back of my mind was something like the old video game navigation which was clustered around one key, since going from SHIFT + A then CTRL + I, twice, is a bit clunky.
I was thinking about maybe something arranged around the S key. FWIW, here’s was the idea, but only the A & D would have much value to me at this point.

A = set left IN point.
D = set right OUT point.
S, W, Z, X = to be defined.

These would allow everything to be done with just the left hand without having to look at the keyboard, & also might be useful for blind users.
Just my 2-cents. Maybe you can see some value in the game navigation concept.

Thanks again for the help, guys!

The keyboard shortcuts can be customised in “preferences”: Audacity Manual

Would it be useful if there was an option that when the [ and ] combination creates a selection, that selection is automatically labelled? I think it might be annoying if the label was left open for editing, because that then prevents Space stopping playback until you complete the label and hit ENTER.


Re: “Would it be useful if there was an option…” It might be useful for somebody. I wonder what the best default text would be? Or maybe a menu choice for some options would be best?

<End of part 1, 2, 3…>

Actually, I had a revelation last night that I could probably assign the A & D keys to do what I needed. I haven’t looked into that yet.
Thanks for the interest.

More on: "Actually, I had a revelation … " that during recording, it might be simpler if I just used Ctrl + M to set a point label, because I’ll have to adjust the edit points later in playback anyway. So the whole A/D key thing might just be an exercise in futility? :blush:

And BTW, I’ve discovered that the “1” key will stop the recording. I like that, but is there a downside to using it for that?

It depends whether you want to work with region or point labels. There is no need to use region labels because for example Export Multiple doesn’t require them.

I guess the downside is that some people will find it saves a step, but someone could try zooming in (CTRL + 1) when recording something that is irreplaceable, miss the CTRL key, then stop the recording. I would think it’s probably wrong, and C and B should not stop the recording either. Pressing the Play button does not stop recording.