Shift+A adds label

Shift+A is supposed to stop play and set the cursor to the stop point. This works, but I’m also finding that it adds a label into my label track at that point and places an “A” in it.

I’m guessing this is because the label track has focus. If I press Up to move focus to the sound track, it starts behaving as I’d expect.

But the reason I’m pressing shift+A is so that I can add a label at the play position with control+B without the sound continuing while I type. This moves the focus to the label track, so the problem returns unless I press Up before continuing.

I see that when the label track has focus, typing anything printable automatically creates a label and places that letter in it. This must be the source of my problem, because shift+A is printable. Does this automatic label creation function have a name, and can it be turned off? I don’t see this function documented anywhere. Is it?

It’s probably not that hard for me to either press backspace to delete the A, or Up to change focus, but it seems like that sort of workaround shouldn’t be necessary.

I should probably start a new topic for this, but I’ve also found that I can’t type a “j” into a label. when I try, it moves the cursor to the start of the track. This has to be a bug?

If you press SHIFT+A when Audacity is in Stop mode and the label track has focus then a new label containing “A” will be created. If instead you press SPACE, playback starts.

So perhaps an easier workaround is to press SPACE to start playback, then SHIFT+A to stop playback. If focus is in the label track then you don’t need to press CRTL+B to create the label, just type. Press ENTER when you are finished typing the label, and SPACE to start playback again.

Another behaviour I noticed is this. If you press SHIFT+A to stop playback, press CTRL+B to create a label (label track now has focus), type in the label, press ENTER, then press SHIFT+A playback starts as expected. It appears that if the editing cursor is exactly on a label, Audacity is stopped and the label track has focus then typing will not create a label.

You are right: I can’t find where or if the “automatic label creation” is documented.

As to your second problem, that is a known bug (but very rare these days)

Exactly which version of Audacity are you using? What is your version of Windows?

– Bill

It’s definitely happening when in Play mode and the label track has focus.

As to your second problem, that is a known bug (but very rare these days)

Exactly which version of Audacity are you using? What is your version of Windows?

I’ve just confirmed it on 2.0.0. I’ve got the same problem on Windows 7 and on XP. Looking at some of the other labels I’ve entered, “j” doesn’t always jump, and it looks like I had a problem with 'K" too. I think “k” was making it jump to the end, but possibly not always.

This is a very long track by my standards - 2 hours long. Could that have something to do with it?

I can reproduce SHIFT+A creating a label when in Play mode and the label track has focus. It only happens when the editing cursor exists in the label track. Normally during playback the editing cursor disappears from the label track, but certain keystrokes and clicks can make it re-appear.

I’m going to do some more investigation, but I think you may have found a reproducible bug. Odd things seem to happen when a label track has keyboard focus during playback.

– Bill

This is bug 30:

If you read that thread you’ll see the developers have been wrestling with this issue for a while. For the time being you’ll need to find some workarounds.


– Bill

I’ll just work around it, no problem. I was mainly concerned that I was doing something wrong.

I can see why they’re struggling to come up with a solution, and I do think my idea to just make auto labelling an option is the neatest quick and dirty solution. Then those who want it can struggle with the consequences, the rest of us can just turn it off. Thanks for your help.

2.0.2 in winXP SP3 still doesn’t allow “j” or “k” in the labels. The track just jumps, usually to the end.

What’s the workaround?

Use up or down arrow to move focus into or out of the label track depending on whether you want to use the shortcut or type into a label.

I think the point may be that user can’t type “j” or “k” into the label. Try Edit > Undo (using the Menu, not CTRL + Z) until the label you were tying to type has been removed. Then try typing.

Or click Edit > Preferences: Keyboard, choose the “Edit” category, then clear the shortcuts for “To Track Start”, “To Track End”, “Track Start to Cursor” and “Cursor to Track End”, or change them to some available key combination that includes a modifier (like CTRL + SHIFT + J).