Small Waveform seen

Sometimes I open Audacity and the waveform is large enough to work with and see areas that I can work with, but other times my waveform is so small I can’t tell where any particular sound stops or starts. It’s like a rough magic marker line. I’ve tried zooming in and out and nothing much changes. What am I missing?

Do you mean the vertical height of the waveform?
If so, then if it is something that you have recorded, you probably need to increase the recording level. A good level to aim for is for peaks that are about half the track height (so as to allow a bit for any occasional spikes that may be a bit higher).
If you mean the vertical height but it is audio that you have imported, then use the Amplify effect to make it bigger.

You can also zoom in vertically by clicking on the vertical scale on the left end of the waveform. Right click on the vertical ruler to zoom back out.

My suggestions:

  1. Select the drop-down menu from the track control panel and choose display as “waveform”, but not as “waveform (dB)”.
  2. Check out if the vertical scale is in range from -1 to 1 (normal scale) and right mouse-click on “the meter” to zoom out.