Toggling between labels in single track

I’m very new to Audacity. Currently using 2.0.3. I’ve imported several sound clips into a single track on Audacity. There is a bit of space between each clip. I would like to be able to toggle forward through the various clips. They are for a stage production and I want to be able to start the audio without having to look down at the computer too much. I have the various clips labeled, but I can’t figure out if there is a way to launch a clip, let it play, stop with the space bar, and then jump to the next clip. Is that possible?

I’ve attached a screen shot of my project so you can see what’s going on.

Audacity Question.png

The labels are sticky as you no doubt figured out by now. Theatrical cuing came up before and I don’t remember what we did. Searching.


Managing label wiki goes for pages, but jumping to the sound selection does not. Still searching. Koz

No, can’t find it. We’ll need to wait for one of the other elves. Koz

Thanks for trying:)

Click in the text of the first label. Hit the Play button then Stop button to Stop if needed. Or hit ENTER on the keyboard to close the label edit, then SPACE to play the labelled audio. Hit SPACE again if you want to stop playing.

If you used Play and Stop, just hit TAB on the keyboard to move to the next label, then Play and Stop buttons again. Repeat the steps to work through the labels.

If you used ENTER and SPACE, hit TAB twice to move into the second label. ENTER then SPACE again. Now TAB three times to the third label and so on. Unfortunately TAB (or some shortcut) really ought to move forward from the current or nearest label when the label is closed for editing, but it doesn’t. :frowning:

If you want to cycle backwards through the labels, SHIFT + TAB.

TAB or SHIFT + TAB to navigate the labels only work when the yellow focus border is in the label track. If the focus border is not there, use UP or DOWN arrow on the keyboard to move focus into the label track.


Unfortunately TAB (or some shortcut) really ought to move forward from the current or nearest label when the label is closed for editing, but it doesn’t.

Actually, nobody cares about the labels. The request is one key click to move to the next sound selection. The labels happen to be almost semi-convenient.

Is anything like that posted in Feature Requests? I know this has come up before and under similar circumstances.


Thanks for your reply Gale. I discovered the TAB feature when I did some preliminary searches, but as Koz pointed out, I’m mostly concerned with playing each sound clip. I know you can use “J” to go back to the beginning of a track and “K” to jump to the end. I’m hoping there’s a way to jump from one clip to the next (i.e. skipping the silences, which are just there to give me time to stop the track).

I may end up just loading the tracks into Ableton and running it through that.

Anyway, thanks for taking time to respond!

I wonder if chains can do this. Snap to the next label. Stop and wait.

Combination of “Find Silence” and Chains? Koz

I’ll have to research chains and find silence. Since I’m new to Audacity, I’m not familiar with those features. But perhaps this weekend I can investigate.


Edgar came up with something in another forum. You may not need the first step or two because you already have effects tracks. Edgar is starting with a blank screen. This may be close enough for you. Koz

This is really easy to accomplish, except…
Try this:

  1. Create 15 secs of Noise
  2. label 3 non-contiguous ~3 sec regions
  3. click in the 1st label’s text field
  4. use the mouse (spacebar is gobbled by the label) to click Play in the Transport toolbar
    4a) after the first region plays the playback stops
  5. press the second region is selected-wait for the cue…
  6. again use the mouse to click Play in the Transport toolbar
    7-) repeat until the final SFX

Now, the less than easy part will be to create a keyboard shortcut which activates Play on the Transport toolbar. This is left to the reader as a challenge !

You could set the play shortcut to cmd-space for example.
The normal space behaviour is not altered by this assignment - or another one.

:confused: So that’s exactly the same as I answered - what the topic title says “toggle between labels”.

They most definitely do care. There are many requests to TAB through closed labels starting from the current or nearest label.

If you leave the labels open, and press the Play button, TAB is exactly one click to move to the next sound selection. That works now.

No nothing expressed like that. If there were posts here requesting “theatrical cuing” I never saw them, they were never moved to the Adding Features board, hence I am in the dark. :wink: Can you say what the request is about and how many votes it should have?

Is it about a way to navigate between clips without using labels? No there is no shortcut to do that like J and K. There may be one to two prior requests explicitly for that.

Sorry if I am not picking this up RhythmKats, but can you explain exactly what you are trying to do? Are you waiting for some event on the stage to happen, then you play the next clip? But you want to use the keyboard to play the next clip, not the Play button? If so, that’s exactly where TAB from the current or nearest label would help (if you are prepared to label the clips). Or, as Robert suggests, open the Keyboard Preferences, choose the Command category and set Play/Stop to something that doesn’t type in a label like a function key, or COMMAND - SPACE or OPTION - SPACE.

If you wanted to play these clips all at once without a break, as if there was no white space between them, you would use Effect > Truncate Silence.

Note that you cannot add Silence Finder or any other Analyze effects to Chains. Why do you need to add it to a Chain for this purpose?


Sorry if I am not picking this up RhythmKats, but can you explain exactly what you are trying to do? Are you waiting for some event on the stage to happen, then you play the next clip? But you want to use the keyboard to play the next clip, not the Play button?

Yes, I’d like to use the keyboard and just press one button because I will be playing an instrument as well. I see what you mean by using “tab” to set the cue and then clicking play in the transport bar. That would indeed work, but I don’t want to have to deal with the mouse.

I messed around a bit with setting a new command as suggested, but couldn’t quite figure it out. The keys I chose were mostly assigned to commands already. I’ll have to investigate this further.

I had a chance to throw the tracks into Ableton over the weekend and I think that’s a better solution for me. I was able to easily map keystrokes to each musical cue. I was trying to use Audacity since the person doing this prior to me used Audacity and I figured that would just be simpler, but it turned out not to be.

Thanks for all your help. I’m kind of new to working with DAWs, so I’m sure I’ll be lurking around the forums again!

You can delete any shortcuts that are already assigned and then re-assign them to the commands you require. It’s a little awkward to do but it does work - Steve is working on making this process a bit smoother.

Have you seen the relevant page in the manual:


Remember that it needs to be a command that does not type in the label, so you can use that shortcut to play or stop then TAB straight to the next label.

If you say what command you want to use I can give you a file to import into Audacity that will make the changes for you.

Is the request then to have different keystrokes for each label (given that’s how we mark a point or region in the track)?


Thanks for your offer to send a file with the commands, but it’s not necessary. I’ve got it up and running well in Ableton.

To answer your question, it didn’t matter to me if it was a single keystroke or different ones assigned to each section of audio. In the beginning, I think I was looking for a single keystroke that would progress through the audio sections in serial order, but assigning a key for each one is fine also. Mostly I just want to be able to press a key to play and not have to deal with the mouse.


Thanks for your input anyway.

Would you want Audacity just to have a shortcut to move to the next label and then have a default shortcut to play that label? Another way of approaching this is to have a shortcut that navigates to the next label but does not open it (so you can then use SPACE to Play/Stop) - though it still needs to cycle from the current label and not cycle from the beginning of the label track.

Or would you want just one shortcut that moves to the next label AND plays the label?

Which suits your use case?


Which reminds me that clips are still not accessible.
Two shortcuts “select next clip” and “select previous clip” wouldn’t be bad.