What was wrong with the scissors?

I have just downloaded Audacity 3.2.0. I am running Windows 11.

The icon with the scissors, which did the same thing as ‘Delete’ from the keyboard, has now vanished.

Why has it been removed? It was a useful button to have and I cannot see what possessed anyone to think that removing it would be helpful.

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According to the devs, only novices use the cut/copy/paste buttons so no need for it.

scott s.

LWinterberg: Corrected misleading quote

Reasons for the removal of the cut copy paste icons have been given, but I don’t understand why the people who want them (like me) should not at least have the option of putting them back. I am using an earlier version now.

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Hi Scott; Please tell the devs that I consider myself to be not a novice, started programming back in 1967, although admittedly not using Windows then. Taught Windows professionally right through the 1990s. People say I am a keyboard junkie, but that’s not true. I believe in using the best tool (mouse or keyboard) for the job at hand, and not spending half my life switching between the two.

Just this year I had reason to use the toolbar buttons cut/copy/paste in a variety of applications, the keyboard on this laptop crumbling through over-use. First a Shift key died, then a Ctrl key. Loss of keys forces one to the mouse until a keyboard can be shipped to the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula.

From time memorial (1989) the mantra in all well-built Windows applications has been “Anything you can do with the keyboard you can do with the mouse, and anything you can do with the mouse you can do with the keyboard”. Windows is meant to be versatile and to suit all users.

Cheers, Chris

Personally I think that these buttons should have been retained as an option*, but to be fair, Cut/Copy/Paste functionality is still partially available with the mouse only.

Cut, Copy, or Paste audio using the mouse only, without navigating to the main menus

  1. Select the audio to be cut or copied, or the place to past
  2. Right click
  3. Select “Cut, Copy, or Paste” from the menu that appears.


  • This only work with audio, whereas the Cut/Copy/Paste buttons also worked with Label tracks and Note tracks.
  • It does not work with the Multi-Tool.


  • My main reasons for retaining the buttons as an option:

  • Muscle memory: should not be underestimated. If a user / customer has been using a feature for years, it is highly disruptive to their workflow to be forced to use different actions. Even if “the new way” is an ergonomic improvement, forcing users to abandon familiar ways of doing things creates a bad user experience. In turn, this reflects badly on the product and the company, especially when the change is only based on the designer’s personal preference rather than a technical necessity.

  • Accessibility: Although the right click menu provides an efficient (imo “more efficient”) alternative to the buttons, this only applies to editing audio. For labels and Note tracks (MIDI), using the main menus is less efficient than buttons.
    For some users, using a mouse (or other pointing device) is a choice / preference, but for other users it is an essential feature. Removal of these buttons makes Audacity less accessible for some users.

  • Dyslexia: To be able to use menus has the requirement that the user is able to read. While it may not be possible to make all of Audacity’s features available through symbolic representations, the removal of the basic editing buttons makes Audacity significantly harder to use for people that have difficulty reading text.

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Hi Steve; I go along with all of these points, especially the right-click context menu. The “theory of life” tells us that the sequence is GoTo, Select, Action; clearly visible in the sense of someone copy-and-pasting. It follows that the mouse, having just Selected data must be at or near that selected data, and that a right-click involves no further movement of the relatively slow wrist/arm mechanism.

The Audacity Forum has - in the past month or so - begun popping up a menu about Cookies (“Got it! Indeed, Got It a month ago …”) which has aggravated me because I now have to scroll-down in order to access the Preview and Submit buttons. :frowning:

Cheers, Chris

If you could start a new topic about that on the “Maintaining / Improving this Forum” board, I’ll look into it. Please provide lots of detail so that I know what I’m looking for. I probably won’t be able to do anything about it, but I can try :wink:

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I do note that Microsoft on their Office apps still retain cut/copy/paste buttons - and I don’t think all their users are “novices” :nerd:

MS Word for example

And Excel
MS Excel.png

Good news …

you may see these buttons coming back in a brand new toolbar which will be hidden by default but easily made visible through the View>Toolbars menu.

I manged to persuade Martin Keary (aka Tantacrul) from Muse that this was an important requirement for some folk - so he reopened the Enhancement Request for this that I posted
Restore the Cut, Copy and Paste buttons as a new (hidden by default) toolbar #3693

This is unlikely to be in any of the upcoming 3.2.x maintenance releases, but could well be on the cards for 3.3


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I hadn’t used Audacity for years, but suddenly I had an urgent need to edit audio again, and was super dismayed by the absence of the scissors!

Can someone point me to the most up-to-date Windows version that still has scissors?

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So that would be 3.1.3 which you can download from here: Old Audacity versions download

But better still you can download the latest Audacity version 2.3.5

There is a toolbar called Cut/Copy/Paste that has been added back. It is off by default but you can enable it using View > Toolbars and checking “on” Cut/Copy/Paste.

Even better in the upcoming 3.3.0 there is a Delete button added to that toolbar.


Without wishing to start a new thread when the title of the one I originally created does the same trick, how do I get the cutting function to work the way it did before the latest update?

When I cut something from a recording, or restart a recording, I don’t want to create a new audio file which I must then manually drag back to the piece before it. How do I make the latest version work the way it used to, so cutting a short piece out still leaves me with one single audio recording?

By the way, why did you mess with it in the first place?