Zoom in and out and select section while in playback?

HI, first post here. Thanks for the software, and thanks for the help in advance.
I cannot figure out how to zoom in and out on a selection while in playback.

For instance. Say I’m playing a song, and the waveform is on the screen. When I make a selection and zoom in on the selection, audacity instead zooms in on the playback head. I do not want this. The only work around I found is I have to stop the audio playback, then make my selection and zoom in and out. But this isn’t efficient for me. I need the track to be playing back, while I zoom in and out on the selection I make.

Any one know how to do this?
Seems simple, simple as preventing the waveform from moving with the playback head, which I figured out how to shut off: ‘auto scroll if head unpinned’ in preferences.

Go to Tracks Preferences and uncheck “Auto-scroll if head unpinned”.
– Bill

You must have not read through my post. I’m aware of the ability you mentioned, but that doesn’t answer my question.

Anyone else?

Hello thanks for your reply, but that isn’t what I’m looking to do. I understand how the autoscroll feature works.

Id there anyone else that can help?

Thank you!

I don’t think you can do this in Audacity - as Audacity is designed to keep the play-head on-screen when playing (similarly with the record head while recording).

The only exception is if you turn on the preference that Bill talked about - but what this does is not scroll once the play-head drops off the tight end of the window. This was really designed to aid users who had old slow machines where the compute effort required to redraw the waveform caused recording and playback to skip as the computer couldn’t keep up. Most modern computers do no need to bother with that setting as they have plenty of power.

So, I’m afraid that to zoom on a selection you will need to continue to stop playback or recording.


Once the said preference is unchecked, you can use mouse-wheel zoom to zoom in to any portion of the track while it is playing.
– Bill

Thank you both for your help.