Suggested improvement to labels and selections

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rossmcm
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:18 am
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Suggested improvement to labels and selections

Post by rossmcm » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:07 pm

I just discovered the behaviour of Audacity when it comes to label marker ranges and selections (I was about to ask for it and thought I should really check if it already there!).

Anyway, the issue is this:
  • - If I select a region on a track, and press Ctrl-B, Audacity creates a label that spans the range of the selection and places focus in the edit field for the text of the marker. I enter the label text and hit Enter. All good.
    - If I later click on the label, the relevant section is selected again. All good, but this is where the issue appears.
    - When working with short selections, I frequently want to play them or loop them. Rather than search for the mouse, I use the spacebar to start and stop playback. If I click on the label to bring up the selection associated with the label, the focus is placed in the edit field for the label, so I end up inserting a space into the label text, and of course, playback doesn't start.
Could focus be left in such a place that we have access to the spacebar start/stop functionality after clicking the label range? An acceptable alternative would be to move this functionality to the UI elements associated with the label, i.e. clicking on the handle thingies associated with the label would select the track and leave focus in the right place. At present, clicking on the UI handles also dumps focus into the edit field.

Or we could have the functionality in a right-mouse menu (which Audacity seems to have a curious lack of - why is this?).

steve
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Re: Suggested improvement to labels and selections

Post by steve » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:27 am

rossmcm wrote:If I click on the label to bring up the selection associated with the label, the focus is placed in the edit field for the label, so I end up inserting a space into the label text, and of course, playback doesn't start.
Press "Enter", then "Space" (or "Enter" then "Shift + Space").
rossmcm wrote:Could focus be left in such a place that we have access to the spacebar start/stop functionality after clicking the label range?
That would be possible, but then you would need to do something else (what?) to open the label before editing the text, which would be an inconvenience every time you want to add or edit label text.
rossmcm wrote:i.e. clicking on the handle thingies associated with the label would select the track and leave focus in the right place.
You would need to be careful about not moving the label boundary, which is particularly risky with point labels as just the slightest movement of a label boundary would turn it into a region label, and that could completely mess up "Export Multiple" later on.

Are you aware that you can tab forward / backwards from one label to the next / previous?
Click in a label, then press the Tab key to jump to the next label. or Shift + Tab for the previous (and "Enter" to close the tab text).
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

rossmcm
Posts: 11
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Re: Suggested improvement to labels and selections

Post by rossmcm » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:50 am

Thanks for the prompt reply.
Press "Enter", then "Space" (or "Enter" then "Shift + Space").
OK, that's a workaround, I agree.
That would be possible, but then you would need to do something else (what?) to open the label before editing the text, which would be an inconvenience every time you want to add or edit label text.
The other way would be to:
  • Make a single-click anywhere on the label control apply a selection corresponding to the range of the label.
    Make a double-click anywhere on the label control place focus in the edit box (and select all the text already in there).
This how similar controls work in Gimp, the image editor, function. If I single-click a layer in the layer toolbar, that layer is selected in the image. If I double-click it (or "long-click" it) it selects all the text and enables the editor for the layer name.
Are you aware that you can tab forward / backwards from one label to the next/previous?
Click in a label, then press the Tab key to jump to the next label. or Shift + Tab for the previous (and "Enter" to close the tab text).
I didn't know about those, thanks. Those key bindings make sense in that context and are probably something I would have tried eventually - I've only just started to use region selects in anger. I don't know why some software developers are so resistant to overloading extra functionality like that onto their UI's. It costs virtually nothing and can make such a difference.

Dashakol
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 4:23 am
Operating System: Windows 8 or 8.1

Snap to labels when stretching selection with keyboard

Post by Dashakol » Wed May 23, 2018 11:07 am

Keyboard function is necessary if you want to do some automation with macros.
Suggestion: Selecting between the cursor and next label or between labels with keyboard.
I'm thinking of something like this:
When you stretch a selection by shift+arrow or ctrl+shift+arrow the selection snap to next label.
This can be activated by choosing "Labels" entry from Snap-To menu.

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