Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

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DickN
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Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by DickN » Fri May 25, 2018 7:31 pm

Using Audacity 2.2.2 under Win 7

The new (well, since my previous update) rule for horizontal zooming when there's a selection and mouse cursor is outside of it might be useful when the near selection edge is on the screen, but when the whole selection is off-screen it's rather a nuisance. Is there a way to turn off this behavior? If not, how about applying it only if the focused track (or alternatively, the track with the mouse cursor in it) is selected? Then if one wants to unconditionally zoom relative to the cursor one can simply toggle the selection off.

I also noticed that only zooming in is relative to a selection edge, while zooming out is relative to the cursor. This asymmetry requires one to again search for the point about which one wanted to expand the waveform after accidentally zooming relative to the selection edge. What's the reasoning behind this asymmetric behavior?

steve
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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by steve » Mon May 28, 2018 2:33 pm

The assumption is that if you have a selection and you are zooming in, then the area of interest is the selected region. This behaviour makes it very easy to zoom in on a specific region (a very common task), by roughly selecting to region of interest and then zooming in.

Zooming with the mouse wheel is only relative to the selection edge if the mouse pointer is outside of the selected region. When the pointer is within the selected region, then zoom-in is centred on the mouse pointer.

If the selection is visible on screen, then zooming in with Ctrl+1 is centred on the middle of the selection.
If the selection is not visible on screen, then zooming with Ctrl+1 is centred on the middle of the visible screen area.

If you don't want the constraint of the selection while zooming, just click on the wave track so that there is no selected region, or select the entire track.

I can't think of many practical cases for when it would be necessary to save a selected region and zoom in to some other part of the track, but if there is such a case, then the region may be saved (Store Selection) before zooming, and restored later.


What would your ideal zoom behaviour be?
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DickN
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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by DickN » Tue May 29, 2018 1:42 pm

I'd say my ideal zoom behavior is the way it worked before this change. I can't recall ever wanting to zoom relative to a point which wasn't on-screen. It has always been relative to the point I'm looking at. Yes, I often zoom relative to a selection edge but it's so easy to just move the mouse cursor close to the edge and let Audacity detect the nearby target, that no enhancement is needed. Occasionally I zoom out to see the current selection relative to the mouse cursor, and then zoom back in without moving the cursor. Often, I'm zooming in on the exact spot to which I want to move a selection boundary. This is equally likely to be inside or outside the current selection. Why add the steps of saving, cancelling and recalling the selection to this simple and routine task? My workaround now is to switch to the zoom cursor (F4), but that too adds steps and I can't use the scroll wheel.

I suggested in my original post that this change be revised to apply only when the track having focus or containing the mouse cursor is selected. After further thought and considering how likely one is to forget to de-select the track before zooming, I would now suggest rather that the change be either undone or made an option.

steve
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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by steve » Tue May 29, 2018 3:19 pm

Which method of zooming do you use? (there's lots: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/zooming.html)
Have you tried the new "Zoom Toggle"?
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DickN
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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by DickN » Tue May 29, 2018 6:05 pm

steve wrote:Which method of zooming do you use? (there's lots: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/zooming.html)
Have you tried the new "Zoom Toggle"?
Most of the time I use the mouse wheel. If I'm expanding or contracting a selection which is on-screen (or partly on-screen) I use the toolbar zoom buttons. I just noticed they are equivalent to Ctrl-1 and Ctrl-3, so I tried these to see if they'd zoom relative to the mouse cursor. They don't - they appear designed to get as much as possible of the selection on-screen if it was partially on-screen. If selection is completely off-screen, they zoom relative to center of screen. All of this makes perfectly good sense if I'm using the toolbar buttons, since there's no mouse cursor in the track display. If I'm using the keyboard shortcuts, however, the mouse cursor is apparently ignored in all cases.

A funny thing happens with Zoom Toggle (using keyboard shortcut to avoid moving mouse cursor): After 2 toggles the select region always winds up near the right edge of the screen regardless of its initial position or the mouse cursor's initial or final (if moved while zoomed in) position.

Using the Zoom Tool (F4) (my current workaround), I still can zoom relative to the mouse cursor but I can't use the wheel for that. The wheel works for pan (with Shift key) or Zoom (with Ctrl key), but then it behaves the same as with the Select cursor (F1) - zoom relative to near edge if zooming in and not inside the selection.

Using the Menu commands is inapplicable here since I would need the mouse cursor in the waveform display to zoom relative thereto.

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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by steve » Wed May 30, 2018 8:25 am

DickN wrote:Most of the time I use the mouse wheel.
So why not just click on the track and then use the mouse wheel?

Personally I was also happy with the previous behaviour, and it took me a little while to get used to the new behaviour, but now that I'm used to it I don't find it to be a problem. The change was in response to users getting "lost" when zooming. The new constraints on zooming are intended to make zooming easier by prevent the selected region from zooming off screen.
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DickN
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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by DickN » Thu May 31, 2018 5:13 pm

steve wrote:So why not just click on the track and then use the mouse wheel?...The change was in response to users getting "lost" when zooming. The new constraints on zooming are intended to make zooming easier by prevent the selected region from zooming off screen.
So the issue this was intended to fix was the select region going off-screen when zooming, right? Now the same user who didn't like that has to click on the track before zooming, so now there's no select region to go off-screen. But that would have worked for him before the change! If I forgot where the region was I could just look at the position display and see the beginning and length, length and center, or whatever I had it set to. If I wanted to see it I could just zoom back out momentarily with the wheel (unless the region is really tiny and far from the center of the zoom), then zoom back in and I'd be back where I was. Now I can't - I lose the center of the zoom on the first click of the wheel. That's the spot was I was most interested in - that's why I wanted to zoom in on it.

I'm having difficulty seeing this as an improvement, even trying to view it from that other user's perspective. Are there any threads on the forum which present that POV?

- DickN

waxcylinder
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Re: Not liking Horizontal Zoom relative to selection edge

Post by waxcylinder » Thu May 31, 2018 5:24 pm

DickN wrote:I'm having difficulty seeing this as an improvement, even trying to view it from that other user's perspective. Are there any threads on the forum which present that POV?
Sorry no Dick - you're the first to comment on this AFAICT

WC
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