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Useful actions

Actions useful for podcast editing

Time Shift tool

  • Allows you to move clips around - will remove space between clips
  • The button on the tool bar that’s a double-headed arrow - also available by pressing F5

Creating a new blank track

  • Tracks => Add new

Adding markers / labels

  • Ctrl + B
    • You can label either sections or points in time, depending on whether you’ve selected a selection or not
    • Labels will appear in their own separate track
  • To remove a label:
    • click in the label text
    • Home
    • Shift + end
    • Delete
    • Delete again

Zooming in and out

  • Zoom tool
    • Click the magnifying glass cursor next to the time shift and selection tools
    • Then click the area you want to zoom - each click zooms you in
      • left click zooms in
      • right click zooms out
      • (it can be slow to respond - so do one click, then wait for a reponse, then another click))
  • Ctrl key + mouse wheel
    • !! Watch out! Everything can disappear or go weird if you don’t act carefully
    • (I think this is because when dealing with large files, it’s slow to respond - so you overdo an action because you don’t see a response)
    • Start by placing the cursor to the left of the area you want to zoom in on
    • Move the mouse wheel very slowly, one click at a time
  • More detail here
  • There’s a very faint horizontal scroll bar at the bottom - easy to miss
  • You can use the home and end keys to go to start and end of track
  • You can use left/right keys to move left and right
    • the granularity of this can be set up in Edit => Preferences => Playback
    • you want to change the “seek period”
  • Alt + left/right moves you between labels
  • You can use the selection toolbar at the bottom to go to a particular time stamp
    • Ctrl + F6 takes focus here
      • use tab to move between controls
      • use left/right to move to the value you want to change, then just type
    • !! Watch out! The “Audio position” box doesn’t do what you think - even though it seems editable, it’s actually for display only
      • If you want to change your position, use “Start and end of selection”
      • If you just want to go to a particular point, set Start and End to the same point or use Start and Length and set length to 0

Using copy/paste when naming files in Audacity on Macbook

  • For some reason I can’t use Cmd+C and Cmd+V when naming files in the Export and Save dialogs on the Macbook, but there is a simple workaround: Use right-click => Copy and then right-click => Paste.
  • I found others complaining about this on the internet, bit the right-click solution was the only suggestion that worked for me.

Other Audacity Tips

Removing pops

  • Zoom in (Ctrl + scroll - SLOWLY)
  • Highlight the pop (you’ll see it stand out)
  • Effect => Graphic EQ (or “Equalisation” on other versions of Audacity)
    • Manage => Factory Presets => 100Hz rumble
    • You might have to repeat the same effect several times - you can do this with Ctrl + R

Removing background noise

  • Select a silent bit that’s nothing but background noise
  • Effects => Noise reduction (or noise removal in older versions)
  • Click Get noise profile
  • Go back and click the entire selection you want noise removed from
  • Effects => Noise reduction again
  • this time you can click OK and it will reduce noise based on profile it collected previously
  • More here


  • During playback:
    • Use Shift + space instead of just space
  • For export:
    • Select the bit you want to repeat
    • Effect => Repeat

Pasting a chunk of audio without shifting other things out of the way

  • Apparently it’s not recommended, but…
  • If you really want to overwite existing content, do it like this:
  • Edit > Preferences > Tracks > Tracks Behaviors > Editing a clip can move other clips

Replacing some content with silence

  • Select the content you want to replace
  • Edit => Remove Special => Silence Audio

Inserting silence

Generate => Silence