Audacity Tool Bars and Controls

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Audacity toolsAudacity includes six basic editing buttons which are located in two rows to the left of the play control buttons: Selection, Envelope, Draw, Zoom, Timeshift, and Multitool. Just like in a word processing program, Audacity comes with a cursor which you can use to highlight portions of the audio sample.

Audacity Tool Bars



Watch narrated multimedia tutorial

Selection Tool

Selection Tool

Use to highlight audio selections by clicking and dragging across the audio wave form. The grayed area you selected is now ready to receive any number of editing tools or effects applied to the highlighted sample. After selecting a portion of the waveform, you can click the Play button to play just the selected portion of the audio. You can deselect by clicking once inside your audio track.


Audacity tutorial

Audacity Tutorial -
The Tool Bar
s (2:33)


Envelope tool

Envelope Tool

The Envelop tool is used to increase and decrease volume levels at various locations in your wave form. It is non-destructive which means that it will not effect the original audio file. Envelopes are useful for fading music into the background and for editing interviews or recording with two voices where one might be louder than the other. To use the Envelope tool, create envelope "handle" points around the portions of the wave form where you want to raise or lower the volume level.

After turning the Envelope tool on, blue borders will surround your audio sample. When you click on any point on the blue line to add a handle (a square white point). You can widen the blue border to increase the volume between those points; narrow the blue border to decrease the volume.

Draw tool

Draw Tool


Zoom Tool

The Zoom tool in indicated by the magnifying glass. You can use it to zoom in and out on specific parts of your wave form. Left click once to zoom in on a selection, or right click to zoom out. To zoom in on a specific portion of your wave form, left click and drag across a portion of your audio file. The section you've selected will no completely fill the window.


Time shift tool

Timeshift Tool

This Timeshift tool is a good way to cut and past or move an entire track. After selecting the Timeshift tool you can select a track and click on the wave form and drag it left or right to move it earlier or later in the timeline.


Multi tool


The Multi-tool button lets you perform multiple editing actions with your mouse. It's like having all of the editing tools turned on at once. With the multi-tool selected you can adjust volumes up and down by adding envelope handles and you can select portions of the audio with the I-beam selection cursor. You can also zoom in on your selection by right clicking and dragging to select the sample you wish to see.

Play Back Control Buttons

Play buttons

The play back control buttons are represented by the traditional round buttons on the tool bar. Like your VCR at home you have the buttons from left to right: Pause, Play, Stop, Skip to Beginning, Skip to End, and Record.

Click on the play button above to view the narrated multimedia tutorial about the editing tools in Audacity.

Arrow Right View the full size narrated Flash tutorial (2:33)


Search for Tutorials

Audacity Tutorials : Recording and Editing with Audacity

Audacity Tutorials
Audacity Tips & Tricks

Getting Ready
to Record

Audacity Download
Audacity LAME
MP3 Encoder

Overview of Digital Audio
Scriptwriting for Audio
Microphone Selection
High Quality Voiceovers
Setting Preferences
Saving Projects

Toolbars & Menus

Toolbars and Controls
Docking Toolbars
Mixer Toolbar
Meter Levels
The Track Tools
The Track Menu
The File Menu
The Edit Menu
The View Menu
The Project Menu
The Generate Menu
The Effects Menu Part 1
The Effects Menu Part 2

Working with Audio

Audio Tracks and

Using the Label Track
Using the Time Track
Sound File Formats
Importing Audio
Fading Music Up
& Down

Exporting MP3 Files




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