Selection Toolbar

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Selection Toolbar  includes the Project Rate, Snap To and time selection controls. Using the "Start" and "End/Length" boxes, you can precisely place the cursor point or selection region without using a mouse to click or drag in the waveform, and without zooming in first to find the exact spot.
Selection Toolbar

Selection Toolbar (above) is normally at the bottom of the Audacity window, but like any of the Toolbars, it can be moved as desired by dragging the serrated edge on its left side.

  • Project Rate: The sample rate for the project, by default 44100 Hz. To change the default rate that is used each time Audacity is launched, or each time a new project window is opened, use Quality Preferences.

    Changing the project rate in Selection Toolbar immediately changes the sample rate at which new tracks will be recorded or generated in the current project, and at which existing tracks will be played, rendered or exported. If the rate you require is not in the drop-down list, you may type the rate you want directly over the currently selected rate.

  • Snap To: If checked, selections and mouse clicks snap to the current Selection Format, which is hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds (hh:mm:ss + milliseconds) by default (as in the above image).
To change the Selection Format to other resolutions such as a frame format or audio samples, open the context menu by clicking the triangle in any of the three boxes to right of Snap To. You can also open the menu by hovering over or selecting in any digit, then right-clicking or using a keyboard equivalent.
    For example, six and a half seconds displays as 6.500 seconds. With Snap To checked and the format set to hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds, you can click to set the cursor at 6.500 seconds or 6.501 seconds on the Timeline, but clicking in-between those two values causes the cursor to snap to the nearest preceding unit, in this case 6.500 seconds.

    If you wanted to snap to whole seconds, you would set the format to one where the smallest unit was seconds, for example, hours, minutes and seconds. If you placed the cursor at 2.8 seconds, this would cause the cursor to snap to 2.0 seconds. If a selection was dragged from that cursor point, the dragged edge would snap so that the selection must be in whole seconds. This could be useful for exporting a selection that needed to be exactly a certain number of seconds, without entering precise values in the Selection Toolbar boxes which would be another way of ensuring accuracy.

  • Selection Start: If there is no selection, this shows the cursor position.
  • (Selection) End/Length: Click the "End" radio button to show the end point of the selection. If there is no selection, the value is the same as the Selection Start. Clicking the "Length" button shows the length of the selection instead (the value shows as zero if there is no selection).
  • Audio Position: Displays the current real time position of playback or recording. Editing the values has no effect.

Editing the Selection Toolbar values

You can edit the individual values in the "Selection Start" and "End/Length" boxes so as to change the cursor position or selection region on the waveform. Using a mouse, click on a digit in one of the boxes then use the mouse wheel or up and down arrow on the keyboard to increment the value, or type the required value. Use left and right arrow to navigate quickly to adjoining digits, and TAB or SHIFT + TAB to navigate to adjoining boxes.

Selection Toolbar is also fully accessible using only the keyboard.

See Audacity Selection for full details of Selection Toolbar features.

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