Edit Menu

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Peter 22Nov12: ToDo-2 Plan for a rework of this, imo, over-long page.
  1. Split the current page not by command (as with Effects) but by groups of commands (as listed in the pseudo-table below). This structure is designed to reflect the splitting of the over-long Edit Menu into a menu with sub-menus that occurred a few releases back, certainly the case in 2.0.0 onwards.
    1. Remove Audio or Labels
    2. Clip stuff
    3. Copy, Paste & Duplicate
    4. Labeled Audio
    5. Select
    6. possibly - Find Zero crossings
    7. all other commands to remain in-line on this page
  2. Provide explicit backlinks to the menu page at the footer of each section's page (as with the tutorials) to encourage browsing.
  3. Provide links to previous and next section (as with the tutorials) also to encourage/facilitate browsing.
  4. Enhance the header text of the remaining "menu page" to: make the page less "threadbare" and encourage browsing and further/fuller reading.

Great care will need to be taken with links as there are over 30 pages in the manual that link to Edit Menu and many of those may be links to divids within the page which would need to change to links within the new sub-pages. This is definiely not a change that can be attempted for 2.0.3

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The Edit menu provides the standard edit commands (Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete) plus many other commands specific to editing audio.

The Edit menu is divided into several sections.


Undo

Undoes the last editing operation you performed to your project. You can undo as many times as you want, all the way back to when you opened the window. To undo many operations, select History... from the View Menu. The name of this menu item will change to reflect what will be undone; if you just recorded some audio, the menu item name will be Undo Record.

Redo

Redoes any editing operations that were just undone. After you perform a new editing operation, you can no longer redo the operations that were undone.

Remove Audio or Labels

Warning icon You may hear a click at the edit points when you remove or paste audio. This can be caused by DC offset in the waveform or by poor selection of the edit points. See this Editing Frequently Asked Question for how to deal with this.

Cut

Removes the selected audio data and/or labels and places these on the Audacity clipboard. Any audio data or labels to the right of the selection are shifted to the left. Only one item can be on the clipboard at a time, but it may include multiple audio or label tracks and multiple audio clips.

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Delete

Removes the audio data and/or label that is currently selected without copying it to the Audacity clipboard.

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Split Cut

Same as Cut, but none of the audio data or labels to right of the selection are shifted. This is therefore a useful command to remove one label of a group of labels without affecting the other labels (be sure to select only in the label track unless you want to cut the audio as well as the label).

A gap is thus left behind in the audio track which splits the existing audio clip into two clips that can be moved independently using Time Shift Tool.

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Split Delete

Removes the selected audio and/or labels without placing these on the Audacity clipboard, but like Split Cut does not shift the following audio or labels. This is therefore a useful command to remove one label of a group of labels without affecting the other labels (be sure to select only in the label track unless you want to delete the audio as well as the label).

As with Split Cut the preceding and following audio are now separate clips that can be moved independently.

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The following two commands affect the audio in the selection but do not affect any labels that are in the selection.

Silence Audio

Replaces the selected audio with silence.

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Trim Audio

Removes all audio from the current clip except the selected part, creating its own clip from the remaining audio. If there are other separate clips in the same track these are not removed or shifted unless trimming the entire length of a clip or clips (note in the "After" image below that the audio in the clip to the right is unaffected).

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Clip Boundaries

Split

Splits the current clip into up to three clips at the selection boundaries. The audio before, within, and after the selection can now all be shifted independently

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Moving

Split New

Does a Split Cut on the current selection in the current track, then creates a new track and pastes the selection into the new track.

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Join

If you select an area that overlaps one or more clips, they are all joined into one large clip. Regions in-between clips become silence.

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Detach at Silences

In a selection area that includes absolute silences, creates individual non-silent clips between the regions of silence. The silence becomes blank space between the clips.

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Copy

Copies the selected audio data to the Audacity clipboard without removing it from the project.

Paste

Pastes audio which has been cut or copied to the Audacity clipboard, either inserting it into the selected track(s) at the cursor point, or replacing the current selection region(s).

The behavior of the paste command changes depending on the setting of "Editing clips can move other clips" in Tracks Preferences. If the option is checked pasting is always possible and following audio is shifted to make room. If this option is not checked there must be room for the pasted audio.
Pasting inside a clip, with "Editing clips can move other clips" checked:
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When you select Paste and the cursor is outside a clip, and there is enough room for the audio that is on the clipboard, the audio on the clipboard can be inserted without any other clips being shifted over if "Editing clips can move other clips" is not checked. If "Editing clips can move other clips" is checked, the following audio will always be moved.

Pasting outside a clip, with "Editing clips can move other clips" checked:
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Pasting outside a clip, with "Editing clips can move other clips" not checked:
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Paste Text to New Label

Pastes the text on the system clipboard (or text from a label stored in the Audacity clipboard) at the cursor position in the currently selected label track. If there is no selection in the label track a point label is created. If a range is selected in the label track a range label is created.

The most recent text cut or copied to either clipboard is pasted. If you have copied or cut a label to the Audacity clipboard, the text of that label will be pasted. If you have cut or copied text to the system clipboard from an application other than Audacity, that text will be pasted.

If no label track is selected one is created, and a new label is created.

In the example below, the text "Question 1" was copied from a word processing document then the "Paste Text to New Label" command was executed.

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Duplicate

Creates a new track containing only the current selection as a new clip. The new clip is at the same position on the Timeline as the original audio. This is essentially a shortcut method of performing copy, add new track and paste, except that the duplicated audio is not copied to the Audacity clipboard, so cannot be pasted anywhere else.

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One benefit of Duplicate is the ability to experiment with effects. You can do that with the original track too, but you can't change the volume of your effect and the original audio separately, only lower the volume of the processed audio later on. If you duplicate the audio then use a reverb on that (with 100% reverb and 0% original signal), you can freely change the volume for both the original and reverb signal using the gain slider on each track.
  • You can do interesting things to your duplicates to create special effects. With two versions of the track to work with, you can silence a section, reverb another section, phase a third, filter another (in one track or the other) and see how that sounds.

Labeled Audio

ToDo-2 Gale 16Sep12: The special case of "Split" when labels are joined or overlapped is not mentioned (currently, split lines are only placed at the borders of the single concatenated region, but Steve suggests the split lines should be placed for all labels).

  • Gale 07Jan13: Split lines are now placed at each joined label but if any part of a label overlaps another, then the overlapped labels are treated as a single label. This requires documenting,
  • Gale 16Jan13: Added some bulleted text that may resolve the ToDo-2. Please check.
    • Steve 16Jan13: I think that Region labels that touch each other without overlapping, are treated as separate labeled regions in all cases, so no need to list them.
    • Gale 16Jan13: What about Silence Audio? No split lines are drawn at the boundaries of the touching region labels.
    • Steve 16Jan13: "Silence Audio" does not create split lines.
  • ToDo the two images below should ideally be on the same platform as other images on this page.

The Edit > Labeled Audio commands apply to all labeled audio regions that are fully inside a selection drawn in a label track. Region labels that are only partly within the selection will not be acted on.

  • Region labels that touch each other without overlapping are treated as separate labeled regions.
  • If two or more region labels overlap, they are treated as one labeled region.
  • Labeled Audio Split also applies to point labels.

To enable the Labeled Audio commands in the Edit menu, the selection region must be drawn in the label track and must completely include one or more labels. If none of the audio tracks are included in the selection, the Labeled Audio commands apply to all audio tracks in the project. However if you include only certain audio tracks in the selection, the Labeled Audio commands will only affect those selected audio tracks.

When Sync-Locked Tracks is on, the menu commands Labeled Audio > Cut and Labeled Audio > Delete are disabled.

The following commands are applied to the audio of all region labels that are fully inside the selection in the label track:

Gale 16Jan13: ToDo I think it would be good to make the below commands anchor links to the text on this page that explains what the commands do.

Cut, Split Cut, Copy
Delete, Split Delete, Silence Audio
Split, Join, Detach at Silences

Selection in a label track extending or partially extending over  labeled audio regions
The selection shown above was created by clicking and dragging in the label track. Applying the Edit > Labeled Audio > Split Cut command results in this:
The result of the Labeled Audio "Split Cut" command as applied to the labeled audio regions that are fully selected in the label track
Result: audio has been cut only in the regions where the labels are fully inside the selection. Part of the first label is outside the selection so its audio is not affected by the Split Cut operation. The final two labels overlap each other, so are treated as one label.
Gale 14Jan13: @Steve, are you fully confident that you disabled *all* the Join functionality of labeled audio for point labels? I found it hard to find any joins working for regions or points ( I think this is an existing bug you extended further). I "thought" I did find one case where a point label was joined, so I left Join in for points. I may be wrong, though.
  • Steve 14Jan13: "Labeled Audio Regions > Split" is the only special case where point labels are used. (comments 8 to 10 of bug 600). It is not really logical that Labeled Regions should ever act on point labels, but we agreed that it was useful to make an exception for "Split".
  • Gale 16Jan13: Is Join useful for labeled audio (regions)?

If the selection in the label track touches or extends over any point labels, the Split command is applied to the point labels.

Select

The items in this cascading menu provide quick ways of selecting ranges of audio.

All

Selects all of the audio in all of the tracks.

None

Deselects all of the audio in all of the tracks.

Left at Playback Position

When Audacity is playing or recording, sets the left boundary of a potential selection by moving the cursor to the current position of the green playback cursor (or red recording cursor). The selection can then be drawn by using "Right at Playback Position" (below).

Right at Playback Position

When Audacity is playing or recording, sets the right boundary of the selection, thus drawing the selection from the cursor position to the current position of the green playback cursor (or red recording cursor). This is a quick way to mark a selection for future editing while playing or recording.

It will usually be more convenient while playing or recording to use keyboard shortcuts ( by default,  [  and  ]   ) to set the left and right boundary respectively.

Track Start to Cursor

Selects a region in the selected track(s) from the start of the track to the cursor position.

Cursor to Track End

Selects a region in the selected track(s) from the cursor position to the end of the track.

In All Tracks

Extends the current selection up and/or down into all tracks in the project.

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In All Sync-Locked Tracks

Extends the current selection up and/or down into all sync-locked tracks in the currently selected track group.

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Find Zero Crossings

Moves the edges of a selection region (or the cursor position) slightly so they are at a rising zero crossing point. This is a point where a line joining the audio samples rises from left to right and crosses the zero horizontal line. Cutting and pasting at a zero crossing helps avoid clicks by matching the height of the waveform at the join. Note: this feature does not necessarily find the nearest zero crossing to the current position. It aims to find the crossing where the average amplitude of samples in the vicinity is lowest.

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Move Cursor

The items in this cascading menu provide quick ways to move the cursor.

To Selection Start

When there is a selection, moves the cursor to the start of the selection and removes the selection.

To Selection End

When there is a selection, moves the cursor to the end of the selection and removes the selection.

To Track Start

Moves the cursor to the start of the selected track.

To Track End

Moves the cursor to the end of the selected track.

Region Save

Saves the current selection region or cursor position as observed on the Timeline. Note this function does not save any actual audio data currently inside selection boundaries.

Region Restore

Restores the selection region or cursor position to the project at its saved Timeline position. If a region is restored, this is only explicitly placed inside those tracks which are currently selected.

Play Region

The items in this sub-menu allow you to lock and unlock the play region in the Timeline. See Play Regions in Playing and Recording.

Preferences...

Displays the Preferences dialog.

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