From Audacity Manual
- Peter 5Aug13: I prepared this page for publication by publishing the Examples subpage and changing the links here to that page
- Peter 6Aug13: Published the Strawman 2.1 version.
- Features of a Label Track
- Creating and Selecting Labels
- Editing, Resizing and Moving labels
- Removing labels only
- Removing labels together with their associated audio
- Labels Editor
- Editing or moving the label track using the Drop-Down Menu
- Importing and Exporting Labels
Features of a Label Track
- Labels can be used to mark then restore chosen points or regions of audio for playback or editing.
- Labels can contain text for purposes of annotation or transcription.
- Labels and their text provide a convenient way to name different songs in a recorded track then export all songs at once to separate audio files using .
- The label text can be edited and you can resize region labels or move region or point labels.
- The Label Track's Drop-Down Menu can be used to name the track, move it up or down or set the font of all label text.
- Label tracks are included when saving an Audacity Project.
Labels can be created by selecting a region or clicking at a point of interest then choosing (or use its keyboard shortcut CTRL + B on Windows and Linux or COMMAND + B on Mac OS X). An empty label appears then you can type to add text to the label. Press Enter on the keyboard to confirm the text and close the label.
When the label track has the yellow focus border as in the image above you can, if preferred, just type to create a label containing that text rather than first using the menu or shortcut to create the label.
You can also create labels while playing or recording.
- To create a point label at the current position of the green playback cursor or red recording cursor, choose CTRL + M. or its keyboard shortcut
- To create a region label while playing or recording, click and drag the region then use the same Add Label at Selection command (or its shortcut CTRL + B ) as when adding a region label when the track is stopped. Similarly you can click anywhere in a track while playing or recording and use CTRL + B to label that point.
You can create extra label tracks using exporting multiple files based on labels, audio is only exported for the labels in the uppermost label track in the project.but when
When you click inside a label to select it, the label background color changes to white, indicating that the label text is open for editing, and the cursor point or region of audio the label corresponds to is restored. The region will be visible in all audio tracks that are selected and the cursor will be visible in all audio tracks that have the yellow focus border. This applies even if the label track is above the audio track.
You can use Tab on your keyboard to select forwards through each label whenever the focus border is in the label track. To restore focus to the label track if necessary, either use keyboard UP or DOWN or click in empty space on the Track Control Panel of the label track (which both selects it and gives it focus).
If a label is open for editing, Tab moves to and opens the next label to right. If no label is open, Tab moves to and opens the nearest label to right of the current cursor (or the nearest label to right of the current start of the selection). Shift + Tab similarly selects backwards through each label in the focused label track, opening the next label to left of an open label, otherwise the nearest label to left of the cursor or selection start.
When Tab or Shift + Tab opens the last or first label respectively in the focused label track, the next Tab or Shift + Tab closes that label. You can then use Tab or Shift + Tab again to navigate through the labels starting from the opposite end of the track.
See this page for more details on label creation and selection.
You can edit labels by changing their text content, resize region labels or move region or point labels.
You can change label positions:
- move a point label by clicking and dragging its circle handle
- expand a point label into a region label by clicking and dragging either of its triangle handles
- move a region label by clicking and dragging either of its circle handles
- change the length of a region label by clicking and dragging one of its triangle handles
- adjust the junction point where two labels meet by clicking and dragging their shared circle handle
- if you remove part of a label track inside a region label this will reduce the duration of the region label.
You can cut and paste region labels usingand , but you have to make sure you don't select any audio, or you will end up cutting and pasting audio where you probably didn't intend.
See this page for more details on editing labels.
Labels can be removed (deleted) in a number of ways. However because labels are usually associated with an audio track, the label deletion method may affect whether or not the remaining labels are still synchronized with the audio (that is, remain associated with the same part of the audio track). Incorrect edits to label tracks can always be undone by using.
- Split method - retains audio synchronization:
- Often you may want to remove labels from the label track without removing their associated audio, while keeping the remaining labels synchronized with their audio.The quickest way to do this is to select any region in the label track that extends beyond the label or labels to be removed (without reaching other labels), then choose , or its shortcut CTRL + ALT + K. Any labels lying to right of the removed labels stay where they are, still associated with their original audio.
- Label text removal method - retains audio synchronization:
- You can use this method to remove a single label; open the label, remove the text then press Backspace or Delete once to remove the empty label. All remaining labels remain synchronized with their audio.
- Delete method - loses audio synchronization for labels to right of the delete point:
- To remove labels or a region of label track so that the following labels move back (leftwards), select over or between labels then choose CTRL + K. Labels following to right of the removed labels will always move backwards (earlier on the Timeline) according to the length of the removed selection. , or its shortcut
See here for examples of the various methods.
Deleting the entire label track
You can also remove all labels at once by deleting the label track entirely. To remove the entire label track and all its labels, click in the label track and choose in the upper-left corner of the label track.. Alternatively, click the close button
It's also written on the assumption that there is only a single label track and a single audio track, but I am less concerned about that as this is really a get-you-started example which should suit most readers of this section of the manual - once you are into multiple audio tracks and multiple label tracks you should be beyond the level of this page methinks.
- Gale 29Jul13: "Selecting a label" mentions that a label track can be above the audio track. Try working into "Features" or the image description if you like that the label track can be above. I think multiple label tracks are already implied. I agree the bulk of this has to be written with only one label track in mind.
- Peter 31Jul31: This was really a "note-to-self " but I really don't want to over-complicate this page, I'm happy to work with the assumption that it is the "conventional" audio track above label track. I did reword the first k/b use note though.
In most cases when you remove parts of the label track, you will also want to remove the corresponding audio so that the remaining labels are still synchronized with their original audio, for example, you may have labeled a region of noisy audio for later deletion.
To remove the audio region as well as the label region, select over or between the labels as required then include the audio track in the selection by dragging the selection upwards to include the audio track, then choose CTRL + K. Similarly, if you want to keep labels and audio synchronized when deleting audio to left of a label, you must include the label track in the selection before deleting.or its shortcut
Alternatively you can enable. This feature defines groups of Sync-Locked audio and/or label tracks, such that a length-changing action in one track of the group affects all the others in the group, even if they are not all selected.
A convenient way to select and delete the exact area of an individual region label together with its corresponding audio (moving the following audio backwards) is to click in the label, then press Enter followed by DELETE or BACKSPACE. If your Interface Preferences are set to "Retain labels if selection snaps to a label edge", this retains a point label at the former left-hand edge of the region.
See here for an example of removing labels with their associated audio.
launches a keyboard-accessible Labels Editor where you can perform all remove, text edit, resize and move operations on labels. All the labels and label tracks in the project are displayed in a tabular view, similar to a spreadsheet. Each row represents a single individual label.
See this page for more details on the editor.
Editing or moving the label track using the Drop-Down Menu
Clicking the label track's name by the downward-pointing triangle (or using shortcut SHIFT + M or the keyboard Menu key when the label track has focus) opens the Label Track Drop-Down Menu:
- Displays the "Track Name" dialog where you can give the track a new name. Useful in multi-track projects to provide a visual indication of the content of each track.
- Displays the "Label Track Font" dialog where you can set the font and font size of the labels. Note that this applies to all label tracks.
Tracks can be moved up and down using the menu items.
- Move Track Up: Moves track up.
- Move Track Down: Moves track down.
Label tracks can also be moved up or down by clicking between the controls in the track's Track Control Panel then dragging upwards or downwards.
Label Tracks can be exported to, and imported from plain text files ( .txt extension in Windows). The file structure is a tab-delimited plain text format that can be opened by any text editor or spreadsheet program and edited there.
See this page for more details on text label files.