Help Menu

From Audacity Manual

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The Help Menu lets you find out more about the Audacity program and how to use it. It also includes some more advanced tools such as for taking Audacity screenshots, or viewing log messages generated by the program.

Contents

  1. Quick Help
  2. Manual
  3. Screenshot Tools...
  4. Check for Updates...
  5. Audio Device Info...
  6. Show Log...
  7. Generate Support Data...
  8. About Audacity...

Quick Help

The "Getting Started" section of our Manual - quick information, which will be displayed in your browser, on how to play, record and edit audio, and export to an audio file like MP3 or WAV.

Manual

Takes you to the main sections of our Manual, displayed in your browser,:

Screenshot Tools...

Displays the "Screen Capture Frame". This tool lets you capture all or part of your project window to an image file in PNG format. Click the "Choose..." button to pick the location where you want to save the screenshot. Then click the button corresponding to the part of the project window you want to capture. Most of these buttons are self-explanatory.

For "Capture entire window or screen":

  • "Capture Window Only" captures the window without its title bar.
  • "Capture Full Window" captures the window including its title bar.
  • "Capture Window Plus" captures the window including its title bar, plus a small border region outside the window for context.
  • "Capture Full Screen" captures the entire computer screen as you see it.

For "Scale":

  • The "Sec", "Min" and "One Hour" buttons zoom the project window horizontally so that a little more than the length indicated on the button is shown on the Timeline.
  • The "Tracks" buttons zoom all the tracks in the project to a preset height. For example, "Short Tracks" displays the tracks at minimal height so they only show the Audio Track Dropdown Menu and Collapse/Expand button.
  • Screenshot Tools can be handy for capturing:
    • Tracks with their waveform or spectrogram (use any of the "Track(s)" buttons)
    • Plots of amplitude against frequency for a selected region (use any of the "Capture Window" buttons to capture the Frequency Analysis window on its own).
  • Limitations:
    • Screenshot Tools resets all the Toolbars to default positions and settings.
    • Some individual parts of the interface cannot be captured, such as menus, and dialogs that do not allow you to click anywhere else while the dialog is open.
    As alternatives, you can use File > Print...   to print an image of the current tracks with the Timeline above, excluding the Track Control Panel and vertical scale. Or you can use the operating system commands to capture the entire screen or the active window, then open your favorite image editor and paste then save the image.

Check for Updates...

This takes you to the Download page of the Audacity website where you can check what the latest release version of Audacity is. You can then compare the latest release with the version you have now as shown at About Audacity....

Audio Device Info...

Shows technical information about your detected audio device(s), including their supported sample rates. This item is grayed out if you are playing, recording or paused. Press OK to save the information as a text file, or Cancel to return to the main project window.

Show Log...

Launches the "Audacity Log" window, which can be kept open while Audacity is used normally. The log is largely a debugging aid, having timestamps for each entry. The Audacity version number is always the first entry at the top. Other log entries are added underneath the version number as needed.

  • If you use the optional FFmpeg library, the log shows entries for the steps to load the individual FFmpeg components and whether FFmpeg load succeeded.
  • If you export an MP3 audio file, the log shows entries for the steps to load the additional LAME library required for MP3 export, and whether LAME load succeeded.
  • If you import an audio file, the log shows the imported file's name and extension, which import libraries attempted to import the file and whether the file import succeeded.
  • If Audacity crashes and the Automatic Crash Recovery dialog appears on restarting Audacity, or if Audacity encounters a problem when opening an AUP project file, the log may contain additional useful error details.

Buttons

  • Save... : Opens a standard file save dialog where you can save the current contents of the log to a text file.
  • Clear: Clears the current contents of the log, then inserts the Audacity version number at the top followed by a "Log Cleared." message underneath, both with current timestamps.
  • Close: Closes the log, preserving its current content for the remainder of the Audacity session.
Warning icon On quitting Audacity the log content is discarded. If you need to save the log contents, do so using the Save... button (or generate a Debug Report as below) before quitting.

Generate Support Data...

Selecting this will generate a debug report which could be useful in aiding the developers to identify bugs in Audacity or in third-party plug-ins that it uses.

Debug report.png

By default, all items are selected for inclusion in the report. If you wish to exclude any item, select and uncheck it. You can also view or open the selected item before creating the report. The View... button opens the selected item in an Audacity window. The Open... button opens the selected item in your default application for that document type.

When you click the OK button Audacity will tell you where it has stored the debug report on your computer. You can then attach this zip file to any bug report or issue that you report. You can submit your report to our feedback address or to the Audacity Forum.

Debug report location.png
Warning icon If the dialog appears of its own accord this will almost certainly be because Audacity has crashed. Audacity will exit after you select OK or Cancel in the dialog and will attempt to recover your project when after restart.

About Audacity...

Displays the "About Audacity" dialog, containing tabs for:

  • Audacity version information, credits and list of libraries used in Audacity
  • Build information for the current build, including file format support, enabled libraries and features and the source code commit number that the build was made from
  • GPL v2 License.
Note: on Macs this item is under the Audacity menu.
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