Toolbars Overview

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Toolbars provide quick access to many functions in Audacity. In some cases the functions provided by a toolbar are available only through that toolbar. Other than the Spectral Selection Toolbar, all toolbars are enabled by default. If your desired toolbar is not visible, choose View > Toolbars and click to put a checkmark by the toolbar you wish to enable.
  • The Meter toolbars are a special case. You may have one or both of the separate Recording and Playback Meter toolbars visible (both are visible by default). Alternatively you can have only the Combined Meter Toolbar visible (which displays recording and playback levels in a single meter).

Toolbar dock areas

There are two dock areas for toolbars in Audacity. By default, most of the Audacity toolbars are in the upper dock, with only the Selection Toolbar in the lower dock.

Toolbars can be arranged and resized within either of the two docks, or floated free of the docks.

Hover over each green-bordered toolbar in the dock images to learn more then click to go to that toolbar's details page. Or jump to the brief toolbar descriptions.

Upper Toolbar dock area

Transport Toolbar has buttons for controlling playback and recording and for moving to the project start or endTransport Toolbar has buttons for controlling playback and recording and for moving to the project start or endTools Toolbar lets you choose various tools for selection, volume adjustment, zooming and time-shifting of audioTools Toolbar lets you choose various tools for selection, volume adjustment, zooming and time-shifting of audioRecording Meter Toolbar lets you see if audio being recorded is clipped, which results in distortionRecording Meter Toolbar lets you see if audio being recorded is clipped, which results in distortionPlayback Meter Toolbar lets you see if audio being edited is clipped, which results in distortionPlayback Meter Toolbar lets you see if audio being edited is clipped, which results in distortionMixer Toolbar lets you adjust Recording Volume (the amplitude at which recordings will be made) and Playback Volume (how loud the project's audio sounds, not affecting the volume of exported audioMixer Toolbar lets you adjust Recording Volume (the amplitude at which recordings will be made) and Playback Volume (how loud the project's audio sounds, not affecting the volume of exported audioEdit Toolbar has buttons for editing, Sync-Lock Tracks and zooming which are an alternative to using menu items or keyboard shortcuts for these tasksEdit Toolbar has buttons for editing, Sync-Lock Tracks and zooming which are an alternative to using menu items or keyboard shortcuts for these tasksDevice Toolbar selects Audio Host, recording device, recording channels and playback device, avoiding the need to open Devices Preferences to make these settingsDevice Toolbar selects Audio Host, recording device, recording channels and playback device, avoiding the need to open Devices Preferences to make these settingsTranscription Toolbar|Transcription Toolbar lets you play audio at a slower or faster speed than normal, also affecting pitchTranscription Toolbar|Transcription Toolbar lets you play audio at a slower or faster speed than normal, also affecting pitchAudacity Toolbars Bordered Arrows 2.png

Lower Toolbar dock area

Selection Toolbar includes controls for Project Rate, Snap To and for manipulating units of time or other selection formatsSelection Toolbar green-boxed.png

Additionally if you choose to show the Spectral Selection Toolbar from the View Menu (it is not shown by default) then it will also be shown in the Lower Toolbar dock area. The image of the Selection Toolbar shown in this example has non-default settings for the selection formats.

Spectral Selection Toolbar includes controls for manipulating a Spectral Selection. Using the "Center Frequency" and "Width" boxes, or the "Low Frequency" and "High Frequency" boxes, you can create or adjust a precisely defined spectral selection without having to click or drag with a mouse in one of the spectrogram views.Spectral Selection Toolbar default.png


The Toolbars

The individual toolbars are described briefly below. Click on any toolbar image to go the details page for that toolbar.

Transport Toolbar

Transport Toolbar controls recording, playback, pausing and stopping
  • Controls playback and recording and skips to start or end of project when neither playing or recording.

Tools Toolbar

Tools Toolbar showing the default Selection Tool chosen
  • Chooses various tools for selection, volume adjustment, zooming and time-shifting of audio.

Recording Meter Toolbar

Recording Meter Toolbar shown inactive
  • Displays recording levels and toggles input monitoring when not recording.

    Note the two vertical bars at the right of this toolbar which mean that this toolbar can be resized by clicking and dragging on the bars.

Playback Meter Toolbar

Playback Meter Toolbar shown inactive
  • Displays playback levels.

    Note the two vertical bars at the right of this toolbar which mean that this toolbar can be resized by clicking and dragging on the bars.

Mixer Toolbar

Mixer Toolbar has controls to manage the recording and playback levels
  • Adjusts the recording and playback volumes of the devices currently selected in Device Toolbar.

Edit Toolbar

Edit Tollbar carries the common editing commands and the zoom commands
  • Cut, copy, paste, trim audio, silence audio, undo, redo, sync-lock, zoom.

Transcription Toolbar

Transcription Toolbar has a control slider to enable playing audio at a slower or faster speed than normal
  • Plays audio at a slower or faster speed than normal, affecting pitch.

Device Toolbar

Device Toolbar has controls for selecting audio host, recording device, number of recording channels and playback device
  • Selects audio host, recording device, number of recording channels and playback device.

    Note the two vertical bars at the right of this toolbar which mean that this toolbar can be resized by clicking and dragging on the bars.

Selection Toolbar

Selection Toolbar includes controls for Project Rate, Snap To and for manipulating units of time or other selection formats
  • Controls the sample rate of the project, snapping to the selection format and adjusts cursor and region position by keyboard input.

    The default position of Selection Toolbar is at the bottom of the main Audacity window, thus it is not visible in the Toolbars image at the top of this page.

Spectral Selection Toolbar

Spectral Selection Toolbar showing center frequency and bandwidth controlsSpectral Selection Toolbar showing low and high frequency controls
  • Displays and lets you adjust the current spectral (frequency) selection without having to be in one of the spectrogram views.
  • This toolbar is not shown by default. Select View > Toolbars > Spectral Selection Toolbar to show the toolbar, which by default docks in the lower dock, beside or under Selection Toolbar.
  • Choose your preferred format option from the dropdown menu above the boxes: Center frequency and Width  MenuDownArrow.png or Low and High Frequencies  MenuDownArrow.png.
In Center frequency and Width view, to clear the spectral selection entirely just use the Delete key after having clicked on any of the digits (note carefully that this is not the Delete key on the numerical keypad). When in Low and High Frequencies view you can clear either input box individually with the Delete key.

Arranging and resizing Toolbars

Toolbars can be docked in two toolbar areas of the Audacity Project window, providing there is space available: either above the Timeline, or above the Status Bar at the bottom of the window (Selection Toolbar is in this location by default). Toolbars may also be floated anywhere else in or outside the project window, including on a secondary monitor. The toolbar positions on exiting Audacity are always remembered when restarting Audacity next time.

Toolbars can be docked or floated by dragging on their serrated left edge. When docking a toolbar into a toolbar area, a blue triangle will appear, indicating an available docking position. The default toolbar docked positions can be restored at any time by clicking View > Toolbars > Reset Toolbars. Some of the Toolbars can be resized (the Meter Toolbars and the Device Toolbar) by clicking and dragging on the vertical bars at the right of the toolbars.

The image below shows Mixer Toolbar being docked to the right of Device Toolbar:
Docking-a-toolbar.png
The image below shows the Transport and Recording Meter toolbars floated outside the Project window, with the Recording Meter dragged wider and taller:
FloatingTools win7-basic.png
Views
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