From Audacity Development Manual
Transport Toolbar has buttons for controlling playback, recording and for moving to the project start or end. The buttons can also be controlled with keyboard shortcuts.
- Click on the toolbar image below to see this toolbar displayed in context of the default upper tooldock layout.
Pause P or
Click Pause to temporarily pause playing or recording without losing your place. Click Pause a second time to resume.
You can also click Pause before clicking Record, then click Pause again to start recording. On some systems or devices, "arming" recording in this way with the stream already open might start recording more quickly.
Play SPACE or
If an area of track is selected, only that selection will be played. Otherwise, playback begins wherever the editing cursor is.
- To loop-play (play the track or selection over and over until you stop), hold down SHIFT while clicking Play. This causes the button image to change to loop-play . You can use the SHIFT + SPACE shortcut to start loop-play instead.
- To Play Cut Preview (play audio either side of a selection to preview what deleting the selection will sound like), hold down CTRL while clicking Play (this works on Mac too, but using COMMAND while clicking does not). To Play Cut Preview, on Mac, hold COMMAND while clicking Play. Alternatively you can use the C shortcut to preview the cut.
This causes the button image to change to Play Cut Preview (like the green Play button but with a vertical cut through it).
- You can press Play when there is already playback or when playback is paused to restart playback immediately from the editing cursor or selection.
Stop SPACE or
Stops playing or recording immediately, and releases Pause if depressed. You must stop playback or recording before you can use the "Skip" buttons below and before you can edit any audio.
Skip to Start HOME or
Move the cursor to the beginning of the project. This is useful if you want to play everything, or record a new track starting from the beginning.
Skip to End END or
Move the cursor to the end of the project.
Record R or
Clicking Record or using the R shortcut always begins recording in a new track at either the current cursor position or at the beginning of the current selection.
You can instead start recording at the end of the currently selected track(s) by using Append Record, hold down SHIFT while clicking Record (or use its shortcut SHIFT + R). When you hold down the SHIFT key the red record button will change to the Append Record button.
The default "ergonomic" order of buttons on the Transport Toolbar can be unchecked in Interface Preferences to give this alternative order: