View Menu

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View Menu has commands that determine the amount of detail you see in all the tracks in the project window. It also lets you show or hide Toolbars and some additional windows such as Undo History.
Click, or hover, on any menu item in the image to read about that command.  Skip the image
Select MenuView MenuTransport MenuTracks MenuGenerate MenuEffect MenuAnalyze MenuHelp MenuExt-Bar MenuExt-Command MenuMenu BarZoom in/out on the horizontal axisControls the sizes of tracksMove forward/backwards through the audioBrings up the History window which can then be left open while using Audacity normallyBrings up the Karaoke window, which displays the labels in a "bouncing ball" scrolling displayMixer Board is an alternative view to the audio tracks in the main tracks windowToolbars can be used to determine which of the Audacity toolbars are displayedShows extra menus with many extra less-used commandsOption to show or not show audio that is too loud (in red) on the wave formViewMenu.png
Audio tracks support different View Modes such as Waveform (the default), Waveform dB or Spectrogram. These views can be changed individually for each track using the Audio Track Dropdown Menu, or you can change the default View Mode for all tracks in Tracks Preferences.


Zoom

The Zoom submenu has commands that enable you to control the amount of audio, longer or shorter periods of time, that is visible on your screen.

Track Size

The Track Size submenu contains commands that help you to fit your project to the screen horizontally and vertically.

Skip To

The Skip to submenu has commands that enable you to readily skip the cursor position to the beginning or end of your current selection.

History...

Brings up the History window which can then be left open while using Audacity normally. History lists all undoable actions performed in the current project, including importing. The right-hand column shows the amount of hard disk space each operation used and the total space used is shown in the first (uneditable) box beneath the list. In the project shown in the image below we normalized both the recorded track and the Risset Drum track, so Normalize took a little more space than that taken by the recording.

History dialog.png

If you discard Undo levels you can reclaim the disk space used by the project. To save the most space (removing ability to undo or redo any past edits), select the bottom Action in the list using the mouse or keyboard Up or Down arrow, increase "Levels to Discard" to the highest possible number then click "Discard".

You can also easily jump back and forth between editing steps by selecting the entries in the window. This can be quicker than choosing Undo and Redo multiple times from the Edit Menu.

See Undo, Redo and History for details on using the Undo History window.

Karaoke...

Karaoke... shows a bouncing ball that follows text as audio plays. The Karaoke... command is enabled whenever you have at least one label track. If you have multiple label tracks, it uses only the first one.

For more details see the Karaoke page.

Mixer Board...

Mixer Board... is an alternative view to the audio tracks in the main tracks window, and is analogous to a hardware mixer board. Each audio track is displayed in a Track Strip. Each Track Strip has its own pair of meters, gain slider, pan slider, and mute/solo buttons, echoing that track's controls in its Track Control Panel. The Mixer Board... command is enabled whenever there's an audio track - it can even be brought up during playback.

For more details see the Mixer Board page.

Extra Menus (on/off)  

Shows extra menus with many extra less-used commands. These appear after the help menu. An example is shown below:


Click, or hover, on any menu item in the image to read about that command.  Skip the image
Help MenuExt-Bar MenuExt-Command MenuMenu BarExtra commands related to play and recordExtra commands to select the tool, eExtra commands related to volumeExtra commands related to editingExtra commands related to play at speedExtra commands related to scrubbingExtra commands related to selecting a deviceExtra commands related to selectingPlay (or stop) audioStop audioPlays for one second centered on the current <b>mouse pointer</b> position (not from the current cursor position)Plays to or from the current <b>mouse pointer</b> position to or from the start or end of the selection, depending on the pointer positionPlays a short period before the start of the selected audio, the period before shares the setting of the cut previewPlays a short period after the start of the selected audio, the period after shares the setting of the cut previewPlays a short period before the end of the selected audio, the period before shares the setting of the cut previewPlays a short period after the end of the selected audio, the period after shares the setting of the cut previewPlays a short period  before and after the start of the selected audio, the periods before and after share the setting of the cut previewPlays a short period  before and after the end of the selected audio, the periods before and after share the setting of the cut previewPlays audio excluding the selectionExtBar-TransportMenu.png

Show Clipping

Click this menu item to turn display of clipped samples on and off - a check mark in the item indicates that display is turned on. If turned on (the default is off), individual or multiple clipped samples display as a red vertical line when in one of the waveform views. A sample is displayed as clipped if it touches or exceeds 0 dB and so touches or exceeds the volume envelope defined by +1.0 to - 1.0 on the vertical scale to left of the waveform.

A run of four or more consecutive clipped samples will also trigger the red clipping indicator in Meter Toolbar. A solid block of red in the waveform will almost certainly indicate multiple or extended runs of lost audio information above 0 dB, resulting in severe distortion. Avoid clipped samples where possible, for example by setting the recording level correctly. You may turn "Show Clipping" off if it behaves sluggishly on slower machines.

ShowClipping02.png
By choosing Analyze > Find Clipping..., clipping can also be shown diagrammatically in a Label Track so that screen-readers can access the information.


Enter / Exit Full Screen (Mac only)

This menu item only appears on Mac OS X Lion and above. Enter Full Screen enters full screen state, occupying the entire display and hiding the Audacity menu bar and window buttons and the Dock. This is the same as clicking the green window button top left of the Audacity title bar. To leave Full Screen, hover your mouse at the top of the monitor to show the menu bar and window buttons then access View > Exit Full Screen or click the green window button.

The Mac keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ⌘ + F to toggle full screen does not work in Audacity and so does not appear alongside the Enter / Exit Full Screen menu items. Separate "App Shortcuts" for "Enter Full Screen" and "Exit Full Screen" can be added for Audacity in the Mac Keyboard Preferences, but it is probably easier to use Audacity's own shortcut COMMAND + /   for "Full screen on/off" which performs the same full screen function.

Warning icon "Full screen on/off" is not interchangeable with the menu item or full screen button. Thus the Audacity shortcut cannot exit full screen entered by other methods, and the other methods cannot exit full screen entered by using the Audacity shortcut.