Transport Toolbar

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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.
The Play button in Transport Toolbar plays at standard speed, or as speeded up or slowed down over time by adding a Time Track envelope. The easiest way to play at a faster or slower speed is to use Play-at-Speed Toolbar.
Transport Toolbar 3-6-0.png

The Pause button Pause  Transport > Playing > Pause, Transport > Recording > Pause or P

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.

Note that in earlier versions of Audacity while you were in Pause mode, editing and other commands were grayed out and unavailable. This has now changed so that invoking an edit command while paused will stop playback and call the command.

The Play button Play  Transport > Playing > Play/Stop or Space

The Play button Play: playback begins wherever the editing cursor is. Otherwise, if an area of track is selected, only that selection will be played, except when the loop button is enabled.
The Play Cut Preview button Play Cut Preview: play audio either side of a selection to preview what deleting the selection will sound like. Hold down Ctrl ( on Mac) while clicking Play.
Alternatively you can use the C shortcut to preview the cut. This also causes the Play button image to change to Play Cut Preview.
Tip You can press The Play button when there is already playback or when playback is paused to restart playback immediately from the editing cursor or selection.

The Stop button Stop  Transport > Playing > Play/Stop, Transport > Recording > Play/Stop or Space

Stops playing or recording immediately, and releases Pause if depressed. You must stop playback or recording before you can use the "Skip" buttons below.

Tip Use Transport > Playing > Play/Stop and Set Cursor (or its shortcut X) to stop and set the cursor at the stop point.

The Skip to Start button Skip to Start   or Home

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.

Tip Holding down Shift while clicking The Skip to Start button extends a selection region from the cursor position or current selection region to the start of the project.

The Skip to End button Skip to End   or End

Move the cursor to the end of the project.

Tip Holding down Shift while clicking The Skip to End button similarly extends a selection region to the end of the project.

The Record button Record  Transport > Recording > Record or R

Record button Record: Clicking Record or using the R shortcut always begins recording at the end of the currently selected track(s).
This requires that the number of recording channels (mono or stereo) matches the selected track. In other cases, it appends the first track (or adjacent tracks) that support the number of channels being recorded.
The Record New Track button Record New Track: Hold down Shift while clicking Record, or use its shortcut Shift + R, to start recording in a new track at either the current cursor position or at the beginning of the current selection.

Tip Any users who had the CleanSpeech customized interface enabled in 1.3.13 or earlier 1.3 versions of Audacity will find that Transport Toolbar has an empty space which previously contained the CleanSpeech button. This space can be removed by choosing View > Toolbars > Reset Toolbars .

The Loop button Loop  Transport > Looping or L

Loop button.png Toggles looping on/off. While turned on, pressing play will cause the looping region to play in loop mode.
When no looping region is present, the current selection is converted to a looping region.