Selecting Audio - the basics

From Audacity Development Manual
Jump to: navigation, search

This page explains only the basics of selecting audio for typical Audacity use. This involves either:

Once all or a region is selected, you can then change that selection's sound with an effect. Another common action is to delete or move the region of audio.

This page is only a brief summary of how to make selections in your project. For further details and visual examples please see the Selecting Audio page.

IBeam.png Selecting a region using the mouse

The easiest way to select a region of audio is to click the left mouse button anywhere inside of an audio track, then drag (in either direction) until the other edge of your selection is made, then release the mouse.

If Selection tool is not selected (default setting), choose IBeam.png from Tools Toolbar, below:

Tools‎ Toolbar

Selecting the whole of an individual track

The whole of an individual track can be selected by clicking in the Track Control Panel to the left of a track. Make sure that you click in a neutral area of the Track Control Panel, not inside one of the buttons or sliders.

Selecting the entire project

You can select the entire length of all tracks on screen with Select > All or use the shortcut Ctrl + A (or ⌘ + A on a Mac).


There is a setting in Tracks Behaviors Preferences called "Auto-select, if selection required" that saves the need to make a time selection where you want to apply the edit to entire tracks.

  • If you issue an editing command that depends on having a time selection but there is no time selection present, the entire project is auto-selected.
  • If some audio tracks are selected but not others, the entire time range of just those selected tracks is auto-selected.

This setting is "off" by default in Audacity. You will need to turn it on if you wish to have Auto-select act on your projects.


> Forward to: Selecting Audio

|< Back to: Getting Started