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Audacity For Mac Manual

12/13/2021
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  1. Mac computers have no built-in ability to record streaming audio playing on a sound device. You can use additional software to record computer playback directly into Audacity or can do so by using a connecting a loopback cable from audio out to the separate audio input available on some Macs.
  2. Searching the Manual - tips on how to Search the Audacity Manual; Getting Started - Recording, Importing, Editing, Exporting. Audacity Tour Guide - quick tour of selected features of Audacity; Installing and updating Audacity on Windows, Mac or Linux. Updating from Audacity 2.x to Audacity 3.x (changed project structure).

.Open Audacity, select Newand under the Filemenu select Save Project As.Give the project a name and save to the Desktop.Audacity will save all audio to a directory called Projectnamedata. The Project itself will be saved to the same location as an AUP (Audacity.


Accessed by:Edit > Preferences > Interface (on a Mac Audacity > Preferences > Interface )
Click in the left column for other preferences
Interface Preferences.


Display

  • Language: Changes the language of the menus and other on-screen text. Languages with non-Latin character sets require you to have the correct fonts installed on your system, otherwise the menus will display with ???? characters.
  • Location of Manual:
    • 'Local' When using the Help Menu, opens your default browser to display the local version of the Manual that came with your Audacity installation. The Manual will automatically be installed in the Audacity installation folder if you obtain the Windows .exe or Mac .dmg installers. If the Manual is not installed, accessing it when the 'Local' preference is chosen will show a dialog asking you to view the online version or download the Manual to your computer. Instructions for installing the downloaded Manual are at Unzipping the Manual.
    • 'From Internet' always opens your browser to display the online version of the Manual, even if you have a local copy of the Manual installed.
  • Theme: Audacity now comes supplied with four pre-configured, user-selectable themes: Light, Dark, Classic and High Contrast. This enables you to choose the look and feel you prefer for Audacity's interface. See the Themes page for more details.
If you have good programming skills thers is also a Custom theme which you can modify to create your own look and feel for Audacity.
  • Meter dB range: Sets the minimum displayed value of:
    • The level slider for Sound Activated Recording in Recording Preferences.
    • The vertical logarithmic scale of new tracks in Waveform (dB) view mode (this view can be chosen in the Audio Track Dropdown Menu or set in the Tracks Preferences). To vary the lower dB limit of a current track in Waveform (dB) view without changing magnification, hold Shift and rotate the mouse wheel. To vary the lower dB limit while the visible top of the scale remains fixed (thus changing magnification), hold Ctrl and Shift while rotating the mouse wheel.
    Choosing -96 dB or lower for the 'Meter dB range' extends the lowest displayable dB range when in the Plot Spectrum window.
    The Meter Toolbars, the waveform and the Plot Spectrum window can be dragged out to display more gradation ticks and units within the chosen range.
Audacity for mac manual version

Options

  • Show 'How to get Help' message at launch: Uncheck this to disable the default start up dialog that lists our help resources.
  • Show extra menus: Check this to see the extended menu bar.
  • Beep on completion of longer activities: Makes Audacity play a beep when activities lasting longer than a minute are completed. Visually impaired users may find this useful.
  • Retain labels if selection snaps to a label:
    • By default this option is unchecked, in which case a point label is deleted when you delete a selection that snaps exactly up to the label edge (as shown by the yellow Boundary Snap Guides) and includes the label in the selection. Similarly, a region label included in the selection is deleted when deleting a selection that extends from or outside one edge and snaps to the other edge.
    • When this option is checked, a label included in the selection is always retained if deleting a selection that snaps to one or both label edges. Even if this option is checked, the label will still be deleted if you select over a point label or over both edges of a region label. Checking this option also means that if you Effect > Repeat... an audio selection defined by a region label (for example, by clicking in the label to select it), or extend that selection past one edge only, the selection will be extended to include a single label. Without this option checked the selection would be extended to include extra labels.
  • Blend system and Audacity theme: Adjusts the theme provided by Audacity to be closer to the system theme, if they already are reasonably similar. This may lighten or darken the buttons.
  • Use mostly Left-to-Right layouts in RTL languages: Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi are all 'Right-to-Left' languages. Audacity has difficulty dealing with this. Audacity will put the menus on the right, and will make some other changes, but by and large Audacity will behave Left-to-Right. If you disable this option, Audacity will try to use Right-to-Left in more circumstances, and the interface will get confused, with for example some buttons missing. This option is only available in Windows.

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Mac


Mac users:
  • Use in place of Ctrl in the bindings listed on this page.
  • ⌘-Wheel-Rotate (the equivalent Audacity binding on Mac for Zoom waveform in or out) will only work if you disable 'Zoom using scroll ball while holding Command' (or similar) in the System 'Mouse', 'Universal Access' or 'Accessibility' preferencess.
    Alternatively, hold both and Ctrl while zoom scrolling.
Accessed by:Edit > Preferences > Mouse (on a Mac Audacity > Preferences > Mouse )

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Click in the left column for other preferences
Mouse Preferences.


Currently, mouse bindings are not configurable.

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The following mouse-with-keyboard shortcuts are available.

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  • Holding Shift then clicking on the Play button on Transport Toolbar Loop Plays the track or selection over and over until you stop. When there is a selection region, holding Ctrl ( on Mac) then clicking the Play button will play by default two seconds before the region and one second after it in order to preview what deleting the region would sound like. The durations played before and after the region can be changed in the Cut Preview section of Playback Preferences.
  • Similarly, holding Shift then clicking on the Play-at-Speed button on Play-at-Speed Toolbar Loop Plays at your chosen adjusted speed and holding Ctrl ( on Mac) then clicking the Play-at-Speed button cut previews at adjusted speed.
  • Holding Shift then clicking on the Record button on Transport Toolbar records on a new track rather than recording on the same track.
  • Holding Shift then dragging in the Timeline and releasing the drag will Loop Play that Quick-Play region.
  • Holding Ctrl ( on a Mac) then dragging in the Timeline and releasing the drag will play by default two seconds before the Quick-Play region and one second after it. This provides a preview of what cutting that region would sound like. The durations played before and after the region can be changed in the Cut Preview section of Playback Preferences. Holding Ctrl and Shift ( and Shift on Mac) then dragging in the Timeline loop plays the Cut Preview.
  • Holding Ctrl ( on a Mac) when the Multi-Tool is being used temporarily converts the tool to the Timeshift-Tool, so can be used to drag clips from one place to another.
  • Holding Ctrl or Shift while clicking in a different part of a track's waveform creates a selection from the editing cursor to the click point, or expands or contracts an existing selection to the click point.
  • Holding Ctrl while clicking in the waveform of a different track creates a selection from the editing cursor to the click point in both tracks. An existing selection expands or contracts to the click point in both tracks.
  • Holding Shift while clicking in the waveform of a different track creates a selection from the editing cursor to the click point in both tracks and in any tracks between. An existing selection expands or contracts to the click point in both tracks and in any tracks between.
  • To preserve the current selection while removing it from or adding it to other tracks, Ctrl-click or Shift-click on the Track Control Panel of those tracks. See Audacity Selection for details.
  • Holding Shift then dragging when in in Time Shift Tool shifts all clips in a track to left or right.
  • Holding Ctrl( on Mac} then dragging when in Time Shift Tool lets you drag clips vertically into another track without accidentally dragging them left or right.


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Most of the bindings are for click and drag gestures when using one of the Audacity tools. 'Left', 'Right' and 'Middle' in the list refer to the mouse button to be clicked.

If your mouse has a standard scroll wheel or ball you can also use the 'Any' gestures listed above for vertical or horizontal scrolling of tracks on the Audacity screen, or for horizontal zooming in or out on the mouse pointer. Horizontal scrolling and zooming using the mouse wheel or ball requires the Shift or Ctrl key respectively to be held down.

Audacity For Mac Manual -

On Mac Trackpads you can use two fingers to scroll horizontally, or pinch/expand to zoom the waveform in or out at the pointer position, without using a modifier key. Horizontal scrolling and pinch/expand should also work on most touchpads on Windows machines, but you may need to apply this horizontal scrolling modification or to install special drivers for your touchpad.