Our content is reader supported, which means when you buy from links you click on, we may earn a commission.
58+ Popular Audacity Keyboard Shortcuts
Audacity is one of the best free audio recorders and editors on the web. It’s available for various operating systems and can help you edit your podcasts, songs, and other audio media in the blink of an eye.
The tool initially came out in 2000, but even in 2023, it’s one of the most popular choices for editing audio files. As of 2022, the audio recording and editing platform reached over 100 million downloads worldwide.
Using the tool isn’t too challenging, but learning about keyboard shortcuts can simplify using Audacity. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about Audacity keyboard shortcuts.
Learning How to Use Shortcuts
Learning how to use the shortcuts offered by Audacity isn’t too hard. The biggest challenge you’ll face is remembering which shortcuts perform what action. Audacity provides a shortcut manual on their website that you can review before using the shortcuts.
If you think you’ll regularly use the shortcuts, we recommend writing them down and keeping them nearby until you commit them to memory. This way, you’re not switching between tabs, checking on what shortcuts do what. We’ll also provide some of the most common keyboard shortcuts you might find helpful.
There are a lot of shortcuts to learn about with Audacity, so we recommend looking at all the offerings and determining which ones you’re most likely to use in your editing and recording process. That way, you’re not trying to remember dozens of keyboard shortcuts and getting frustrated when you can’t remember.
Remember that depending on your operating system, the keyboard shortcuts we share might differ slightly. We’ll share the most common keyboard shortcuts that users have.
These are typical for those using a Windows operating system. Still, you can easily convert these to a Mac or whatever other operating system you’re using the platform on.
Audacity Project and Files Keyboard Shortcuts
These are for you if you’re interested in learning about project and file keyboard shortcuts. These can help you quickly open a new file, close a project, close all your Audacity windows, and more. Here are the Audacity project and files keyboard shortcuts:
- New Project: Ctrl + Shift + N
- Open Project: Ctrl + O
- Save Project: Ctrl + S
- Save Project As: Ctrl + Shift + S
- Import an Audio File: Ctrl + I
- Export Audio: Ctrl + Shift + E
- Close Project: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F
- Close this Window: Ctrl + W
- Close All Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + W
- Quit Audacity: Ctrl + Q
Audacity Editing Menu Shortcuts
Since Audacity is an audio editing software, you can expect plenty of shortcuts to use while you’re busy editing your work. Most of these are similar to other shortcuts on other platforms, but here’s what you can expect with Audacity’s editing menu shortcuts:
- Cut: Ctrl + X
- Copy: Ctrl + C
- Paste: Ctrl + V
- Select All: Ctrl + A
- Cut Track: Ctrl + Shift + T
- Split Stereo Track: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + T
- Split Cut: Ctrl + Shift + L
- Split Stereo to Mono: Ctrl + K
- Trim Audio: Ctrl + L
- Duplicate: Ctrl + Shift + D
- Mix: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + M
- Adjustments > Balance: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + B
- Normalize: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N
Audacity Editing Keys
Some helpful keys that might make editing your audio easier for you are Aduacity’s editing key shortcuts:
- Spacebar: Play and Stop
- Apply Default Effect: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + D
- Effect Menu: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E
- Change Project Rate: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + P
- Split Stereo Track: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + T
- Seek Backward/Forward: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right
- Skip Backward/Forward: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Up/Down
- Move Cursor Backward/Forward: Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right
- Move Cursor to Start/End: Ctrl + Alt + Up/Down
- Select Region Backward/Forward: Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right
- Select Region Start/End: Ctrl + Shift + Up/Down
- Play Selection: Ctrl + Shift + Space
- Repeat Last Effect: Ctrl + Shift + R
Audacity Playback and Recording
There are plenty of Audacity shortcuts that pertain to recording and playback. Here are the ones we think are the most important to know about:
- Record: Ctrl + R
- Play/Stop: Spacebar
- Play/Stop Selection: Ctrl + Shift + Space
- Pause: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K
- Record New Track: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R
- Record/Pause: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + T
- Record/Monitor: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + U
- Record/Mute: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + V
- Record/Overdub: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + W
- Record/Play: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + X
- Record/Stop: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Y
While a lot of people prefer to navigate around Audacity with their mouse, there are several great navigation shortcuts that you can use. If you want to use your keyboard for navigation, here are the best Audacity navigation shortcuts:
- Zoom In/Out: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Page Up/Down
- Zoom to Fit/Selection: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Home/End
- Zoom Out/In: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Minus/Plus
- Zoom to Preset Level: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + 1-9
- Zoom to Original Level: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + 0
- Seek Backward/ForwardCtrl + Alt + Left/Right
- Skip Backward/Forward: Ctrl + Alt + Up/Down
- Move Cursor Backward/Forward: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right
- Move Cursor to Start/End: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Up/Down
- Scroll Left: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left Bracket
- Scroll Right: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Right Bracket
Change Your Keyboard Shortcuts in Audacity
The best part about Audacity is that while they come with keyboard shortcuts, they allow you to customize your experience. Here’s how you can change the keyboard shortcuts so they make more sense to you.
Open the Preference Window in Audacity
Once you log into Audacity, you’ll want to navigate to the preference window of your account. You’ll find the menu selections that allow you to go to the “edit” menu, and then you’ll see a prompt for keyboard shortcuts.
Be sure to click on the keyboard shortcuts menu option and wait for that to open before moving on to the next step.
Search for the Function/Affect You Want To Assign a Shortcut
You can scroll through until you find the function you want to change, or if you’re impatient, use the search shortcut to search for the specific function you want to change.
Assign the Function/Effect to the Key You Want
Click on the shortcut you want to change and enter your new shortcut. Doing this will save it in your account, and that will be your new shortcut for whatever function until you change it back or to something else.
While it’s cool to be able to assign your own shortcuts when working with Audacity, you need to remember that when you change a shortcut, it can affect another shortcut in the system and cause it to stop working.
The best way to avoid that is to choose a shortcut that isn’t similar to any of the others on our list or in their shortcut manual.
Other Cool Shortcuts
So many shortcuts are provided for you in Audacity already, but we’re not finished yet! Check out these other cool shortcuts that you might find useful when you’re using the platform:
- Undo: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Z
- Redo: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Y
- Find Zero Crossings: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F
- Silence Audio: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H
- Change Speed: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + J
- Generate Tone: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + G
- Import Raw Data: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + I
- Export Selected Audio : Ctrl + Alt + Shift + O
The best part about using Audacity is that if you want to add additional shortcuts, you can do that from the preference menu. While they come with so many, you can come up with more cool shortcuts that work best for your audio editing and recording process.