Audacity for blind users

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This page contains information for blind users of the Audacity sound editor. For general information about Audacity, see the Audacity web site.

The current stable Audacity 1.2.x series does not have any special support for blind users. Many tasks are difficult or impossible without a mouse. But with some cleverness, you can do quite a bit of useful editing using the tips below.

However the Audacity developers have been working on significantly better keyboard and screen-reader access in the Beta 1.3.x versions of the program, which will see light in the next stable 1.4.0 version. A very important feature of the Beta (1.3.2 and later) versions is the ability to fully manipulate the track selection using the keyboard. Visually impaired users are strongly encouraged to use the Beta version in preference to 1.2.x. The improvements for the visually impaired in the Beta are not yet fully documented, but the two external links at the bottom of this page will give you much useful information. That said, Audacity does not work especially well at the moment with the Apple OS X VoiceOver inbuilt screen reader, primarily because there is no current support for it in the wxWidgets GUI library which Audacity uses.

Tips (mainly applicable to 1.2.x versions of Audacity)

Mailing List

You can join the audacity-users mailing list, where other blind users are helping find ways to use and improve Audacity:

audacity-users mailing list

External links

A Guide to using Audacity 1.3.3 with the JAWS screenreader for Windows by David Bailes/ Includes hints for navigating 1.3.3 without the mouse which should be helpful to users on all operating systems.

Audacity4blind website and mailing list