Completed Proposal Menu Reorganisation

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Revision as of 12:27, 21 January 2010 by James (talk | contribs) (Using proposal template to assign categories.)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This proposal page is about reorganising the menus.
Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.

  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.

Proposed Feature

One driver for reorganising the menus is to avoid the problems that arise from having 'export' and 'save' as different functions. The options there can with care be merged so that there are fewer menu items.

The Audacity menus have also become rather complex with numerous options, especially when label linking is enabled.

Developer Backing

  • James Crook - In favour of certain changes suggested here.

Use Cases

  • New users of Audacity who are confused about export and save, or what the menu items actually mean
  • Experienced users of Audacity who feel the menus are too long or verbose


Subject to discussion. Some options to choose from below:


  • Gale: I'd prefer ... menu changes clarifying save and export (e.g. moving "save" down), adding a line to the project save warning about keeping .aup and _data together, and warning every time you import an aliased file (either until you turn the warning off, or a one-time warning).

Save Simplification

  • Replace Save-Project|Save-Project-As|Save-Compressed-Project-As|Export|Export-Selection|Export-Multiple by Save|Save-As|Save-Special.

Save is only for saving in .aup format. Save-As and Save-Special would actually both allow the full range of saving options through an extended custom save dialog. The Save-Special however is more-in-your-face about showing you the options. With Save-Special before you get to the save-as dialog you get an options dialog to select whether you are saving just the selection or the whole project. You'll also be told what sample rate you are saving at, and be given the option of changing that. If you use Save-Special you will see the options for the choice you have made and you get a radio button choice for the audio type, with wav and mp3 given prominence - the file extension is then defaulted from the type. If instead you use Save-As you don't automatically get shown that choice, and the audio type is defaulted from the name.

Edit Simplification

  • Replace Split/Split-Cut/Split-New/Split-Delete/Paste/Paste-Text-Labels/Copy/Trim/Silence-Audio/Detach-At-Silences/Duplicate/Join/Delete, by Copy/Cut/Paste/Trim/Delete/Duplicate/Join

Haven't really worked out exactly how to reduce the menu, but there seem to be way too many options here. For now this is just a placeholder for noting that some simplification is being thought about.


Gale: Give the users visual clues that are in their face. Look at GIMP. Every menu item has a hover tooltip which is duplicated in the Status Bar. It would have to have a Preference to turn it off (as it does in GIMP).

Not sure if this should be here or as an alternative solution to Save vs Export on Top Usability Issues. I think it belongs here. It is a possible way of avoiding the need to use a longer menu wording than needed, and the text is driven by the menus.