Proposal: Rationalizing where new tracks are created to aid usability and consistency

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Revision as of 12:59, 4 March 2020 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (Use Cases: ===From User CharlieSummers on the Forum=== ...)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to rationalize where new tracks are created to aid usability and consistency.
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.

The Problem

Where new tracks are created has mostly been out of the control of the user. Mostly these are placed at the end (bottom) of the project which may no be ideal particularly for users with large multi-track projects.

We have received Feature Requests from users who woulkd like to control where new tracks are placed in their project.

Proposed Feature


Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter
  • Steve wrote in the email discussion thread on the Quality list==Developer/QA Backing==
    • I'd be happy with "Add track" adding a track below the track that has focus, if the behaviour is the same with other actions where:
      1. One or more tracks are added.
      2. The action does NOT act on and is NOT affected by selected audio.
  • Robert (Accessibility)

Use Cases

From User CharlieSummers on the Forum

Is there any way to coerce Audacity to create a new track under the currently-selected/working track instead of at the bottom? My workflow is such that after importing the tracks for the weekly show, I need to create tracks (mono and label, mostly) for copy/paste from other windows (voice tracking, interstitials, etc.). They show up at the bottom, and need to be dragged upwards to the currently-working area past all the imported tracks, fixed ending tracks, and such; which is...awkward with a lot of over-under-shooting, especially when I'm tired or in a hurry. (Deadlines? DEADLINES???)

Is there some secret key combination I don't know about that will create the track (regardless of type) directly below the currently-focused track instead of way down there?


The behavior varies depending on the command used and whether or not a selection exists.

These commands should create the new track after the currently focused track

The behaviour would thus be the same for:

  • Tracks > Add New > ... Track
  • Generate > ... when there is no selection
  • Analyze > ... when no label track is selected
  • Transport > Recording > Record - Append record when there are insufficient track channels selected
  • Transport > Recording > Record New Track
  • Transport > Recording > Timer Record
  • Tools > Detect Upstream Dropouts

These commands should create the new track after the last (bottom-most) selected track

but would NOT apply to actions that require a track selection. In these cases the commands act on the selection and indifferent to where focus happens to be, so I would expect the new tracks to be relative to the selection.

  • Tracks > Mix and Render
  • Tracks > Mix and Render to New Track
  • Edit > Duplicate
  • Edit > Clip Boundaries > Split New


In all cases Focus should be transferred to the new track.

GUI Examples

Not needed.

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

  • P3-ENH Bug #2219 - ENH: Add new track places the track at the bottom of the project - should be under user control
  • P3-ENH Bug #2220 - ENH: Duplicate command places the duplicate track(s) at the bottom of the project -not under the selected track(s)


  • P2 Bug #2214 - Rendering a single track unnecessarily moves the track to project bottom