Standards and Conventions

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Audacity aims to follow recognized standards and conventions whenever applicable. This includes the choice of terminology (see: Wording), Human interface guidelines, format specifications, and platform specific conventions. For various reasons, Audacity sometimes diverges from accepted norms. This page is for tracking known issues where Audacity contravenes accepted standards.
New features or behaviors that conflict with established standards should NOT be logged here. They should be logged as bugs on Bugzilla, and ideally be fixed prior to release.
Warning icon Human Interface Guidelines

There are multiple "Human Interface Guidelines" (HIGs) for Desktop applications, and by and large they agree with each other:


Right Click Behavior

Reference: Microsoft HIG.
Date Logged: 16Mar20

Occurances of Non-Standard Behavior:

  1. Right click drag to resize track height.ToDo.png


Amplitude Scale and Gain

Reference: Standard practice in audio software is to use dBFS for amplitude, and dB for gain.
Date Logged: 16Mar20

Description: Audacity is inconsistent in it's representation of amplitude, sometimes using dBFS (like the rest of the audio world) and sometimes using a linear scale of +/- 1. It is particularly confusing that Audacity's shipped generators use a linear scale of 0 to 1, and Audacity's shipped effects use dB.

Occurances of Non-Standard Behavior:

  1. Track vertical ruler in "Waveform" view ToDo.png
  2. Chirp ToDo.png
  3. DTMF Tones ToDo.png
  4. Noise ToDo.png
  5. Risset Drum ToDo.png
  6. Tone ToDo.png