Completed Proposal Edit Menu Reorganization

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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to put "core" editing items back in the root of the menu, but retain its current length by moving "fringe" items out. This originally formed part of the extensive Proposal Menu Reorganisation but is moved here to provide focus on the Edit Menu.
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

The purpose of this Proposal is to make the Edit menu of manageable length (maximum 16 rows) while putting all "core" editing functions in the root of the menu. This is achieved by simplifying it - moving out "non-core" editing functions that are poorly understood as currently located in Edit Menu.

Background and current status

The Edit Menu previously attracted numerous complaints due to its length and complexity therefore submenus were created to group items and reduce its length. One grouping was "Remove Audio and Labels" which although conceptually clear had the disadvantage of "core" editing items not being in root of the menu. This has attracted some complaints as to the "hiding" of Cut and Delete, but the total number of complaints about the Edit Menu remained much lower than previously.

As of July 2014, Cut and Delete have moved back into root of the Menu, leaving four core editing items in a renamed "Remove Special" sub-menu. The total menu length has increased to 18 rows as a result.

Developer/QA Backing

  • Gale for the proposed Edit Menu (I recognise that which items should be removed and where they move to may be debated).


A suggestion made by Steve would replace the Labeled Audio group with a command to "Select Labeled Audio" then the root Edit menu items would be used to act on the labeled audio. This has a disadvantage of being an extra step but the advantage that effects could be run on labeled audio. Discontinuous multiple selections in the GUI have been proposed in Proposal TrackPanel Evolution.

Edit Menu

  • "Remove Audio or Labels" sub-menu removed (all its items are back in root).
  • "Paste Text to New Label" and "Labeled Audio" sub-menu moved to new "Labels" menu.
  • "Region" and "Play Region" sub-menus moved to View Menu.
  • Items that operate on the clipboard grouped together.
  • Items that only work on audio selection grouped together.
  • Focus on "core" editing functions with same length as current Edit Menu.
Proposed edit menu.png

View Menu

  • Added "Region" and "Play Region" (the "Region" submenu items say "Capture" and "Restore", instead of "Save" and "Restore"). There is strong user interest in making "Region" respect the zoom level and horizontal position that was captured. If that is implemented then Region makes even more sense in View Menu.
  • This menu now becomes quite long, but History could possibly be moved to a new Tools Menu or "Play Region" could perhaps be moved to Transport Menu.
Proposed view menu.png Proposed view region.png

Tracks Menu

  • "Add Label at Selection", "Add Label at Playback Position" and "Edit Labels" moved to new "Labels" menu. Most of the items in this menu now say "Tracks".
Proposed tracks menu.png

Labels Menu (new)

  • The first three items in this menu all create a new "label" (even if there are no tracks).
  • Labeled Audio acts on audio of labeled regions (multiple labels can be included in the selection). This item is specialised and probably not well understood, and there is a desire to replace it with mouse-driven multi-label selection with corresponding multi-label features added to Labels Editor. Moving Labeled Audio out of Edit Menu could make it clearer that these items operate differently than the comparably named items in root of Edit Menu (that is, clearer that what you select (labels) are not affected by the menu action).

    If Labeled Audio is replaced with mouse-driven multiple select, its place could be taken with new items in this menu to make it easier to delete, merge/split or move labels using the keyboard (it is notably unintuitive now to delete point labels using Edit Menu). Such items could also or instead be right-click context menu items when over label tracks.

Proposed labels menu .png