Topics Map > Software Guides > Audacity

Audacity: Editing Audio

Audacity, Version: 3.1.3. Be aware that different versions of Audacity will vary in appearance and functionality.



An audio file or recorded track needs to be present in order to start editing. See Audacity: Importing Audio Files and Audacity: Recording Audio for instructions.

Expand each section below to see its content.


To quickly trim a clip: 
  1. Hover over the beginning or end of a clip, toward the top. The cursor will change to a double-headed arrow.
  2. Click-and-drag to shorten the clip.
    • Trim the beginning: click-and-drag to the right.
    • Trim the end: click-and-drag to the left.



To cut out or delete a section of a clip:
  1. With the Selection Tool, click-and-drag to highlight the desired section to remove.
  2. Use one of the following methods:
    • Press the Delete key. The highlighted section will be removed.
    • Cut button from the Edit Toolbar: this will delete the highlighted section and move the rest of the audio left without splitting the track.
    • Split Cut: navigate to Edit > Remove Special > Split Cut. This will create two cuts in the track and leave a hole where the highlighted section was. The split section can now be pasted elsewhere.
    • Split Delete: navigate to Edit > Remove Special > Split Delete. Work the same way as Split Cut, except the section cannot be pasted.
To delete everything in the track except a highlighted section:
  1. With the Selection Tool, click-and-drag to highlight the desired section to keep.
  2. Click the Trim Audio button from the Edit Toolbar.


Splitting refers to cutting the track into subclips, which can be edited and moved independently. 

To split a clip:

  1. With the Selection Tool, click the desired moment of the track to move the playhead to it.
    • Alternatively, to split a section into its own subclip, click-and-drag to highlight the section.
  2. Right-click the clip, and select "Split Clip" from the pop-up that appears.


To split the clip into a new track:
  1. With the Selection Tool, click-and-drag to highlight the desired section.
  2. Navigate to Edit > Clip Boundaries > Split New.
To move clips, including subclips, click-and-drag from the top of the clip (near the clip name).

To undo a split, or to merge to clips together:
  1. With the Selection Tool, click-and-drag to highlight the clips.
  2. Navigate to File > Clip Boundaries > Join.



Silencing is useful for removing unwanted noises, such as dog barks or sighs, without creating holes or adjusting the timing of the track.

To silence a section:
  1. With the Selection Tool, click-and-drag to highlight the desired section to silence.
  2. Click the Silence Audio button from the Edit Toolbar.
Silence button


Silenced section


Be aware that all audio, no matter how quiet, has background noise. Silencing will remove all sound, including the background noise, and this sudden change can be obvious. Fill silenced sections with other sounds, whether it be recorded background noise or music.




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Keywords:Audacity, workshop, software, production, guide, editing, audio, cutting, trimming, splitting   Doc ID:86087
Owner:Misty B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2018-09-27 12:10 PDTUpdated:2022-04-12 10:16 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
Feedback:  2   0