How to Fast-Forward When Editing in Audacity

Written by seamus islwyn
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How to Fast-Forward When Editing in Audacity
Fast-forwarding through an audio recording allows you to quickly find an edit point. (NA/ Images)

Unlike an analogue tape-editing machine, the digital audio-editing program Audacity does not have a dedicated fast-forward button. If you want to move forward through a recording that you're editing, use Audacity's seek hotkeys to do so. Use the short seek hotkey to jump 1 second forward in the recording; use the long seek command to fast-forward 15 seconds. The seek times for both commands are customisable.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Launch Audacity. Open an audio file.

  2. 2

    Click the "Play" button to start listening to the recording.

  3. 3

    Press the right arrow key to fast-forward the recording by 1 second.

  4. 4

    Hold the "Shift" key and press the right arrow key to fast-forward the recording by 15 seconds.

Tips and warnings

  • Customise the fast-forward times in the Playback section of Audacity's Preferences window.
  • To jump to a specific point on a recording's waveform, hold the "Ctrl" key and click on the point.
  • Use the left arrow key to rewind the recording.
  • To move the cursor forward when playback is stopped, press the "." key.

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