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How to Fast-Forward When Editing in Audacity

Updated March 23, 2017

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.

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  1. Launch Audacity. Open an audio file.

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

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

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

  5. Tip

    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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About the Author

Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.

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