Audacity Tip: Previewing a Cut

Audacity Tip: Previewing a Cut

Audacity is a fantastic free audio editing tool which allows you to carrying out editing tasks quickly and easily.

If you ever need to chop out a verse or other section of a song, you can do it easily in Audacity by highlighting the relevant section (drag the mouse across the blue wave) and pressing delete.  The section disappears and you can check your handy-work by playing back the song.

But what if you’d like to listen to a preview of the cut before you press delete?  Try these steps:

  1. Select the part of the song you’d like to cut out.  You can click-drag your mouse over the relevant section to select it.
  2. Fine-tune your selection if necessary by hovering your mouse at either end of the selected area.  You mouse pointer will turn into a hand and you can click and drag to adjust the size of the grey area.

    Fine-tune your selection

  3. To listen to a preview of the cut you’re about to make, press the letter C.  Audacity will play 1 second of the song before the cut, and 1 second after the cut – as if the selected area is not there.
  4. If you like what you hear, press Delete.  The selected area will disappear and the two remaining sections will join up automatically.

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By |2018-09-08T07:05:09+00:00October 16th, 2010|Macs and PCs, Teacher Tech Tips|6 Comments

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I love to simplify technology for music teachers. I help teachers from all around the world through the Midnight Music Community - an online professional development community where teachers can take online courses, ask questions and receive personalised help for the music tech goals.


  1. David Ahrens November 5, 2010 at 4:08 am - Reply

    This is a very useful tip. Thank you!

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  3. Gez December 14, 2016 at 10:35 am - Reply

    been looking for ages to find a simple preview of edit function. Just press C!!!! many thanks.

    • Katie December 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome! Took me ages to find it too!

  4. vz October 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    it is also possible to configure pre- and post- intervals via preferences (Ctrl+P) -> Playback -> Cut Preview

    • Katie October 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      Yes! Thanks for adding that tip 🙂

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