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Navigating in Reaper

There are a number of ways to navigate in Reaper. Knowing them is the key to managing your projects quickly and efficiently. This article briefly outlines the main ones.

Basic Navigation

  • Cursor left and right scrubs back and forth in the project. This works in the same way as spinning a record back and forth by hand. You can hear what you are navigating through, even if you only press the key once. According to your preferences settings, you may only here the audio on the selected track.
  • Numpad plus and numpad minus zoom in and out. Ensure that you have the num-lock on for this to work. This directly effects the scrub rate discussed above. The more you press minus and zoom out, the fewer pixels per second you have, the faster you will scrub through the audio, i.e. the faster the imaginary hand will push the record.
  • page up and page down navigate you back and forward along the timeline in 1 bar/measure increments.
  • Control page up and page down navigate you back and forth along the timeline by 1 beat increments.
  • alt+home: move to beginning of current bar/measure
  • alt+end: move to beginning of next bar/measure.

Remember that, if you are playing the project and navigate by bar, beat etc, it will navigate from where play started, rather than from the current point that is playing.

It is worth noting that by default unless you change settings in project properties, the metronome is set to 120 beats per minute and the time signature is set to 4/4 so moving by a measure will move you by 2 seconds, and moving by a beat will move you half a second.

  • Press control cursor left or right to navigate to the start of the nearest item in that direction and select the item.
  • control shift cursor left and cursor right moves to previous or next item respectively keeping others selected, much in the same way as when selecting multiple words in text applications.
  • Control shift , and control shift . navigate to the start and end of the item you are on respectively.

You can do the same with control numpad 7 to move to left edge of item and control numpad 9 to move to the right edge of an item.

  • Control Home and Control end take you to start and end of project.
  • home and end used to navigate to the start and end of a time selection respectively. This is particularly useful when deleting large time selections. If you are at the end of the time selection when you delete its contents, you will be moved that length forward in the project. Pressing home then deleting it will mean that you are positioned at the point right after the deletion.

It's also worth a note, while the home and end key say move to start and end of loop, by default this works for time selections as well, since both time selections and loop points are linked. You can check if they are linked or unlinked in preferences/editing behavior.

  • Cursor up and down to select the nearest adjacent track in that direction. Pressing shift selects multiple tracks in the same way as elsewhere in windows.
  • Control tab switches between projects.


Markers are like a trail of breadcrumbs you can lay throughout a project to return to key places later. Another way to describe them would be like bookmarks. To lay a marker, simply press m or press control 1-0 to lay a marker and give it that number. If a marker with that number already exists, it will be moved to the edit cursor's position.

Press numbers 1 through 0 to navigate to markers 1-10. As implied above, these markers needn't appear in chronological order in the project. To navigate to markers outside this range, you will need more advanced navigation methods covered later in this article.

It is possible to name markers to make them more memorable. Ensure the marker you wish to name has focus and press control shift enter. The name edit field will have focus by default.


Regions are designated sections of a project. You may, for example, create regions to encapsulate verses and choruses of a song, or use them to split your project in to multiple files when rendering.

Regions can be created from time selections or selected items, either making each item its own region or one region for the group of items. You can also use an SWS action to convert markers to regions.

You can navigate to any of the first 10 regions of your project by pressing alt 1-0. Note that, if you are playing the project, the region you are in will finish playing first. This is called smooth seeking. To navigate to regions outside this range, you will need to use more advanced methods of navigation methods covered later in this article.

Envelope Points

Envelope points are the means by which effects, volume, panning and other parameters are automated. Automation is covered in another article, but it is possible to navigate through your project by envelope point.

  1. Select the track that has the envelope you want to navigate by.
  2. Press control l or control shift l to cycle through the available envelopes for that track.
  3. Once you have found the envelope you are looking for. Navigate back and forth through its points by pressing alt j and k. This will also move the edit cursor.

Alt shift j and alt shift k will move back and forth through envelope points leaving others selected.

Advanced Navigation

Navigating to Markers and Regions

Pressing control alt shift r will bring up the regionmarker manager. Tabbing to the list in this dialogue will give you access to all regions and markers in your project. If you are only interested in looking for either regions or markers, uncheck the checkbox you will find pertaining to that in which you are not interested. To navigate to a particular marker or region, simply arrow to it. In the case of markers, you will hear your play position change while you move through the list.

The 'jump to' dialogue

The most powerful and versatile means of navigation within reaper is the 'jump to' dialogue, accessed by pressing control j.

  • To navigate to a time index type (hour):(minutes):(seconds).milleseconds. You do not have to completely express a time value to the millisecond. Typing 01:30:00 will move you to 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can also enter a plus or minus sign to move forward or back by a specified value. So, if you're 20 minutes and 45.381 seconds in to your project and want to move 5 minutes forward, simply type +5:00 and you'll be there.
  • To navigate by bars/measures and beats type (bar/measure number).(Beat number).(beat percentage).
  • To navigate to a specific marker type m followed immediately by its number or name.
  • To navigate by region, type m followed by its number or name.
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Page last modified on May 01, 2017, at 01:36 PM