What is “Snap” and “Grid”?

“Snap” will cause mouse drags to jump to the nearest snap setting.
Snap can be set to multiple options: markers, region start/ends, and the grid. ( those are all enabled by default. change them in prefs )

Grid can be enabled, and it will draw lines at selected intervals; which can be musical, like 16th notes, or can be timecode based ( minutes and seconds ) . You can leave the Grid enabled, but snap disabled, if you just want to see the lines but not snap to them.

For example: if the Grid is set to “beats” and Snap-to-grid is enabled, then any operations such as split, paste, or range-select will happen exactly on a beat, according to the musical timeline and tempo.

Alternatively, you can leave “Snap” enabled ( so your mouse actions can snap to Markers, or region edges ) but disable the Grid.

Snap Options:

General Snap Options:

  • Snap Threshold (pixels) (default 25) : when you are within this distance of a snap-able location, the mouse will jump to the snap-able location.
  • Show “snapped cursor” : when enabled, and you are using the Mouse as Edit Point, a blue line will appear where the “snap” is going to occur.
  • Snap rubberband selection to grid : when you select a “box” with the grab tool, this determines whether the box edges will Snap, or not.
  • Grid switches to alternate selection for Internal Edit tools : when you switch from a regular tool to an “internal editing” tool ( Draw or Edit ), the Grid will automatically switch modes. In the past, this was used to increase the Grid precision when drawing MIDI notes. With the current “Scalable Grid” implementation, this is no longer very useful so it is defaulted “off”.
  • Rulers automatically change to follow the Grid mode selection : If enabled, when you select a Grid, the appropriate ruler for that grid will appear.

“When Snap is Enabled, Snap To”

It is possible to select multiple “Snap” options simultaneously.

  • Markers: When enabled Mouse Operations will snap to the nearest timeline location marker
  • Region Sync Points : Mouse operations will snap to the nearest region Sync Points
  • Region Start : Mouse drags will snap to the nearest region “start”
  • Region End : Mouse drags will snap to the nearest region “end”
  • Grid: Mouse operations will snap to the visible grid lines, which correspond to the selected grid unit.

Grid override:

To temporarily disable the Grid while dragging, hold “ALT” while dragging. ( this option can be changed in “Preferences->User Interaction”)

Relative Snap:

Sometimes you want a region to move in units of the grid ( eight-notes, quarter-notes, or whatever ), but you want it to maintain the same offset from the grid. In this case, hold “Shift+ALT” while dragging, and the region or note will retain it’s relative offset from the grid. ( this option can be changed in “Preferences->User Interaction” )

Grid Units: (Menu>View>Snap to)

No Grid If this is selected, then no grid will be visible or effective.
Bars Whole bars.
Beats (i.e. quarter notes) Grid units consisting of various note-lengths (quarter-notes, sixteenths, triplets, etc)
Timecode; Frames/Seconds/Minutes The timecode duration refers back to the session settings.
MinSec Hours, Minutes, Seconds.
CD Frames For CD mastering. The CD Frame is the smallest data entity in the Red book standard.


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