Playback & Navigation Overview

Descript's playback and navigation features allow you to identify your current location in the Script and Timeline editors and quickly navigate through a Composition while editing. These features are comprised of two important elements: the Transport controls and the Playhead indicator.




The Transport is the main playback and navigation control center visible at the top of the Descript application window. Here you will find buttons to control playback, adjust playback speed, record and more.


Transport Controls

  • Seek 5s ← - This button will move the playhead back 5 seconds.
  • Play / Pause (Space key) - Press once to begin playback. Press again to pause playback.
  • Seek 5s → - This button will move the playhead forward 5 seconds.
  • Playback Speed - This button will open a window with a slider for increasing or decreasing your playback speed. It also has controls for adjusting Patient Playback for when you want Descript to automatically slow down while making corrections.
  • Record Button - Opens the Recording menu which lets you configure your recording settings.
  • Timecode Display - Shows the current time location of the playhead in your Composition.
  • Marker Selector - This dropdown allows you to jump to any Markers you have added to the Composition.
  • Level Meter - Provides a realtime visual indicator of your volume levels during playback.

Navigation Shortcuts

Do you love shortcuts? So do we! Speed up your workflow with our list of Playback keyboard shortcuts.



The playhead indicates the starting position of your playback audio and is represented in the Script and Timeline as a vertical blue line. During playback, the playhead will also highlight the current word.




The Autoscroll button will appear on the right-hand sidebar after you've scrolled away from the viewable playhead in either the Script or Timeline. Simply click the blue button or press Esc and your window will automatically refocus back on the rolling playhead.