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Playback and navigation

Descript's playback and navigation features allow you to see where you are in the script and Timeline and play your composition. These features are comprised of two elements: the transport and playhead.


The transport is the main playback and navigation control center and is located at the top of the Timeline.


Transport_forward_5.png Skip to next marker
Transport_back_5.png Skip to previous marker
Transport_play.png Play at playhead
Transport_pause.png Pause at playhead
Transport_ellipses.png Access menu for playback speed

Playback Speed

Have you ever felt like it takes too long to listen through your media while editing? Changing your playback speed allows you to listen at up to 3x the normal speed! Check out our How to adjust playback speed video guide for a walkthrough.

Keep in mind that this only adjusts playback while editing in Descript. If you want to adjust the speed of clips on your exported files, see the Looping and clip speed adjustment article.


The playhead indicates the starting position of your playback media and is represented in the script as a blue cursor and in the timeline as a vertical blue line. During playback, the playhead will also highlight the current word in your script.

Screenshot of the playhead in the Script editor and Timeline

Navigating frame by frame

In your project, you now have the ability to go through each frame one at a time. This is accomplished by pressing the left or right arrow keys. This is especially useful when you need to pinpoint a specific frame for precise edits or to add new video or audio content. For a quicker navigation through your project's timeline, simply hold down an arrow key. This method allows for quickly scrub through your content.

Timeline Focus

To navigate frame by frame using the left and right arrow keys, make sure the Timeline is the active editor panel. This can be done easily by clicking anywhere on the Timeline.

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