Open a Sound File
You will need to have an audio file available to edit. If you don't have one and you are online then download an MP3 from somewhere. Make sure its not too big, a 1 minute file is fine. Choose the 'Open' option from the File menu :
You will then be presented with a window where you can browse to the location of the audio file on your computer :
You can see in the above example there are a couple of audio files. I will click on one (06_ice_cake.mp3) :
If I now press OK the file will be imported into Audacity.
Now its worth noting that Audacity has its own way of storing audio files. These are known as 'Audacity project files'. So when audio is imported into Audacity it is stored in the Audacity format. You cannot then go and edit these files with another audio editor unless you first export the file to another format (for example, to MP3).
Once the import has finished you will see the audio file displayed in the Audacity window :