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The Beauty of Nudge in Pro Tools
Mike Watkinson on Fri, June 3rd | 0 comments
Nudging regions or selections, that is moving them left or right by a predetermined amount, is a fundamental part of the editing process. In a previous Quick Tip we looked at nudging in Logic Pro...

Nudging regions or selections, that is moving them left or right by a predetermined amount, is a fundamental part of the editing process. In a previous Quick Tip we looked at nudging in Logic Pro, but in this one we focus on Pro Tools - how to nudge, what you can nudge and adjusting the nudge value.


Step 1 - Selections and Regions 

You can nudge a selected region, the edit cursor, an edit selection, and it's start and end points. Pressing + (plus) and - (minus) on the numeric keypad nudges forwards and backwards, and this will work on:

  • A selected region (the whole region moves)
  • An edit selection (the whole selection moves)
  • The edit cursor (i.e. single click with the Selector tool)


Step 2 - Adjusting a Selection

Adding the Option key allows you to adjust the left (or leading) edge of a region or selection. Adding the Command key allows you to adjust the right (or trailing) edge of a region or selection.

Nudging the edges of a selection

Nudging the edges of a selection


Step 3 - Adjusting Regions

When nudging a selected region with either of these keys held down the region boundaries are trimmed. Having selected a region, to move the selection independently of the region, hold down the Shift key. To move the underlying audio while retaining the region position, hold down the Control key. These commands will apply to selected regions, and any regions that are fully included within a larger selection.


Step 4 - Timeline Selection

The above commands also changes the timeline selection, but only if ‘Link Timeline and Edit Selection’ is enabled in the toolbar.

Link Timeline and Edit Selection enabled

Link Timeline and Edit Selection enabled


Step 5 - Commands Keyboard Focus Mode

With this mode enabled (see image) a different set of simpler QWERTY keyboard-based shortcuts come into play. For nudging back and forward these are , (comma) and . (period) - perhaps more easily remembered as < (left arrow) and > (right arrow). You can also use M and / (forward slash) for Nudge back/forward by next nudge value i.e. nudging in crotchets if the current nudge value is quavers.

Commands Keyboard Focus Mode itself is activated with the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+1 (numeric keypad). Move Keyboard Focus Mode to the Group List or Region List with Command+Option+2 and 3 respectively if you wish to deactivate this mode. One advantage of being in Commands Keyboard Focus Mode is that the nudging commands listed above affect the timeline selection only, if Link Timeline and Edit Selection is disabled.

Regular keyboard shortcuts for nudging will affect the Edit selection only, if Link Timeline and Edit Selection is disabled.

Commands Keyboard Focus Mode enabled

Commands Keyboard Focus Mode enabled


Step 6 - Changing the Nudge Value

Being able to change the Nudge value is of paramount importance, of course. The Nudge value pop-up selector is in the toolbar (see image) and this has a range of options. At the bottom of the menu is Follow Main Time Scale. With this ticked, the range of available values will change when you change the main Time Scale. Alternatively you can manually select a different set of values by choosing one of the Time Scales in the menu (see image). Finally, select your nudge value. 

Hold down Command and Option while pressing + and - (numeric keypad) to change the nudge value with a keyboard shortcut.

The Nudge value pop-up menu in the Toolbar

The Nudge value pop-up menu in the Toolbar


Get the more tips and tricks in the Pro Tools 9 101 video tutorial.

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