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Fantastic 5: Essential Final Cut shortcuts & tips - Part 2

In this second edition of Final Cut Essential shortcuts and tips we'll take a look at some more editing and navigation tricks designed to speed up your workflow. Whether you're new to Final Cut or a more intermediate user read below to find out how to spend more time creatively editing and less time manually getting around the interface!

If you missed the first part, you can find it here: Super 7: Essential Final Cut shortcuts & tips.

01 - Open, Close and Select Windows

How many times have you pressed "L" or "Spacebar" to playback the clip in the Canvas only to see the playhead in the Viewer window playback or vice-versa? It can be annoying and most users reach for the mouse and click on the Viewer or Canvas or Timeline to select it as the active window.

However, try these key commands, which by default toggle open and close the four main windows, and also act as a way to select the windows if already open.

  • Command+1 Viewer
  • Command+2 Canvas
  • Command+3 Timeline
  • Command+4 Browser

If for example the Viewer is already selected pressing Command+1 once closes the window. Press it again and it re-appears. Pressing Command+2 now makes the Canvas window active. You can find the shortcuts for other windows such as the Effects and Favorites windows under the Windows menu.

02 - Disable Audio Scrubbing

Much like in iMovie 08-11 you can turn off audio scrubbing in Final Cut. As useful as this can be when performing edits to a voice over or music, when not needed it can simply serve to be a distraction.

To toggle audio scrubbing choose: View > Audio Scrubbing or hit the shortcut: Shift+S.

03 - Quick Slow-Motion Playback Controls

In the first article "Super 7: Essential Final Cut shortcuts & tips" we looked at excellent ways to use the J, K and L keys to quickly play forwards, back at multiple speeds. There are some useful ways to use these keys too.

To play in slow-motion forwards hold down K and L. Once you release the keys playback will stop. Likewise, hold down J and K to play backwards in slow motion.

04 - One Frame at a Time

When moving the playhead forward or backward by one frame, my instinct is to reach for the left and right arrow keys. However, there is no need to move your fingers from their J, K, L position to perform the same action.

Hold down the K key and tap L to move the playhead forward by one frame or tap J to move the playhead back by one frame.

This works a treat and makes the J, K and L keys absolutely indispensable. I wish that Apple's other Pro Apps like Logic, had a similar feature built-in.

05 - Ripple Delete

So, you've arranged all your clips perfectly in your Timeline but you notice that you don't want a section of a middle clip. Many users would do the following:

  1. Select the Blade tool
  2. Cut twice to separate the section of the clip not wanted
  3. Switch to the Selection tool
  4. Delete the clip - which leaves a gap between two clips!
  5. Select and manually move all the clips in order to close the gap.

It works but there is an easier way! Ripple Delete will delete the selected clip or section and automatically move any clips to it's right back to close the gap that would have been created. You can do this in three easy steps using the Selection tool only!

  1. Move the Playhead to where you would like to make the edit. Press "I".
  2. Move the playhead to the end of where you want to "cut" the clip and press "O".
  3. Shift-Backspace to perform a ripple delete. Done!

To learn more about Final Cut check out these tutorials and please do share any Final Cut tips, tricks and shortcuts below.

Rounik Sethi

Rounik Sethi | Articles by this author

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training program, facilitating workshops on using music and digital media tools in the classroom. If you're looking for Rounik, you'll most likely find him (and his articles) on Ask.Audio & macProVideo.com.

Comments

Dec 08, 2010
fredwardo
Hey Rounik,

It's funny you should mention Logic when discussing Final Cut shortcuts. I spent several months editing in FCP and when I finally finished and had time to play around with Logic again, I found myself pulling my hair out because I kept trying to use the FCP shortcuts in Logic. It rarely did what I wanted and beeped at me quite often. :)

Anyway, thanks again for the great tips!
Dec 09, 2010
Rounik
Hey Ed, I hear you!! The same has happened to me in the past. Especially when zooming. Hitting Command "+" in Logic doesn't make for a quick way to zoom around Logic... then again, the beauty of Logic is just how customisable the key commands are.

btw, have you noticed in Logic 9.1.x Logic no longer beeps when an unrecognised key command is pressed... it flashes instead!

Thanks
R
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