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Tutorial: Final Cut Pro X Tips from a Final Cut Pro 7 Editor

July 2011

Final Cut Pro X Tips
from a Final Cut Pro 7 Editor

By Richard Taylor

Final Cut Pro X, FCPX, is a new V1.0 application. It is not an update to Final Cut Pro 7. To help make the transition easier for those who actually want to use FCPX, I’m assembling some of the tips that I use while editing with FCPX. I'll update this list as I continue to work with it. Keyboard shortcuts are in parenthesis.

1. Turn Live Video skimming/scrubbing on/off
Skimming can be toggled on and off with a keyboard shortcut (S) or via the Skimming icons in the Timeline. Audio skimming shortcut is (Shift + S). I've found turning Skimming on and off a bit flaky.

2. Add Edit
is now called Blade (Cmd + B). This performs the edit/cut at the Playhead location and is different from just selecting the Blade tool (B) which then requires a click on the media to perform the edit.

3. Enable/Disable Clips
Select a clip in Timeline and enable/disable it with the keyboard shortcut (V).

4. If you DON’T want to copy your media to your start up drive (the default setting),
in Preferences (Cmd + ,) and uncheck “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder”. Your media will then be referenced from its original location on your hard drive (you did make a copy on your media hard drive, didn’t you?). You can also save to an Events Folder on a drive other than your startup drive.

5. Add Audio keyframe
Option + click the audio clip volume line in an audio clip in the Timeline.

6. Restoring the window layout pane hang.
Problems with FCPX? I have a problem during launch with FCPX getting stuck at the "Restoring the window layout" pane.

Deleting the FCPX preference file fixes it temporarily. It is located in your
User > Library > Preferences >

Quit FCPX, trash this preference file and relaunch FCPX. This works for me but I have to repeat it often. This hang happens on two MacPros and an iMac.

7. Customize the Keyboard Layout
FCPX’s powerful Command Editor (CMD + OPT + K) is the former Keyboard Editor. I’m customizing mine as much as I can to my customized FCP7 layout settings that I have been using for years.

Here I have set F9, like in FCP7, as an Insert edit. The default FCPX shortcut is W.

FCPX’s new Command Editor, formerly the Keyboard Editor

8. Stop using Cmd + S
as a keyboard shortcut to manually save your FCPX project. You can no longer manually save your project because FCPX is saving it continuously in the background.

9. Video only or Audio only edits in the Timeline.
Video only (OPT + 2), Audio only (OPT + 3).

10. Media Offline.
When saving media to my media drive instead of the FCPX default startup drive location, I’ve had media go offline even when the media is clearly online. I just import the media back into the Event Library and the media reconnects. Hopefully Apple will offer at least a bug fix update for FCPX soon.

Meet the new Media Offline warning in FCPX

11. Magnetic Timeline driving you nuts?
You can kinda turn it off by using the Position Tool (P) rather than the Select tool (A). Using the Position tool allows you to place clips where you want them in the Timeline. You can then leave gaps and effectively turn off the magnetic snapping feature during clip placement.

12. Match Frame
is now called "Reveal In Events Browser" (SHIFT + F). The clip that is under the playhead in your Timeline will be revealed in the Events Browser.

13. Perform an Overwrite edit,
from the Edit menu, shortcut (D). It was formerly the default edit in Final Cut Pro 7. There is no Overwrite icon in the Timeline toolbar.

To be continued.

This article also appears on and is reprinted here with permission.
Copyright © 2011 Richard Taylor. All rights reserved. Follow me on Twitter @RichardTaylorTV
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