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20 Timesaving Shortcuts for Final Cut Pro

Clay Asbury
By Clay Asbury
By Clay Asbury

Are you still using the legacy version of Final Cut Pro? Here are 20 must-know FCP shortcuts to speed up your video editing!

Final Cut Pro Shortcuts

I realize that a lot of editors are still using Final Cut Pro 7, so I thought I would revisit 20 of my favorite FCP shortcuts. Force yourself to start using shortcuts in your video editing work. They may seem cumbersome at first, but once committed to memory they’ll result in big time-savings and an overall more efficient video editing workflow.

Do you have a favorite Final Cut Pro shortcut not listed here? Share it in the comments below!

1. Mark a Clip

Shortcut: X
Action: When you put the playhead over a clip in the timeline it marks the clip. Option + X clears in and out points.

2. Fit to Window

Shortcut: Shift + Z
Action: Fits the timeline (or canvas/viewer) to the width of the window. Shift + Option + Z zooms to a selected clip (or range of clips).

3. Bin to New Tab

Shortcut: Option + Double-Click on a Bin
Action: Puts Bin on it’s own Tab, so it doesn’t float and get lost. If you do lose a bin behind the other windows, go to the menu>Window to find it. If your windows are a mess, Control + U will reset them to the default layout.

4. Move Playhead 1 Second

Shortcut: Shift + Right or Left Arrow
Action: Moves the playhead left or right one second. Good for slowly scanning through your timeline.

5. Change Track Height

Shortcut: Shift + T
Action: Big tracks make it easier to make adjustments in the timeline, but having small tracks allows you to see more layers.

6. Reset to Default

Shortcut: Control + U
Action: Got windows floating around haphazardly? This shortcut will quickly snap your project view back to it’s default state.

7. Make a Favorite

Shortcut: Option + F
Action: Apply a filter to a clip in the viewer.  Then use this shortcut to make that filter a favorite. The favorite now appears in the Effects tab in the FCP Browser.

8. Overwrite/Insert Video

Shortcut: Control + I and  Control + O
Action: Remember “I” for insert and “O” for override.  Used to target video in the timeline.

9. Toggle Views

Shortcut: Shift + H
Action: Use this shortcut to quickly switch between list and icon views in the FCP Browser.

10. Paste/Remove Attributes

Shortcut: Option + V or Command + Option +
Action: Once you copy the attributes of a clip you can paste them onto another clip by using the Option + V shortcut (once used you’ll be able to select which attributes you’d like to paste). Adding Command to Option + V will remove the attributes of a selected clip.

11. Toggle Waveforms

Shortcut: Command + Option+ W
Action: Seeing the waveforms will let you make more informed editing decisions about your audio but turning them off may result in better quality playback.

12. Overwrite Sequence Content

Shortcut: Command + F10
Action: Using this shortcut will keep sequences from nesting if you are editing a sequence into a sequence.

13. Trimming

Shortcut: V: Will move your playhead to the nearest edit point. U: Will toggle between ripple and roll. < and > will trim a frame left or right.
Action: You can also trim a clip numerically, Type + 5 to trim 5 frames right or -5 for 5 frames left.

14. Disable a Clip

Shortcut: Control + B
Action: Turn off clips if you’re not using them, but by doing so you will lose render files for that clip.

15. Target a Video Track

Shortcut: F6 plus the track number (F7 & F8 for audio 1 & 2).
Action: Use when adding a clip to a project with a shortcut.

16. Deselect or Lock Tracks

Shortcut: Option + Auto Select or Lock (on the left side of the timeline). Shift + F4: Locks All Video Tracks. F4 + number locks that track (F5 for audio)
Action: Lock your tracks to prevent future changes.

17. Create Markers in FCP

Shortcut: M
Action: Adds a marker to your FCP timeline.  Double-click M and the Edit Marker will open.

18. Clear Markers

Shortcut: Command + ~
Action: Using this shortcut will clear the marker you are parked on. Add Control (Control + ~) and you can quickly clear all markers.

19. In and Out to Selection

Shortcut: Option + A
Action: Turns your in and out points into a selection in your canvas/timeline.

20. Markers to In and Out

Shortcut: Control + A
Action: Turns two markers into an In and Out point.