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NEWS & TUTORIALS

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Final Cut Pro X Shortcuts – The Big Cheat Sheet

Ashley Kennedy
By Ashley Kennedy
By Ashley Kennedy

Master these important keyboard shortcuts to edit with ease and efficiency in Final Cut Pro X!

The most efficient editors tend to master major keyboard shortcuts, without relying strictly upon user interface buttons and commands.  Use this cheat sheet to help ingrain the editing commands you use most in Final Cut Pro X!

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Shortcuts for Accessing Tools and Windows

The following keyboard shortcuts will access the most-often used windows and tools within Final Cut Pro X:

 

Command Shortcut Description UI Icon
Open Inspector Command+4 The Inspector allows you to find detailed video and audio information about your media.  It is also where you modify various video, audio and effects parameters for your clips.
Open FCP X Preferences Command+ , (comma)
The Preferences window is where you can set various editing, playback and effects options.
N/A
Show or Hide the Project Library Command+O The Project Library is where you can view and access all of the projects on your system.
Show or Hide the Timeline Index Shift+Command+2 The Timeline Index shows you a list of all of the material—clips, markers, keywords, to-do items, etc.—that you have in your Timeline.  By clicking on any particular item within the Timeline Index, you can jump to that location in the sequence.
Show or Hide the Keyword Editor Command+k The Keyword Editor allows you to access and add keywords for your clips.  Find out more here.
Open the Command Editor Command+Option+k The Command Editor allows you to customize your keyboard shortcuts and search for FCP X editing commands. N/A
Show or Hide the Background Tasks window Command+9 The Background Tasks window is where you can check the status of background renders, imports, analyses, transcodes, etc.
Show or Hide the Audio Meters Command+Shift+8 The Audio Meters allow you to check the db level of your audio for clips in the Timeline or Event Browser.
Show or Hide the Color Board Command+6 The Color Board allows you to manipulate the color, saturation and exposure of your clips. N/A
Show or Hide Audio Animation Control+a
Shows or Hides Audio Animation for selected clip(s) to allow you to keyframe audio. N/A
Show or Hide Video Animation Control+v Shows or Hides Video Animation for selected clip(s) to allow you to keyframe video effects. N/A

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Editing Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts will activate the primary editing functions within Final Cut Pro X:

 

Command Shortcut Description UI Icon
Insert Edit w An Insert Edit will insert the selected clip at the location of the skimmer or playhead.  All downstream clips will shuffle down to accommodate the edit.
Overwrite Edit d An Overwrite Edit will overwrite the selected clip at the location of the skimmer or playhead. N/A
Append Edit e An Append Edit will add the selected clip to the end of the storyline.
Connect to Primary Storyline q The Connect to Primary Storyline command will connect the selected clip to the primary storyline (above or below) at the location of the skimmer or playhead.
Video Only Edit
Audio Only Edit
Option+2
Option+3
You can choose whether to edit video only or audio only into the Timeline at the location of the skimmer or playhead. N/A
Mark IN point
Mark OUT point
i
o
Marking IN and OUT points allows you to set the boundaries of the clips that you edit into the Timeline N/A
Delete (Extract)
Replace w/ Gap
Delete
Forward Delete
Pressing the Delete key will extract the selection from the Timeline.
Pressing the Forward Delete key (Fn+Delete on a laptop) will lift the selection and replace it with a gap clip.
N/A
Select (Arrow) Tool a
The Select Tool allows you to grab clips and move them around within the magnetic timeline.
Trim Tool t The Trim Tool allows you to perform rolls, slip edits and slide edits.
Position Mode p The Position Tool overrides the magnetic timeline and allows you to grab clips and move them around within gaps.
Range Selector r The Range Selector allows you to select a range that spans a portion of a clip or multiple clips. You can mark these ranges with ratings and keywords, apply effects to them and modify them in other ways.
Blade Tool b The Blade Tool allows you to split a selected clip in half.
Mark as Favorite
Reject Clip
f
Delete
Selecting a clip and pressing the f key will Favorite it, while pressing Delete will Reject it.
Add marker
Add marker/modify
Delete marker
m
Option+m
Control+m
Adds a marker at the location of the skimmer or playhead.  To edit the marker’s text, press m again, or press Option+m to add and modify. N/A
Render selection
Render all
Control+r
Shift+Control+r
Render selection allows you to start rendering tasks for a selection in your Timeline; Render all allows you to start all rendering tasks. N/A
Break Apart Clip Items Command+Shift+g Selecting Break Apart Clip Items breaks a clip into its component parts. N/A
New Compound Clip Option+G If you lasso several clips and select New Compound Clip, the clips will form one compound clip, which you can modify as one. N/A
Add Cross Dissolve Command+t
Adds a cross dissolve at selected transition. N/A
Copy Effects
Paste Effects
Command+Opt+c
Command+Opt+v
Allows you to copy and paste the effect parameters from one clip to another. N/A
Match Audio
Match Color
Command+Shift+m
Command+Opt+m
Matches sound and color between clips, respectively. N/A
Import Media
Import Files
Command+i
Command+Shift+i
The Import Media command will open the Camera Import window, which will allow you to capture or import media. (Shown at left.)
The Import Files command will open the Import Files window, which allows you to navigate to the desired files for import.
Export Movie Command+e The Export Movie command exports the selected project as a movie file. N/A

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Useful Modifiers for Common Navigation Tasks

Use these modifiers to help streamline the most common Final Cut Pro X navigation tasks:

 

Command Shortcut Description UI Icon
Zoom to Fit
Zoom In
Zoom Out
Shift+z
Command +
Command -
Zoom to Fit will auto-fit your entire sequence in the Timeline view.  Zooming In and Out will incrementally increase or decrease the zoom factor. N/A
Go to Event Browser
Go to Timeline
Go to Viewer
Command+1
Command+2
Command+3
These commands activate the three main windows in FCP X — the Event Browser, the Timeline and the Viewer. N/A
Go fwd 1 frame
Go back 1 frame
Go fwd 10 frames
Go back 10 frames
Right Arrow
Left Arrow
Shift+Left Arrow
Shift+Right Arrow
Self-descriptive. N/A
Nudge Left
Nudge Right
Nudge Left 10 frames
Nudge Right 10 frames
Nudge Up
Nudge Down
, (comma)
. (period)
Shift+, (comma)
Shift+. (period)
Option+Up Arrow
Option+Down Arrow
Self-descriptive. N/A
Go to next edit
Go to previous edit
Go to next marker
Go to prev. marker
‘ (apostrophe)
; (semicolon)
Control+’
Control+;
Self-descriptive. N/A
Play Forward
Pause
Play Reverse
j
k
l
Press J once to go backwards in real time.  Press J again to go 2x speed (backwards), again to go 3x speed, and so on.
Press L once to go forwards in real time.  Press L again to go 2x speed (forwards), again to go 3x speed, and so on.
Press K and L together to move backwards in slow motion.
Press K and J together to move forwards in slow motion.
N/A
Play selection / (slash) Plays the selected portion of the clip or timeline N/A
Turn on/off video and audio skimming s
Turning off video and audio skimming makes the playhead behave like previous versions of FCP, where the playhead did not skim over the footage without clicking the mouse.
Turn on/off audio skimming Shift+s
Turning off audio skimming allows the playhead to navigate through the Timeline soundlessly.
Enable/disable snapping n
Disabling snapping will prevent the playhead from snapping to edit points in the Timeline.