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Final Cut Pro Shortcut: Enabling/Disabling Clips in the FCP Timeline

Danny Greer

In this post, we’ll take a quick look at how to enable and disable clips in a Final Cut Pro timeline using a simple shortcut.

This handy shortcut proves a huge time-saver when you are experimenting with multiple layers or previewing different effects and music.

To turn enable / disable clips in a Final Cut Pro timeline: 

  1. Highlight the clip whose “active status” you’d like to change
  2. Use the shortcut: Control + B

The shortcut is a bit like a light switch for clips.  Everytime you use it you are essentially toggling the clip “on or off”.  Clips that are disabled will be enabled, and vice-versa.

Instead of disabling an entire track you can actually select multiple clips (on multiple tracks) and then execute this keyboard shorcut to enable or disable them all… just make sure the clips are “unlinked” to select specific tracks (for more information about linking refer to this tutorial).  By disabling individual clips instead of turning off entire tracks, you won’t lose an entire track’s render files…a huge benefit.

Camera audio is often recorded on multiple channels, and thus different audio tracks (maybe the sound person used a lavalier, a boom and an on-board mic). Control + B allows you to quickly turn off any audio channels you don’t need (but also allows you to keep them on the timeline just in case).

Here’s another tip for using this shortcut:  When you just can’t decide which shot to use in a sequence, stack them on separate layers and try them both! Toggle the top video layer on and off with Control + B .

The uses for this little shortcut are endless.  It’s one that I find myself using everyday.  Make a concerted effort to integrate it into your post workflow and it will save you time and make your edit sessions run more smoothly!