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Working with Markers in Final Cut Pro X

Ashley Kennedy

Use markers in Final Cut Pro X to add digital post-it notes and to-do items to your editing environment!

Adding markers in Final Cut Pro X is a great way to share information about your sequence with others, or to remind yourself of things you need to do.  You’re probably already familiar with the basics of markers, but this post will discuss a number of marker-related shortcuts that will serve you well.

Marker Basics

To add a marker:

  1. Park the playhead on the desired frame in the Timeline, and press m.  A blue marker will be inserted.
  2. Press “m” again to open the Marker dialog box where you can change the name of the marker.

    If you want to open the Marker dialog box immediately, press Option + m.
  3. If you want to change the marker into a To Do item, press the Make To Do Item button in the Marker dialog box.  A red marker will be inserted, instead of a blue one.  Additionally, the Make To Do Item button will change to a Completed check box.

    If you check the Completed box, the marker will turn green, and will signify a Completed Task.

Marker shortcuts

There are a number of keyboard shortcuts that are helpful when working with markers.

  • To go to the next marker: Ctrl + ‘ (apostrophe)
  • To go to the previous marker: Ctrl + ; (semicolon)
  • To nudge a marker one frame at a time to the left: Park on the marker, and press Control + , (comma).
  • To nudge a marker one frame at a time to the right: Park on the marker and press Control + . (period).
  • To remove a marker: Park on the marker, and press Control + m(You can also park on the marker, then press m to open the marker dialog box, and then press the Delete button, or right-click on a marker and choose Delete Marker.)
  • To copy and paste a marker: Right-click on a marker, and choose Copy.  Then, paste it in another location in your Timeline by pressing Command + V.  The marker, along with the marker contents, is pasted in the new location.

Working with Markers in the Timeline Index

It’s often convenient to display your markers as a chronological list, and then search that list for a particular keyword.  Fortunately, you can easily do this via the Timeline Index menu.

  1. Open the Timeline Index, which is accessible via the button in the lower-left corner of the Timeline.
  2. Click on the Markers tab.  If you have a lot of markers, you can search through them all via the Search box at the top, or you can simply jump to any of of your markers by clicking on their titles within the Timeline Index.
  3. To display your To Do items, click on the To Do tab.  You can likewise search for, or jump to, these To Do items, as in #2.

    You can check off To Do items by clicking in the red box to the left of the title of the To Do item.
  4. When you complete a task, it shows up under the completed tasks in the Timeline index.

As you can see, markers are a great way to organize editing tasks and communicate your needs to others in the post production process.  You can also use them for tasks like cutting to the beat of music.