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Quick Organizational Tips for Final Cut Pro

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011

Here are a few easy things you can do on a regular basis to make your Final Cut Pro project stay organized and efficient.

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    Perfect Catalogues

    When working on large projects in Final Cut Pro it is easy to permanently wreck your film by mixing up files. Organization is always key, but there often a few key things you can do to reduce accidents and clutter.

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    Save As

    The best way to automatically open the correct save file every time you go to work on your project is to use Save Project As at the end of each editing session. Make a new save file, date and label it. This way every time you are going to access this project you are able to quickly and accurately find the most recent update of the save file. If you don’t do this you are going to have to search through the increasing complicated Autosave Vault, a prospect that can leave you alienated.

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    Trash Preferences

    Trashing preferences is the kind of thing that should be done on a fairly regular basis to avoid complications. Awkward settings can be attributed for a huge number of consistent problems with Final Cut Pro and it is best to clear these out often. This should also be one of the first places you should look if there are problems loading and working the software.

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    Correct Labeling

    Make sure everything you are using is saved in properly labeled folders in their storage area from the very beginning of their capture or import. This way they will not have to be moved and it will be much harder for you to accidentally disconnect them from their representation in your Final Cut Pro project.

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    Browser Organization

    The same is true of what you have in your Browser. The second it makes an appearance, either through capture or import, it should be properly named and filed. This way it will always be where you can find it.

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    Finish First

    Make sure that when you are making cuts, extensions, or trims that you complete the action before moving on to something else or closing out the software. These tend to be exact changes that affect the entire flow of your film. If you leave halfway through you will likely not be able to replicate the original intension, or even be able to find exactly where you left off. The same is true of working with transitions, especially ones dealing with audio.

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    Do Not Neglect It

    These are just a few quick tips to help keep things going smoothly. Final Cut Pro is a powerful tool, but without proper management it can easily work against you instead of in your favor.