Function and Preview Keyboard Shortcuts in Compressor

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Compressor Tools

If you are doing repeated edits and exports then you will probably be using Compressor on a consistent basis. To make this go even more rapidly you are going to need to know most of the keyboard shortcuts, even for more advanced tools.


There are a number of different functions in Compressor, many of which are difficult to find and use. To open the help window quickly you can press Shift, Apple, and the ? button. If you are trying to breeze through text when navigating through the system you can just press Tab to go by quickly. Likewise, the Delete button will get rid of any selected window completely. To go through the menus, such as that for Settings and Batch, you can do so by using the up or down arrow buttons. Since Compressor is designed to create a surround sound addition to the project you can open a new job by pressing Apple, Shift, and I.


Preview is one of the most essential parts of Compressor because it allows you to view the video, make alterations to it, and see what kind of transfer you are working with. Much of its functions are similar to those found in Final Cut Pro. To play the video in fast forward you just press L, and to go backward in equally quick speed you hit J. To go through the video frame by frame you use the arrow buttons, the right one to go forward and the left one to go backward. Similarly, the Space Bar still starts and stops the playback and I and O still correspond to setting in and out points in your video. The M button is used to place, or alternately get rid of, markers. This only works with the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 settings.


With these you can hopefully rip through the process easily without making it one of the more time intensive elements. Compression is a needed part of post-production and knowing how to use the software with ease will make the entire process more of a creative effort than a technical exercise. Try to integrate these shortcuts into your use of Compressor and see what sticks.

This post is part of the series: Compressor

Articles dealing with Final Cut Suite’s video compression program, Compressor.

  1. Checking Progress in Compressor
  2. Exporting Using QuickTime for Compressor
  3. Using Compression for iPod Conversion
  4. Basic Keyboard Shortcuts in Compressor
  5. Creating Custom Destination Options in Compressor
  6. Keeping Things Organized When Using Compressor
  7. Function and Preview Keyboard Shortcuts in Compressor