Digital Video Techniques - Using shortcut keys in Final Cut Pro

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When editing you need to use as many different internal function native to your editing software as you can. There are a variety of tools that can be used in Final Cut Pro for different aesthetic and technical elements. Like most of the functions within the software, these can be initiated by using quick key shortcuts as a way of cutting down on editing time.


If you want to open the program’s Audio Mixer you can press Option and 6. To open the frame viewer you can select Option and 7, and the Quickview function is Option and 8. Video Scopes is Option and 9, and to open Final Cut’s Voiceover tool you press Option and 0. To open the Button List you select Option and J.


If you are trying to change the keyboard layout there are a variety of options. To customize the layout you can press Option and H, and to open a previously saved keyboard layout you hit Option and Y.


When doing actual editing in the Timeline there are a number of common functions that share quick keys so that you can run through simple cuts quickly. To add a video transition you press Command and T, and for an audio transition it is Command, Option, and T. To extend an edit you simply press the E key, and to add an edit you press Control and V. To do a trim edit you select Command and 7. If you are trying to use Audio Scrubbing you press Shift and S. If you would like to match the frame in a video clip to the master clip just press F, and if you want to match it to the master file, or source file, press Option, Command, and F. If you need to close a gap you press Control and G. To Nest the items, or make a bunch of clips into one single clip, highlight them and press Option and C.

File Options

If you are trying to find a specific file within your entire project you can press Command and F, and a search window will come up that you can use to locate the file. To save your project you press Command and S, to Save As you press Shift, Command, and S, and to Save All the projects open you press Option, Command, and S. To begin a Log and Capture process you press Command and 8, and to start a Log and Transfer you press Shift, Command, and 8. To start a lengthy Batch Capture you select Control and C. To close a specific tab you select Control and W, and to close an open window you can press Command and W. To start a new project completely you hit Command, Shift, and N, and to open a saved one it is Command and O. If you are just trying to print to video you hit Control and M. If you need to Refresh A/V Devices for the peripheral technology that you are using you press Option and F12.

Window View

Depending on how you feel most comfortable with editing you may or may not want all of the viewable windows open at one time. With the standard viewables, such as the Timeline and Canvas, you can set them to either be checked on or off. To change the status of the Browser press Command and 4, and for the Viewer it is Command and 1. For the Canvas it is Command and 2, and for the Timeline it is Command and 3. To affect the audiometers you press Option and 4, and for the effects tab it is Command and 5. To minimize a selected element or window you select that window and press Command and M.


Try all these out when editing, and you may even begin to realize that you are utilizing elements of Final Cut Pro that you have never tried before. Editing is meant to be a learning process, and trying to use these quick key shortcuts will help assist you in becoming a better video artist.

This post is part of the series: Final Cut Pro

Learn different tools in Final Cut Pro with this tutorial series.

  1. The History of Final Cut Pro
  2. Final Cut Pro Certification
  3. How to Use “Photo Motion” in Final Cut Pro - Part 1
  4. How to Use “Photo Motion” in Final Cut Pro - Part 2
  5. How to Do Color Correction in Final Cut Pro
  6. How To Change Video Clip Speeds in Final Cut Pro
  7. How to Make Video Clips Black and White in Final Cut Pro
  8. How to Do Video Transitions in Final Cut Pro
  9. How to “Nest” Items in Final Cut Pro
  10. How to Import and Capture Video in Final Cut Pro
  11. Keeping Your Final Cut Pro Project Organized
  12. Video Editing - How to Crop Images in Final Cut Pro
  13. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Final Cut Pro
  14. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Final Cut Pro - Part 2 of 3
  15. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Final Cut Pro - Part 3 of 3
  16. Using Markers in Final Cut Pro
  17. Labeling Clips in Final Cut Pro
  18. Adding Zoom to Video in Final Cut Pro
  19. Creating Map Motion in Final Cut Pro
  20. Printing to Video in Final Cut Pro
  21. How to Make Scrolling Credits in Final Cut Pro
  22. Keyboard Remapping in Final Cut Pro
  23. Quick Organizational Tips for Final Cut Pro
  24. Learning How to Use Final Cut Pro