Motion 4 Tutorial: The Most Important Keyboard Shortcuts for Those New to Apple's Motion

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Motion to the Keyboard

Apple’s newest motion graphics and titling program for the Final Cut Studio, Motion 4, is a complicated piece of software that has the power to really put together professional graphics that can stand on their own or be used in a Final Cut Pro editing project. Like any post-production program, the workflow is one that takes place around a complicated menu system that can require a lot of moving around through different windows and lists to find the options that you are looking for. To speed this up, professional editors and artists utilize keyboard shortcuts, also known as quick keys, to make the process smoother. Here is a look at a few Motion keyboard shortcuts that those new to the software would need to know.

Basic Keyboard Shortcuts

The basic tools of Motion 4 are the same as found in other video post-production software, such as dealing with items, starting and stopping projects, opening and closing windows, and the like. Here are a few of the Motion 4 keyboard shortcuts that are used for these basic functions.

  • New Project - Command and N
  • Open Project - Command and O
  • New Project from Project Presets - Command, Option, and N
  • Open Template - Command, Shift, and O
  • Open Project Properties - Command and J
  • Save Project - Command and S
  • Save as New Project - Command, Shift and S
  • Save All Projects - Command, Option, and S
  • Close Project - Command and W
  • Export a Project - Command and E
  • Export With Compressor - Command, Shift and E
  • Import File as Project - Command, Shift and I

Some of these Motion 4 quick keys are the same as ones in other programs for Mac, including Final Cut Pro 7.

  • Cut - Command and X
  • Copy - Command and C
  • Paste - Command and V
  • Select All - Command and A
  • Deselect All - Command, Shift and A
  • Undo - Command and Z
  • Redo - Command, Shift and Z


The mark options are really important for working on projects in Motion 4, especially if you are going to have control over placing behaviors and effects. Here are some of the Motion 4 keyboard shortcuts for the mark menu.

  • In Point - I
  • Out Point - O
  • Mark at Current Frame - M
  • Global Marker at Current Frame - Shift and M
  • Open Edit Marker - Command, Option and M


The actual objects of your Motion project are the elements by which you will build your final piece, to then be exported in various formats. Here are some important Motion 4 keyboard shortcuts for working with these objects.

  • Add New Empty Group - Command, Shift and N
  • New Camera - Command, Option and C
  • New Light - Command, Shift and L
  • New Drop Zone - Command, Option and D
  • Make Grouping of Selected Items Into New Layer - Command, Shift and G
  • Ungroup Those Items - Command, Option and G
  • Activate or Deactivate an Object - Control and T
  • Select or Deselect Solo for an Audio Track - Control and S
  • Lock or Unlock Object - Control and L
  • Create 3D from Selected Items - Control and D
  • Add Keyframe - Control and L
  • Clone Chosen Layer - K
  • Replicate Chosen Object - L


Here are some of the most used Motion 4 keyboard shortcuts as they are used to show or hide windows in the program.

  • Properties Tab in Inspector - F1
  • Behaviors Tab - F2
  • Filters Tab - F3
  • Object Tab - F4
  • Project Pane - F5
  • Timing Pane - F6
  • HUD - F7
  • File Browser - Command and 1
  • Library - Command and 2
  • Inspector - Command and 3
  • Layers Tab - Command and 4
  • Media Tab - Command and 5
  • Audio Tab - Command and 6
  • Timeline - Command and F6
  • Keyframe Editor - Command and 8
  • Audio Editor - Command and 9