Here are some internal pre-built short cuts to get you going in Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Just like your favorite word processing program, or audio/MIDI application, you can save significant time in Final Cut Pro using the following short cuts (For all of you older Mac users, the key formerly known as “Apple” will now be known as “Command”).
Command+T: When highlighting a region between two video clips, don’t go for that Effects Menu Video Transitions if you are going for that simple dissolve. Command+T will do it for you. You can go through, highlight a bunch of clips and (repeatedly, unfortunately) go through and hit this cool shortcut. The best part about it is that it doesn’t need to be a dissolve. Within the same Effects menu, you can set a specific transition as your “default” and clear it to add a new one.
Command+Option+T: If you thought the video hot key was cool, this one does the same thing, but for your audio track. It adds a one-second audio dissolve.
The Little Hand: Once you’ve added that “default dissolve,” double click on it to open up its properties within the source monitor. Then with the duration on the left, set a new one. Also, if you want that duration for a bunch of other transitions, drag the little hand on the right side of the window down into the timeline between your clips. Easy as pie.
Option+X: Clear’em out! When those ins and outs that you set moments ago need to go, clear ’em out with this quick-and-dirty hot combo. Whether you’re in your source monitor, record monitor or in the timeline, this one does it all.
Control+V: This handy-dandy combo makes it easy to cut clips in your timeline. Simply drag your placement bar in the timeline to the point at which you want that clip cut. Then make sure that your yellow “active” markers are set properly on the left side of the timeline. Hit Control+V and see your clips split.
Option+L: Stereo pairing is essential for the video artist. To get your audio tracks locked together, simply highlight the two tracks (on different audio tracks in the timeline) and use Option/L. You will see four small triangles appear on the tracks to indicate a “stereo pair.” This is especially useful for stereo music tracks and discreet audio mixes that are to be balanced.
There are a ton of additional short cuts within FCP. As you use them, editing will become more automatic, more fun and less like a chore.