How You Use the Canvas

In Final Cut Pro, the Canvas is the equivalent of a record monitor in a tape-to-tape editing suite; it displays the video and audio of your edited sequence during playback.

When you open a new sequence, it appears simultaneously in tabs in both the Canvas and the Timeline. The Canvas playhead mirrors the position of the Timeline playhead, and the Canvas displays the frame at the playhead’s current position in an open sequence. If you move the Timeline’s playhead, the frame displayed in the Canvas changes accordingly. If you make a change in the Canvas, it’s reflected in the Timeline.

The controls in the Canvas are similar to those in the Viewer, but instead of navigating and playing back individual clips, the controls in the Canvas navigate the entire sequence currently open in the Timeline.

Before you can work in the Canvas, it must be the currently selected, or active, window. Otherwise, any commands or keyboard shortcuts you use may perform the wrong operations. To display the Canvas, you must open a sequence from the Browser (see Opening, Selecting, and Closing Sequences in the Canvas for more information).

Note: Most of the commands you use in the Canvas also work in the Timeline.

To make the Canvas window active
Do one of the following:
  • Click the Canvas.

  • Press Command-2.

  • Press Q to switch between the Viewer and the Canvas.