Using Window Layouts

Final Cut Pro comes with a set of predefined window layouts. These layouts determine the size and location of the four main windows in Final Cut Pro (the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline), along with the Tool palette and audio meters. Some window layouts include additional windows, such as the Tool Bench.

Keep in mind the following about window layouts:

Choosing a Window Layout

Choose a layout that maximizes your screen real estate in the best way for your source material, editing function, screen resolution, and monitor type. For example, if you’re doing color correction, you may want to choose the Color Correction layout. This gives you a simultaneous display of the Tool Bench window (and use of the Video Scopes tab for monitoring levels), the Viewer (so you can manipulate the color correction controls), and the Canvas (to see your output).

To choose a window layout
  • Choose Window > Arrange, then choose an option from the submenu.

    • Audio Mixing: This places the Viewer, Canvas, and Tool Bench at the top. The Tool Bench window contains the Audio Mixer tab (you can also open the Audio Mixer by choosing Tools > Audio Mixer). The Browser and Timeline are on the bottom, with the Tool palette and audio meters to the right of the Timeline.
    • Color Correction: This places the Viewer, Canvas, and Tool Bench at the top. The Tool Bench window contains the Video Scopes and Frame Viewer tabs (you can also open the Video Scopes and Frame Viewer by choosing Tools > Video Scopes and Tools > Frame Viewer). The Browser and Timeline are on the bottom, with the Tool palette and audio meters to the right of the Timeline.
    • Multiple Edits: This layout appears only if your screen resolution is set to 1280 x 854 or higher. This layout is useful for comparing three clips appearing in a sequence in a row for color correction. At the top of the screen, from left to right, are the Viewer; a Tool Bench window with a Frame Viewer tab showing the previous edit point; the Canvas; and another Tool Bench window with a Frame Viewer tab showing the next edit point. The Browser and Timeline are on the bottom, with the Tool palette and audio meters to the right of the Timeline.
    • Standard: This places the Browser, Viewer, and Canvas at the top and the Timeline across the bottom. The Tool palette and audio meters are to the right of the Timeline.
    • Two Up: This places the Viewer and Canvas at the top and the Browser and Timeline on the bottom. The Tool palette and audio meters are to the right of the Timeline.

Customizing Window Layouts

If none of the existing layouts meets your needs, you can create and save additional window layouts that you’ve arranged yourself. There are two types of window layouts you can create:

  • Custom layouts: You can create up to two layouts that are available in the Arrange menu as Custom Layout 1 and Custom Layout 2.
  • Saved layouts: You can create numerous window layouts that you name and then save to your hard disk. Once you’ve saved a new window layout, it appears at the bottom of the Arrange submenu of the Window menu. If you’ve saved multiple custom window layouts, the first five appear in alphabetical order at the bottom of this menu.

Creating Custom Layouts

Two custom layouts are presented at the top of the Arrange menu and cannot be renamed.

To create a custom layout
  1. Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences, click Displays, then set the desired resolution of your computer monitor.

    The resolution you choose will become the minimum resolution for that particular window layout.

  2. In Final Cut Pro, arrange any combination of the four main windows, custom Tool Bench windows with tool tabs, the Tool palette, and audio meters as you want them.

  3. Hold down the Option key and choose Window > Arrange, then choose one of the Set Custom Layout options.

To use a custom layout
  • Choose Window > Arrange, then choose Custom Layout 1 or Custom Layout 2.

Saving Additional Window Layouts

If you want to save a layout for use on another computer, or name a layout yourself, you can save layouts to your hard disk. Keep in mind the following about saving window layouts:

  • When you save a window layout, you save the state of each currently open window in Final Cut Pro, including the number and order of all tool tabs in all open Tool Bench windows.

  • If you have two monitors connected to your computer, when you save a window layout, the state of all Final Cut Pro windows appearing on both monitors is saved.

  • The screen resolution that’s selected at the time a window layout is saved becomes the minimum resolution at which that layout can be used.

To save a layout
  1. Arrange any combination of the four main windows, custom Tool Bench windows with tool tabs, the Tool palette, and audio meters as you want them.

    If you’re using two monitors, you can arrange Final Cut Pro windows on both screens.

  2. Choose Window > Arrange > Save Window Layout.

  3. In the Save dialog, choose a location where you want to save the layout, enter another name for the layout, then click Save.

Final Cut Pro defaults to the following folder location: /Users/username/Library/Preferences/Final Cut Pro User Data/Window Layouts/.

To use a saved layout
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Window > Arrange, then choose a saved layout from the submenu.

  • The first five saved layouts in the Window Layouts folders can be selected using keyboard shortcuts. By default, they are Shift-Control-(6, 7, 8, 9, 0).

To load a saved layout from your hard disk
  1. Choose Window > Arrange > Load Window Layout.

  2. In the Open dialog, navigate to the location where the window layout is located, select it, then click Open.