Using Labels to Organize Your Clips

In Final Cut Pro, you can assign labels to clips, bins, and sequences. You can use labels to:

About Label Names and Colors

The Label property has several labels, each with an associated color and name. When you choose a label for a clip, that clip’s icon becomes the color of that label, and that label’s name appears in the Label column for the clip. If no label is specified for a clip, the label is set to None and there is no color associated with this item. You can change the label names, but not the colors.

The label colors and associated default names are:

  • No color: None
  • Orange: Good Take
  • Red: Best Take
  • Blue: Alternate Shots
  • Purple: Interviews
  • Green: B-Roll

The names associated with the label colors above are stored in your User Preferences file, not in your project file. For example, if you change the name of the red label to “Do Not Use,” any clips, bins, or sequences labeled red will have the label name “Do Not Use,” regardless of what project they are in.

Because the label properties of a clip are shared among affiliated clips, changing the label of a clip changes the labels of all affiliated clips as well.

Note: Label assignments do not affect objects within other objects, such as clips within bins or a sequence. For example, you may label a bin with the “Best Take” label, but the clips within that bin can be assigned a different label.

If you click the heading of a Label column, all clips, bins, and sequences in the Browser are sorted by label.

Assigning Labels and Setting Label Names to Help Manage Media

Each item in Final Cut Pro has two label properties: Label and Label 2. Both label properties can be customized in different ways:

  • Label: This can be one of several names and associated colors as assigned in the Labels tab of the User Preferences window. This property affects the color of its clip, sequence, or bin.
  • Label 2: This can be any text you type in the Label 2 Browser column or Item Properties window. This field is not limited to the various labels in the User Preferences window for the Label property, but it also does not provide the convenient color-coding of that property.

Both label properties are displayed when you have Standard Columns selected in the Browser, but you can always choose to hide or show these columns as needed. (To choose Standard Columns, Control-click any column heading in the Browser, then choose Standard Columns from the shortcut menu.)

To assign a label to a clip in the Browser
Do one of the following:
  • Select a clip, choose Edit > Item Properties > Logging Info, Control-click in the Label field, then choose a label from the shortcut menu.

    Figure. Shortcut menu showing various labels available.
  • Control-click in the Label column of the clip, then choose a label from the shortcut menu.

  • Control-click a clip, choose Label from the shortcut menu, then choose a label from the submenu.

To assign a label to multiple clips at once
  1. Select the clips you want to label in the Browser.

    For information about selecting clips, see Browser Basics.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Control-click one of the selected clips, choose Label from the shortcut menu, then choose a label from the submenu.

    • Control-click in the Label column of one of the selected clips, then choose a label from the shortcut menu.

      Figure. Browser window showing shortcut menu in the Label column.
To set and assign a label in the Label 2 property of a clip
Do one of the following:
  • Select a clip, choose Edit > Item Properties > Logging Info, click in the Label 2 field and type a label name, then click OK.

  • Click in the Label 2 column of the clip, type a label name, then press Return or Enter.

If you’ve already specified at least one label in the Label 2 property of any clip in your project, you can assign one of those existing labels to the Label 2 property of other clips.

To assign a label in the Label 2 property of a clip
  • Control-click in the Label 2 column of a clip, then choose a label from the shortcut menu.

    All of the labels in the Label 2 fields of the clips in your project appear in this menu.

To assign a label in the Label 2 property for multiple clips at once
  1. Select the clips you want to label in the Browser.

    For information about selecting clips, see Browser Basics.

  2. Control-click in the Label 2 column of one of the selected clips, then choose a label from the shortcut menu.

Changing Names of Labels

If you need label names that are different from the defaults, you can change them in the User Preferences window. For example, some projects may not have any interview footage, so you could change the default “Interview” label to a more appropriate category, such as “Special Effects,” “Needs Color Correction,” or “Temporary Footage.”

Keep in mind that labels usually represent fairly broad categories, since there are only five to choose from. You can always use log notes, comments, and the Label 2 property to further refine the descriptions and categorization of your clips.

To change the label names
  1. Choose Edit > User Preferences, then click the Labels tab.

  2. Click a text field to highlight it, then enter a new name for the label.

    Figure. User Preferences window showing label names.
  3. When you’ve finished, click OK or press Return.

Sorting Clips by Labels

After you set labels for clips, you can sort your clips in the Browser by their labels or use the Find command to find clips based on the label you’ve applied.

To sort clips by label
  • Click the Label column heading.

All clips are sorted by label and alphabetically within each label name. Unlabeled clips, marked as None, are sorted at the beginning or the end of the list, depending on the direction of the sort order.

For more information on sorting, see Sorting Items in the Browser Using Column Headings