Customizing Track Display in the Timeline

You can modify the way tracks are displayed in the Timeline in several ways:

For more information about customizing Timeline display options, see Timeline Basics.

Resizing Timeline Tracks

You can change the size of tracks in the Timeline, either by dragging a track’s boundary in the Timeline patch panel, or by using the Track Height control.

Resizing Tracks by Dragging

You can resize individual tracks directly in the Timeline.

To resize a single video track in the Timeline
  • Drag the upper boundary of the track in the Timeline patch panel.

To resize a single audio track in the Timeline
  • Drag the lower boundary of the track in the Timeline patch panel.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the Timeline patch panel and a track boundary being dragged to resize a track.
To resize all video or all audio tracks at once
  • Hold down the Option key, then drag a track boundary to resize it.

    If you drag a video track boundary, all video tracks in the Timeline are resized by the same amount. If you drag an audio track boundary, all audio tracks are resized by the same amount.

To resize both video and audio tracks at once
  • Hold down the Shift key, then drag any track boundary to resize it.

All tracks in the Timeline are resized by the same amount.

Resizing All Tracks Using the Track Height Control

When you use the Track Height control to resize tracks, you resize all tracks together. By default, the Track Height control sets all tracks in the Timeline to the same size.

To resize all tracks using the Track Height control
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click the Track Height control, then choose the track size you want from the shortcut menu.

    In a sequence that has individually customized track heights, all custom track heights are resized to the new height.

  • Click the icon in the Track Height control that corresponds to the track size you want to use.

    The selected track height is highlighted blue.

    Figure. Track Height control in the Timeline.

You can also preserve relative track sizes.

To resize all tracks relative to their individual sizes
  • Hold down the Option key, then click the icon in the Track Height control that corresponds to the track size you want to use.

Resizing All Tracks Using the Track Layout Pop-Up Menu

You can also use the Track Layout pop-up menu (to the right of the Track Height control) to choose Reduced, Small, Medium, or Large track heights.

To resize all tracks using the Track Layout pop-up menu
  • Click the disclosure triangle to the right of the Track Height control, then choose the track size you want.

Saving Track Layouts

Once you’ve created a custom track layout for your sequence, you can save it for future use. Saved custom track layouts appear in the Track Layout pop-up menu, and can be applied to any sequence that’s open in the Timeline. Up to 40 custom track layouts can appear in the menu at once.

To save a custom track layout
  1. Arrange the track heights of your sequence as you want them.

  2. Choose Save Track Layout from the Track Layout pop-up menu (located in the Timeline to the right of the Track Height control).

  3. In the Save dialog that appears, choose a location where you want to save the layout, then click Save.

Note: Custom track layouts are saved by default to the following folder location:/Users/username/Library/Preferences/Final Cut Pro User Data/Track Layouts/.

To restore a track layout from your hard disk
  1. Choose Restore Track Layout from the Track Layout pop-up menu.

  2. In the Open dialog that appears, navigate to the location where the track layout file is located, select it, then click Open.

Creating a Static Region in the Timeline

If you are working with more tracks than you can see on the screen at once, and you spend a lot of time scrolling through multiple tracks in the Timeline, you may find it useful to create a static region in the middle of the Timeline for tracks that you always want to see. This region can contain video tracks, audio tracks, or both. Creating a static region results in three total regions in the Timeline: a top, scrollable region for your excess video tracks, a middle static region, and a bottom, scrollable region for your excess audio tracks. You can’t scroll up or down in the static region, but it can be resized to accommodate more or fewer tracks.

For example, if you’re working on the audio of a project with sync sound dialogue in audio tracks 1 and 2, and multiple tracks of music, sound effects, and audio ambience in the tracks below that, you can define a static region containing just tracks 1 and 2, leaving the rest of your audio tracks in a lower, scrollable region. This way, your dialogue tracks will always be visible. You can scroll up and down through your other audio tracks, editing and making various adjustments while using the audio tracks in the static region as a reference point.

To create a static region for video and audio tracks
  1. Drag the upper thumb tab in the vertical scroll bar up to create a static area for as many video tracks as you want to keep in the middle.

  2. Drag the lower thumb tab in the vertical scroll bar down to create a static area for as many audio tracks as you want to keep in the middle.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the thumb tabs being dragged to create a static area.

When you have a static region in the Timeline, there are two dividers: one between the top scrollable region and the static region, and one between the static region and the bottom scrollable region. Each divider has its own thumb tab.

To resize a static region in the Timeline
  • Drag the dividers or thumb tabs to include tracks in (or exclude tracks from) the static region. As the static region gets larger or smaller, the size of the other regions is adjusted accordingly.

To move the static region up or down in the Timeline
  • Drag the center slider in the static region’s scroll bar to move the entire region, automatically resizing the scrollable regions above and below the static region.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the center slider being dragged to move the static region.
To eliminate video tracks from the static region
  • Drag the upper thumb tab of the static region down so that it overlaps the lower one, then release the mouse button to eliminate video tracks from the static region.

To eliminate audio tracks from the static region
  • Drag the lower thumb tab of the static region up so that it overlaps the upper one, then release the mouse button to eliminate audio tracks from the static region.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the thumb tab dragged up to eliminate the audio tracks.