Sliding Clips in the Timeline

Performing a slide edit allows you to move a clip’s position in the Timeline between two other clips without creating a gap. The clip’s content and duration remain the same; only its position in the Timeline changes. When you slide a clip, the adjacent clips get longer and shorter to fill any gaps that would normally be created. The combined duration of these three clips does not change, and therefore the sequence’s duration remains unchanged as well.

Figure. Diagram showing a sequence with clips A, B, and C before and after a slide edit.

In the following example, clip B slides to the left. The slide edit changes the Out point of clip A and the In point of Clip C, but the In and Out points of clip B stay the same. The duration of clip B does not change, nor does the overall length of the sequence.

Figure. Timeline window showing a sequence that contains clips A, B, and C, with clip B selected.
Figure. Timeline window showing how  the position of clip B changes after a slide edit.

Note: To slide a clip between two others, the preceding and following clips must have handles (extra media beyond the clip In and Out points).

To perform a slide edit, you can drag a clip with the Slide tool. For precision adjustments, you can use timecode.

Figure. Slide tool in the Tool palette.

You can also move a clip with the Selection tool, but this method may leave gaps between clips. The Slide tool never creates gaps (with the exception of sliding the first or last clip).

Performing Slide Edits Using the Slide Tool

Selecting a clip with the Slide tool and dragging it is an easy way to perform a slide edit.

To slide a clip in the Timeline by dragging
  1. Select the Slide tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key twice).

  2. Select the clip, then drag it left or right.

    Figure. Timeline window showing a clip moving to a new position as it is dragged with the Slide tool.

    As you drag, the Canvas displays the Out point frame of the clip to the left and the In point frame of the clip to the right.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a two-up display of the Out point of the outgoing clip and the In point of the incoming clip.
  3. Release the mouse button.

    Figure. Timeline window showing that the clip that was dragged with the Slide tool is the same duration, but the surrounding clips' durations have been modified.

Performing Precise Slide Edits Numerically

If you need to slide a clip just two or three frames, using the mouse may be difficult. For precision edits, it is much less cumbersome to slide a clip numerically.

To slide a clip in the Timeline using timecode
  1. Select the Slide tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key twice).

  2. Select a clip in the Timeline, or hold down the Shift key to select multiple clips. You can also select noncontiguous clips using the Command key.

    Tip: You can slide multiple clips at once. However, if one of the clips cannot be slid, none of them are moved.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To slide the clip one frame to the left: Press Left Bracket ([) or Left Angle Bracket (<).
    • To slide the clip one frame to the right: Press Right Bracket (]) or Right Angle Bracket (>).
    • To slide the clip a default number of frames to the left: Press Shift-Left Bracket ([) or Shift-Left Angle Bracket (<).
    • To slide the clip a default number of frames to the right: Press Shift-Right Bracket (]) or Shift-Right Angle Bracket (>).
    • To slide the clip by a precise number of frames: Type a plus sign (+) or a minus sign (-) and the number of frames to slide, then press Return.
      Figure. Timeline window showing a timecode entry field displaying the duration of the slide.

    Note: You can specify the default number of frames to trim by changing the MultiFrame Trim Size setting in the General tab of the User Preferences window. (For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.)