Slipping Clips in the Timeline

Performing a slip edit does not change a clip’s position or duration in the Timeline, but instead changes what portion of the clip’s media appears in the Timeline. The Slip tool allows you to move a clip’s In and Out points simultaneously.

Figure. Slip tool in the Tool palette.

Whenever you arrange clips in the Timeline so that edit points line up with musical beats or other fixed sync points in a sequence, you want to keep your clips in position. These situations leave you with very little room to adjust your clip because you cannot change the clip’s duration. You also cannot move the clip elsewhere in the Timeline, because it would no longer be aligned with the music beats or other sync points in the sequence. Therefore, all you can do is move both the In and Out points of the clip simultaneously, keeping the clip’s duration fixed.

The portion of the clip seen in the sequence changes, while its position in the sequence stays the same. Surrounding clips are not affected, nor is the overall duration of your sequence.

Figure. Diagram showing a clip whose In and Out points change while its duration and position in the sequence remain the same.

In the example above, the slip edit changes the In and Out points of clip B, but not its duration or position in the sequence. When the sequence plays back, a different portion of clip B’s media is shown.

Note: To slip a clip, it must have handles on both sides, meaning that there must be additional media available on both the head and the tail of the clip. If you are having trouble slipping a clip, check that the clip has handles on both sides.

You can perform slip edits by dragging with the Slip tool or, for greater precision, by using timecode.

Performing a Slip Edit Using the Slip Tool

You can perform slip edits in the Viewer or the Timeline.

To perform a slip edit in the Viewer using the Slip tool
  1. Double-click a sequence clip to open it in the Viewer.

  2. Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key).

  3. Drag either the In or Out point along the Viewer’s scrubber bar.

    Figure. Viewer window showing that a sequence clip's In and Out points move together during a slip edit, but the clip's duration doesn't change.
  4. Release the mouse button when the clip is positioned at a range of frames that you like.

    The In and Out points move together, maintaining the clip’s duration.

  5. Click the Play In to Out button, or press Shift-Backslash (\), to review the new section between your sequence clip’s In and Out points.

The clip is automatically updated in the Timeline. The duration of the clip and the sequence remain the same, and the surrounding clips are not affected.

To slip a clip in the Timeline using the Slip tool
  1. Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key).

  2. Click a clip, then drag it left or right.

    As you drag, an outline of the entire range of that clip is shown, indicating the amount of media available to the left and right of the current range selected in the clip.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the clip's drag point, the media available to the left and right of the current In and Out Points, and a box with the timecode duration of the slip.

    At the same time, the Canvas displays the frames at the In point and the Out point.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a two-up display of the frames at the In point and the Out point.
  3. Release the mouse button when the clip is positioned at a range of frames that you like.

    The duration and location of all clips in your sequence remain the same after this operation.

    Figure. Timeline window showing that the duration and location of all clips in a sequence remain the same after a slip edit.
  4. Click the Play In to Out button, or press Shift-Backslash (\), to review the new section between your sequence clip’s In and Out points.

Performing Precise Slip Edits Numerically

Slipping a clip by just a few frames using the mouse can be difficult. It’s much less cumbersome to precisely slip a clip numerically.

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

  2. Select a clip in the Timeline.

    Note: To select multiple clips, hold down the Shift key as you select each clip.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To slip the clip one frame to the right: Press Left Bracket ([) or Left Angle Bracket (<).
    • To slip the clip one frame to the left: Press Right Bracket (]) or Right Angle Bracket (>).
    • To slip the clip a default number of frames to the right: Press Shift-Left Bracket ([) or Shift-Left Angle Bracket (<) .
    • To slip the clip a default number of frames to the left: Press Shift-Right Bracket (]) or Shift-Right Angle Bracket (>).
    • To slip the clip by a precise number of frames: Type a plus sign (+) or a minus sign (-) and the number of frames to slip, then press Return.

    Note: You can specify the default number of frames to trim by changing the Multi-Frame Trim Size setting in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window. For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.

    Figure. Timeline window showing a clip selected with the Slip tool and a timecode entry field showing how far the clip is slipping.
  4. Click the Play In to Out button, or press Shift-Backslash (\), to review the new section between your sequence clip’s In and Out points.

To slip multiple clip items at once in the Timeline
  1. Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press A).

    You can also temporarily turn the Slip tool into the Selection tool by holding down the Command key.

  2. Select multiple clip items in the Timeline.

    The selected clip items can be in one or more tracks. Selected clip items do not have to be adjacent. For example, you can hold down the Command key while clicking clip items to make a noncontiguous selection.

  3. Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press S).

  4. Type a positive or negative timecode number to slip all selected clip items by that amount, then press Enter.

The selected clip items slip by the duration you enter. If one of the selected clip items cannot be slipped, none of the items are slipped.