Using Keyboard Shortcuts, Buttons, and Shortcut Menus

Final Cut Pro offers several methods for performing commands. You can choose commands from the menu bar at the top of the screen or from contextual shortcut menus, or you can use keyboard shortcuts to perform many commands. Most people work fastest using keyboard shortcuts; others prefer to use shortcut menus or the mouse to access commands in the menu bar. Experiment to find out which method best suits your editing style.

You can also create shortcut buttons that appear at the top of each window in the window’s button bar. Learning about these basic interface elements will enable you to work faster and more efficiently.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts let you perform commands in Final Cut Pro by using the keyboard instead of by pointing and clicking. These shortcuts can help you work more efficiently. For example, to create a new sequence, you press Command-N; to zoom in, you press Command–Equal Sign (=).

Note: The default keyboard shortcuts for tasks are presented throughout this documentation, as well as in menu commands and tooltips. Tooltips appear when you move the pointer over a control in Final Cut Pro and show the name of the control, as well as the current shortcut key(s) assigned to that control.

Final Cut Pro allows you to change the default keyboard shortcuts to better suit your needs. For example, if your style of editing requires a particular set of commands that isn’t readily available by default, you can modify the default keyboard layout with your own set of commands. You can also create different keyboard layouts for different tasks. For example, you may find it useful to create different keyboard layouts for editing, color correction, multicamera editing, and audio mixing.

For more information on how to customize keyboard layouts in Final Cut Pro, see Customizing the Interface.

Using Button Bars

You can create shortcut buttons and place them in the button bar along the top of the main windows in Final Cut Pro—the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, Timeline, and any Tool Bench windows. (The Tool Bench is a specialized window containing tabs for specific tasks, such as the Audio Mixer.) You can then click any of the shortcut buttons in the button bar to perform commands, instead of using keyboard shortcuts or menus.

Figure. Browser window showing the button bar.

For more information on using and customizing button bars, see Customizing the Interface.

Using Shortcut Menus

Shortcut menus (also called contextual menus) are available in nearly every section of every window and offer a quick way to perform various tasks. The commands available in a shortcut menu depend on the location of the pointer. For example, a shortcut menu in the Browser shows options different from those available in a shortcut menu in the Timeline.

To view and use a shortcut menu
  1. Press the Control key and click an item (this is called Control-clicking), or Control-click an area in a window in Final Cut Pro.

  2. In the shortcut menu that appears, choose the command you want, then release the mouse button.

Figure. Shortcut menu showing commands.

Note: If you have a multibutton mouse, clicking the right mouse button is the same as Control-clicking by default.

Learning Commands by Using Tooltips

When you move the pointer over a control in Final Cut Pro, a small box called a tooltip appears with a description of the control. Next to the description is the keyboard shortcut for using the control. You can turn tooltips off and on in the General tab of the User Preferences window.

Figure. Transport controls in the Viewer with a tooltip displayed over the Play button.
To turn on tooltips in Final Cut Pro
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > User Preferences.

  2. In the General tab, select Show Tooltips.