Customizing the Interface

Final Cut Pro allows you to customize the interface in several ways. You can rearrange windows and move them to suit your needs and work style or you can use various window layouts provided by Final Cut Pro. You can also position the Dock in the Mac OS X interface so that it takes up less room or is hidden.

Moving and Resizing Windows

All open windows in Final Cut Pro—the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, Timeline, and Tool Bench—can be individually moved and resized to suit both your working style and the task at hand, even across multiple monitors. When all windows are arranged together on a single monitor, you can drag the border between any aligned group of adjacent windows to quickly resize all the windows at the same time.

Figure. Two images displaying two different pointers that appear when resizing windows.
To resize windows in Final Cut Pro
  • Drag the border in the desired direction to resize the appropriate windows.

The windows on either side of the border are resized accordingly.

Any border between two windows in Final Cut Pro can be dragged. When borders line up, such as the tops of the Browser and Timeline, they act as a single border—resizing one window resizes the other as well. See Moving and Resizing Final Cut Pro Windows for more information.

Working with Tabs and Tabbed Windows

The Viewer and Browser contain tabs that let you access different functions. The Browser also contains tabs for open projects. Tabs in the Timeline and Canvas represent open sequences.

Figure. Final Cut Pro windows showing tabs.
To make a tab active
  • Click the tab.

To close a tab
Do one of the following:
  • Click the tab to make it the frontmost tab, then choose File > Close Tab.

  • Control-click the tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu.

  • Click a tab to make it the frontmost tab, then press Control-W.

When multiple tabs appear in a Timeline or Canvas window, you can have Final Cut Pro close all the tabs except the active one.

To close all tabs except the active one in the Timeline or Canvas window
Do one of the following:
  • Click the tab you want to keep open to make it the frontmost tab, then choose File > Close Other Tabs.

  • Control-click the tab, then choose Close Other Tabs from the shortcut menu.

Tip: The Close Other Tabs command is available in the Keyboard Layout window (for assigning a keyboard shortcut) and in the Button List window (for assigning a shortcut button).

In the Browser, you can also close all open bins that are represented as tabs.

To close all bin tabs in the Browser window
  • Control-click a bin tab, then choose Close All Bins from the shortcut menu.

To switch between tabs of the active window
Do one of the following:
  • To select the previous tab, press Command–Shift–Left Bracket ([).

  • To select the next tab, press Command–Shift–Right Bracket (]).

When multiple tabs appear in a window, you can reorder them by dragging a tab at the top of the window.

To reposition a tab at the top of a window
  • Drag the tab left or right to the new position.

You can also assign colors to tabs that represent bins and sequences by assigning a color label to the bin or sequence icon in the Browser.

To assign a color to a tab that represents a bin or a sequence
Do one of the following:
  • In the Browser, Control-click a bin or a sequence, choose Label from the shortcut menu, then choose a label from the submenu.

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

The corresponding tab displays the color you chose. For more information about assigning labels, see Using Labels to Organize Your Clips.

When you hold the pointer over a tab, a tooltip appears showing the location of the tab in the hierarchy of tabs.

You can drag tabs out of their main, or parent, windows so they appear in a separate window. This is useful when you are working on more than one sequence or project at a time.

To make a tab appear in its own window
  • Drag the tab out of its parent window (Browser, Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline).

Figure. Two windows showing the Effects tab being dragged out of the Browser and into its own window.
To put a tab back in its original window
  • Drag the tab to the title bar of its parent window.

Figure. Browser window showing a tab being dragged back into the title bar.

Moving Windows

There are several ways you can move windows in Final Cut Pro. You can move a window by clicking its title bar, and then dragging it to a new position and releasing the mouse button. You can also hold down the Command and Option keys, and then click anywhere in a window and drag it to a new position.

Using Different Window Layouts

Final Cut Pro comes with a set of predefined window layouts. These layouts determine the size and location of the four main windows in Final Cut Pro (the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline), along with the Tool palette and audio meters. Some window layouts include additional windows, such as the Tool Bench. Choose a layout that maximizes your screen space in the best way for your source material, editing function, screen resolution, and monitor type.

To choose a window layout
  • Choose Window > Arrange, then choose an option from the submenu.

If none of the existing layouts meets your needs, you can create and save additional window layouts that you’ve arranged yourself. See Customizing Window Layouts for more information.

Showing and Positioning the Dock

When you use Final Cut Pro, your screen space may be limited by the presence of the Dock. You can make the Dock smaller so it takes up less room on the screen. You can also hide the Dock, so it only appears when you move the pointer over its (hidden) position. Another option is to position the Dock somewhere else on the screen. The default is on the bottom, but you can also choose to place it on the left or right side of the screen.

Decide how you think you’ll work best, then modify the Dock settings. You can then rearrange the windows in Final Cut Pro to accommodate the position of the Dock.

To arrange Final Cut Pro windows and make room for the Dock
  1. If you prefer, change the position of the Dock.

    For specific information on changing the way the Dock looks and works, see Mac Help. (In the Finder, choose Help > Mac Help.)

  2. In Final Cut Pro, choose Window > Arrange, then choose your preferred layout from the submenu.

    The windows are rearranged to take into account the position of the Dock.