Working with Sequence Clips in the Viewer

The Viewer is a versatile window used for several different purposes. In the early stages of editing, the Viewer is used independently of the Canvas and Timeline, mostly to set In and Out points for clips before they are edited into your sequence. In the later stages, when you are fine-tuning, you can use the Viewer, in combination with the Canvas and Timeline, as another way of viewing portions of your sequence.

You work with sequence clips in the Viewer to do the following:

Note: Sequence clips display sprocket holes in the Viewer’s scrubber bar to indicate that they are part of a larger sequence; Browser clips don’t display sprocket holes.

Figure. Viewer scrubber bar showing sprocket holes indicating that a sequence clip is displayed.

Opening a Sequence Clip in the Viewer

When you open a sequence clip in the Viewer, you can work with it directly in the Viewer instead of in the Timeline.

To open a sequence clip in the Viewer from the Timeline
Do one of the following:
  • Double-click a clip in the Timeline.

  • Select the clip, then choose View > Clip (or press Return).

  • Position the playhead at the In point of the clip in the Timeline (using the Up or Down Arrow key) or anywhere within the clip in the Timeline, then press the Return key.

The clip on the lowest-numbered Auto Select-enabled track opens in the Viewer and the Viewer playhead is at the same frame as the one under the Timeline playhead.

To open a sequence clip in the Viewer from the Canvas or Timeline
  1. Make sure no clips are selected in the Timeline by choosing Edit > Deselect All (or pressing Shift-Command-A).

  2. In the Timeline or Canvas, move the playhead to the frame you want to open in the Viewer.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Double-click the image in the Canvas.

    • Press Enter or Return.

The corresponding sequence clip opens in the Viewer to the specified frame.

To open a specific sequence clip item in the Viewer
  1. In the Timeline, click the Linked Selection button to turn off linked selection (if it’s on), or hold down the Option key.

  2. Double-click the clip item you want to open in the Viewer.

Only the selected clip item is opened in the Viewer. Any items linked to this clip item are not opened in the Viewer.

Switching Between the Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline

When you work with sequence clips in the Viewer, you can quickly switch between the Viewer and the Canvas or Timeline. For example, opening a sequence clip in the Viewer activates the Viewer, but you might want to open the clip in the Viewer and then play the sequence.

To switch between the Canvas and Viewer
  • Press the Q key.

To switch between the Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline
Do one of the following:
  • To make the Viewer active, press Command-1.

  • To make the Canvas active, press Command-2.

  • To make the Timeline active, press Command-3.

Note: If you press a key combination for a window that is already active, the window closes. Pressing the key combination again opens the window. When you close a window by pressing the window’s key combination, the content of that window is still remembered when you open that window again. This is different from closing a window by pressing Command-W or clicking the close button; in these cases, the content of the window is not remembered when you open the window again.

Using the Viewer to Adjust Sequence Clip In and Out Points

Adjusting clip In and Out points in the Timeline is very intuitive. You simply drag the boundary of the clip to make the clip longer or shorter. However, you can also open a sequence clip in the Viewer and set an In or Out point on the exact frame you want. Ultimately, the results are the same whether you adjust a clip in the Viewer or the Timeline, but there are times when one method may better help you visualize the result.

The advantage of working with sequence clips in the Viewer is that you can navigate through the whole clip, even beyond the clip In and Out points. Making an edit in the Viewer is a two-step process, but in some cases you may prefer the visual precision of this approach over dragging clip boundaries in the Timeline. With this method, you always know exactly which frames the In and Out points are set on.

In the Viewer, as well as in the Canvas and Timeline, the active tool, such as the Ripple, Roll, or Selection tool, determines the result of the edit.

To make a ripple, roll, slip, or duration change to a sequence clip in the Viewer
  1. Open the sequence clip in the Viewer.

  2. Select the appropriate tool for the type of edit you want to do.

  3. In the Viewer, navigate to the frame you want to use for the clip’s new In point.

  4. Press I to set a new In point.

  5. Navigate to a new Out point and press O to set a new Out point.

If the new In or Out point is not accepted, check to see if Final Cut Pro displays an alert message. Some edits are not possible because they would cause other sequence clips to be partially overwritten or moved out of sync. For more information, see Understanding Alert Messages When Trimming.

Using the Viewer to Adjust Motion and Filter Parameters

When you want to adjust effects and motion parameters for a sequence clip, you open the clip in the Viewer to make adjustments in the Motion and Filters tabs. For more information, see Changing Motion Parameters. You can also refer to Using Video Filters.