Customizing the Browser Display

There are various ways you can display items in the Browser, depending on your needs and work style. You can display items in list or icon (thumbnail) view, choose columns you want to show or hide, and choose the frame you see for a clip in icon (thumbnail) view.

Choosing Views in the Browser

You can view items in the Browser in list view or icon view. List view provides detailed clip information in columns; clips within bins appear hierarchically, allowing you to reveal or hide the contents of a bin.

Figure. Browser window in list view.

If you want to organize your clips visually, you can set the Browser to display your clips as icons. There are three icon view sizes—small, medium, and large. When you choose an icon view, items are rearranged in a grid. The large icon view is particularly useful when using larger (20-inch or greater viewable area) monitors.

Figure. Three Browser windows in icon view showing different-sized icons.
To display Browser items as icons or in a list
Do one of the following:
  • Choose View > Browser Items, then choose an option from the submenu.

  • Control-click in the Name column (or any place in the tab other than an icon), then choose a view option from the shortcut menu.

  • Press Shift-H to toggle through all four views.

Working with the Browser in List View

When items are displayed as a list, the Browser displays information about the items in columns. You can customize these columns in several ways. You can:

  • Rearrange, resize, hide, and show individual columns

  • Display, hide, and scrub (move) through thumbnails of clips

  • Change the Master Comment or Comment column headings

To rearrange a column
  • Drag the column heading to the new location.

Figure. Browser window showing a column heading being dragged.
To resize a column
  • Drag the right edge of the column heading to the desired width.

Figure. Browser window showing the column width being changed by dragging.
To hide a column
  • Control-click the column heading, then choose Hide Column from the shortcut menu.

Note: You can’t hide the Name column; it’s always displayed.

Figure. Shortcut menu showing the Hide Column command.
To display a hidden column
  • Control-click the column heading to the right of where you want to display the column, then choose the column you want to display from the shortcut menu.

Figure. Shortcut menu showing various column names.
To display thumbnails
  • Control-click any column heading other than Name, then choose Show Thumbnail from the shortcut menu.

Figure. Shortcut menu showing the Show Thumbnail command.

A thumbnail column appears with images for all video clips.

Figure. Bin window showing a Thumbnail column that contains thumbnails of video clips.

When thumbnails are displayed, the image shown is the first frame of the clip or the In point of the clip, if one is set. You can scrub through a thumbnail by dragging in the image, but the frame shown in the Browser always reverts to the Media Start or In point of the clip.

You can change the starting image (called the poster frame) if you want to display another frame in the thumbnail. For more information, see Setting the Poster Frame.

To hide thumbnails
  • Control-click the Thumbnail column heading, then choose Hide Column from the shortcut menu.

To scrub, or move, through a thumbnail
  • Drag the thumbnail image in the direction you want to view.

Figure. Bin window showing a thumbnail in the Thumbnail column highlighted.

Note: You can also scrub through clips that are displayed in large icon view. See Scrubbing Through Clips in Icon View.

To change the name of the Master Comment or Comment column heading
  1. Control-click a Comment column heading, then choose Edit Heading from the shortcut menu.

    Figure. Shortcut menu showing the Edit Heading command.
  2. Type a new name in the column’s Name field, then press Return.

    Figure. Browser window showing a column being given a new name.

The Master Comment and Comment column headings are the only column headings you can change. Once you customize the name of a Comment column, it remains changed in that project file, even if you hide it. New projects you create use the default names.

If you want to change several Comment headings at once, use the Project Properties window. For more information, see Working with Projects, Clips, and Sequences.

Note: You can change the name of a Master Comment column. For example, you can change “Master Comment 1” to “Director’s Notes.” But when you export this data (or reimport it into Final Cut Pro), the column will always retain its original name; for example, “Master Comment 1.”

Working with the Browser in Icon View

In large, medium, or small icon view, you arrange your clips graphically in the Browser. Video clips are displayed as a thumbnail of the starting frame of video, audio clips are displayed as a speaker, and bins are indicated by a folder icon. If a video clip has an audio track, a small speaker icon appears inside the clip’s thumbnail.

Figure. Bin window in icon view showing thumbnails of video clips and an audio clip.

You can use different views for open Browser windows and tabs. For example, you can keep the main tab of your project in the Browser in list view for organizational purposes, but open bins in their own windows or tabs using large icon view to quickly identify clips visually.

Scrubbing Through Clips in Icon View

In large icon view, you can scrub through video clips to see their content. You can also scrub through thumbnails of clips displayed in list view. (See Working with the Browser in List View.) However, you don’t have all of the options you have in large icon view.

Note: You can’t scrub through clips in small icon view.

To scrub through clips in large icon view
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Select the Scrub tool in the Tool palette.

      Figure. Tool palette showing the Selection tool and Scrub tool.

      Note: When the Scrub tool is selected, you can hold down the Shift or Command key to temporarily make the Selection tool active to select, open, or move clips.

    • Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then press Shift-Control to temporarily make the Scrub tool active.

  2. Drag the Scrub tool over the thumbnail.

Figure. Bin window showing the Scrub tool being used to scrub forward and backward in a clip.

Automatically Arranging Clips in Icon View

When you’re in icon view in the Browser, you can organize clip icons however you want. You can use the Arrange commands to automatically arrange your icons from left to right, either in alphabetical order or by duration, within the current width of the Browser or bin window. This is useful if the Browser or a bin window has overlapping icons or if you find yourself constantly scrolling to see icons.

To arrange items in the Browser into rows in icon view
Do one of the following:
  • Choose View > Arrange > by Name or by Duration.

  • Control-click in an empty area of the Browser, then choose Arrange by Name or Arrange by Duration from the shortcut menu.

Figure. Bin window showing unarranged icons.
Figure. Bin window showing arranged icons.

Setting the Poster Frame

The poster frame is the picture that represents a clip in icon view in the Browser. When you look at clips in the Browser in large icon view or when you show the Thumbnail column in list view, the icon or thumbnail picture you see reflects either the In point for that clip (or the first frame of the clip if no In point has been set), or the poster frame you set for the clip in the Browser.

Poster frames are useful if you want to identify a clip visually in the Browser using a specific image, and can be especially useful if you’re working with a lot of clips or subclips with similar imagery. Any frame of a clip can be its poster frame.

To set the poster frame of a clip in the Viewer
  1. Double-click a clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer.

  2. In the Viewer, navigate to the frame you want to use as the poster frame for the clip.

  3. Choose Mark > Set Poster Frame (or press Control-P).

To set the poster frame in the Browser in large icon view
  • Scrub through a clip until you get to the frame you want, press and hold down the Control key, then release the mouse button.

Figure. Bin window showing a clip's poster frame before scrubbing.
Figure. Bin window showing a clip's poster frame after scrubbing.

Saving and Using Custom Column Layouts

You can create customized column layouts and save them for easy access at any time. For example, some editors prefer to have the Master Comment 1 column after the Name column, so they don’t have to scroll to that column all the time to review the assistant editor’s notes. The custom column layouts you save are displayed in the shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click any column heading in the Browser (except the Name column).

To save a custom column layout
  1. Rearrange the Browser columns the way you want them to appear.

    Note: The Name column always appears on the far left and cannot be moved.

  2. Control-click any column heading, then choose Save Column Layout from the shortcut menu.

  3. In the Save dialog, choose where you want to save the layout, change its name if you like, then click Save.

Custom column layout files are saved by default to the following folder location:

/Users/username/Library/Preferences/Final Cut Pro User Data/Column Layouts/

To open a custom column layout
  • Control-click any column heading in the Browser except Name, then choose a custom layout from the shortcut menu.

If you have placed column layouts in a location other than the default folder mentioned above, you need to open them using the Load Column Layout command in the shortcut menu.

To open a custom column layout that is not in the default location
  1. Control-click any column heading in the Browser except Name, then choose Load Column Layout from the shortcut menu.

  2. In the Choose a File dialog, navigate to the location where the column layout is stored, select it, then click Choose.

Tip: You can also save and use custom column layouts in the Find Results window, following the same instructions you use for the Browser. Any custom column layouts created in the Browser can be used in the Find Results window, and vice versa.