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This chapter is from the book

Searching for Clips

The ultimate value of all the metadata you add to your clips using any of the forms described in this chapter is the ability to search your library of clips to find exactly the ones you’re looking for.

Final Cut Pro has a robust search mechanism that allows you to filter the Event Browser based on a wide variety of different criteria, filter on multiple criteria at once, and even save searches as Smart Collections that act as folders in the Event Library, updating automatically whenever a new clip fits the collection criteria.

The way filtering works in FCP X is that the results of the search replace the current view in the Event Browser. In this way, you need to clear the search or switch to a new view to see all the items in the browser again.

To filter the view by text only

  • Type text into the search field at the top of the Event Browser red_circle-a.jpg.

red_circle-a.jpg Type your search term in the field at the top of the Event Browser.

The view is filtered to show only clips that contain the text in the search field red_circle-b.jpg.


red_circle-b.jpg The Event Browser is filtered to show only clips containing the search term.

The text can appear in the name of the clip, in the name of a marker, or in any of the metadata text fields in the Info Inspector (reel, scene, take, and so on).

To Filter the Event Browser

  1. Choose Edit > Find, or press Command-F.

    The Filter window opens red_circle-c.jpg.


    red_circle-c.jpg The Filter window

  2. Optionally type text in the Text search field.
  3. Click the Plus button, and select an additional type of criteria you want to search on red_circle-d.jpg. Choices include the following:
  • Text: Finds text in any field (name, markers, reel, scene, take, angle, and so on). You can include or exclude the entered text, and you can specify exact text or partial text.
  • Ratings: Choose Favorites red_circle-e.jpg or Rejected.


    red_circle-e.jpg The Ratings option lets you specify Favorites or Rejected.

  • Media Type: Choose video only red_circle-f.jpg, audio only, video + audio, or stills. Then choose to include or exclude the selection red_circle-g.jpg.


    red_circle-f.jpg The Media type lets you choose audio, video, both, or still images.


    red_circle-g.jpg You can also choose to include or exclude the selected media type.

  • Stabilization: Choose whether to include or exclude clips containing excessive shake. This information is gathered during clip analysis (for more, see “Video Analysis” in Chapter 6, “Importing Footage”).
  • Keywords: Each of the keywords used in the event are listed with checkboxes red_circle-h.jpg. Check the keywords you want to include in (or exclude from) your search. Assuming you select more than one keyword, you can choose whether the search must include all or any of the selected terms red_circle-i.jpg.


    red_circle-h.jpg Any available keywords appear as checkboxes for you to select.


    red_circle-i.jpg Choose whether the results have to include all selected keywords or any.

  • People: Choose to find clips containing analysis keywords identifying different types of shots as gathered during clip analysis red_circle-j.jpg (for more, see “Video Analysis” in Chapter 6, “Importing Footage”).


    red_circle-j.jpg Choose any of the people-related analysis keywords.

  • Format Info: Enter text and choose a specific field to search on red_circle-k.jpg. This allows you to find only clips from a specific scene or reel (or other fields) based on the information in the Info Inspector.


    red_circle-k.jpg Choose a specific metadata field, and type text into it.

  • Date: Choose clips from a specified date red_circle-l.jpg or date range red_circle-m.jpg.


    red_circle-l.jpg Choose a specific date.


    red_circle-m.jpg Or choose a relative date range.

  • Roles: Choose to find clips tagged with a Role designation such as Dialogue, Music, Effects, Video, or Titles.

As you add criteria, icons are added to the search field at the top of the Event Browser red_circle-n.jpg. Even if you close the Filter window, the filters will remain in place until you manually clear the search.


red_circle-n.jpg The search field shows icons indicating what types of criteria are being used to filter the current view.

To clear the search filter

  • Click the Clear Search icon in the search field at the top of the Event Browser red_circle-o.jpg.

red_circle-o.jpg Clear the search field by clicking the circled x.

To remove an individual criterion from the search results

  • Click the Remove Criteria button to the right of the criteria name in the Filter window red_circle-p.jpg.

red_circle-p.jpg Remove any individual search criterion by clicking the red Remove Criteria button.

To filter based on all criteria

  • Click the pop-up menu in the upper-left of the Filter window, and choose All red_circle-q.jpg.

red_circle-q.jpg Choose whether search results must meet all criteria or any criteria.

Only clips containing every listed criterion will appear in the Event Browser.

To filter based on any criteria

  • Click the pop-up menu in the upper-left of the Filter window, and choose Any.

Any clip meeting at least one of the listed criteria will appear in the Event Browser.

To save the filter results as a Smart Collection

  1. Open the Filter window, and enter any desired search criteria.

    The selected event is filtered.

  2. Click the New Smart Collection button red_circle-r.jpg.


    red_circle-r.jpg Click the New Smart Collection button to save your filter settings as a collection.

    A new Smart Collection appears in the Event Library red_circle-s.jpg.


    red_circle-s.jpg A new Smart Collection appears in the Event Library.

    This collection contains clips that meet the criteria selected in the Filter window. Any clip that later meets the same criteria will automatically be added to the Smart Collection.

  3. Click the collection’s name in the Event Library, and enter a custom name red_circle-t.jpg.

red_circle-t.jpg Rename the Smart Collection so you’ll remember what it represents.

To modify the criteria of a smart collection

  1. Double-click the Smart Collection icon in the Event Library.

    The Filter window opens, showing the criteria for that collection red_circle-u.jpg.


    red_circle-u.jpg The Filter window shows the settings that define the selected Smart Collection.

  2. Make necessary changes to the search criteria.

To delete a smart collection

  • Right-click the smart collection, and choose Delete Smart Collection from the pop-up menu (or press Command-Delete).
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