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Adding Keywords to Clips

Another tool at your disposal for organizing media is the use of keywords. You can use two types of keywords when working in Final Cut Pro X:

  • Analysis keywords. Final Cut Pro X can automatically generate keywords when you analyze clips for common problems. This can be done on import or after the fact when you select clips in an event and choose Modify > Analyze and Fix.
  • Manually added keywords. You can also review clips and choose to add keywords of your own design. This is a great way to get organized based on repeating themes or logical groupings.

Assigning Keywords

Adding keywords is a very straightforward process (and one that will seem familiar if you use iPhoto or Aperture). Make sure you either watch your footage playback in real time or use the skimmer to quickly browse.

  1. In the Event Browser, make a selection. You can choose a range, an entire clip, or multiple clips that you want to add keywords to.
  2. Click the Keywords button in the toolbar to open the Keyword Editor.

  3. Enter a word or phrase that you want to use as a keyword for the selected clip(s) and press Return.
  4. Continue adding keywords or keyword phrases as needed.

    A blue line appears at the top of the selection in the Event Browser, which indicates that keywords are in use for the clip or range.

  5. When you’re finished adding keywords, simply close the Keyword Editor.

As you continue to add keywords to your clips, you’ll see more Keyword Collections appear in the Event Library. A Keyword Collection is essentially a group of pointers (aliases) to clips that you have tagged with a specific keyword.

Using Keyword Shortcuts

Another quick way to add keywords or keyword phrases is to use keyboard shortcuts. You can have up to nine shortcuts loaded globally (not per event). However, removing a shortcut does not affect clips you’ve already tagged. You can freely adjust your shortcut keys without affecting your previously processed footage.

Here’s how to use keyword shortcuts.

  1. If it’s not already open, click the Keywords button in the toolbar to open the Keyword Editor.
  2. If the shortcuts aren’t visible, click the disclosure triangle to the left of Keyword Shortcuts in the Keyword Editor.
  3. Click in a field next to a shortcut (1–9) and enter a phrase or keyword in a shortcut field. Press Return to capture the change.
  4. To use a keyword shortcut, select a range or one or more clips that you want to modify.
  5. Press Control and the corresponding number key (1 through 9) to assign a keyword or keyword phrase.

Removing Keywords

If you need to remove a keyword, you can do so in two ways. You can remove individual keywords or all keywords:

  • Remove individual keywords. If you need to delete a keyword from a clip, just select it and open the Keyword Editor. You can then select and delete any keywords in the top field to adjust the clip or selection.

    Keywords were automatically added because the Import Folders as Keyword Collections option was selected. In this case a few clips were tagged incorrectly because the Director of Photography had footage from two days of shooting on one card.

  • Remove all keywords from a clip. In the Event Browser, select one or more clips. Then choose Mark > Remove All Keywords (Control+0).
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