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Selecting User Preferences

Like Avid User Settings, the Final Cut Pro User Preferences window is where you set your personal editing preferences. FCP user information follows the OS X protocol. When you sign on as a user in OS X, the FCP User Preferences are saved in your Preferences folder: Macintosh HD > Users > User Name > Library > Preferences > Final Cut Pro User Data folder. Many Avid editors like to take their user settings with them from system to system. This folder can also be taken to another FCP system and installed in this location to achieve the same effect.

To View User Preferences Options

  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > User Preferences, or press Option-Q.
  2. Click each of the five tabs to view their options:

    General You’ll find the most commonly used settings on this tab.

    Labels Color code your clips and assign a category name for each color.

    Timeline Options Change Timeline settings, such as track height, thumbnail display, number of tracks, and so on, for all new sequences. This is where you set the starting timecode for a sequence. You can access several of these options in other ways.

    Render Control Determine what types of effects will be rendered, and how.

    Audio Outputs Configure audio output channels, up to 24 with an external audio device, and save the configuration as a preset.

  3. Click the General tab and look at the following preference settings:

    Levels of Undo You can have up to 99 levels of undo, but as always, setting a high number of undos uses more computer RAM.

    Multi-Frame Trim Size This sets the multiframe trim amount in Trim mode.

    Still/Freeze Duration This is where you set the default duration for freeze frames and still images imported into FCP, as well as for several FCP-generated items such as mattes and gradients.

    Autosave Vault This is like Avid’s Attic, and the settings are like those in Avid’s Bin Settings Autosave dialog. FCP will save copies at the time interval you define. Each new copy gets added to the list of autosaves. After 40—or whatever number you’ve entered as a maximum save number—the first copy will be put in the Trash to make room for new saves. You can still retrieve an autosaved project from the Trash as long as the trash has not been emptied. Where Avid’s Attic is stored in the Shared folder, FCP’s Autosave Vault saves to the User > User Name > Documents > Final Cut Pro Documents folder.

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