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What You’ve Learned

  • As in Avid, you can trim clips in Final Cut Pro by dragging an edit point in the Timeline.
  • Opening the FCP Trim Edit window is equivalent to entering Avid’s Trim mode.
  • You can open the Trim Edit window by double-clicking an edit point, by lassoing an edit point using the Edit Selection tool (G), or by pressing Command-7.
  • In the Trim Edit window, a green bar above either side of the window signifies a single-roller trim; two green bars indicate a dual-roller trim.
  • Clicking either side in the Trim Edit window dictates a single-roller trim; clicking in the middle dictates a dual-roller trim.
  • The FCP Roll tool (R) is equivalent to Avid’s dual-roller Trim mode.
  • The FCP Ripple tool (RR) is equivalent to Avid’s single-roller Trim mode.
  • You can make a trim by entering a numerical trim amount in the Trim Edit window.
  • You can perform J-K-L trimming, or dynamic trimming, in FCP. You can toggle it on or off via a checkbox in the Trim Edit window or in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window.
  • When dynamic trimming is active, press K to execute a trim.
  • You can trim an edit point in the scrubber bar of the Trim Edit window by dragging one of the blue edit point triangles.
  • You can trim directly in the Timeline using the Ripple and Roll tools, or by selecting an edit point with a trim tool and entering a numerical trim value.
  • When you ripple or roll an edit in the Timeline, a two-up display appears in the Canvas, similar to Avid’s Small Trim mode.
  • To select and trim just an audio or video track of a clip with linked tracks, you must first turn off the Linked Selection control in the Timeline button bar. You can also Option-click one track to override linked selection.
  • To change the status of a clip’s stereo pair audio tracks to mono, select the tracks and choose Modify > Stereo Pair.
  • You can trim multiple edit points in an asymmetrical trim by selecting a trim tool, Option-clicking the first edit point, and Command-clicking additional edit points.
  • You can trim a sequence clip in the Viewer window after double-clicking it in the Timeline.
  • A sequence clip opened from the Timeline displays two rows of dots (“sprocket holes”) in the Viewer scrubber bar. Source clips prior to editing to the Timeline do not display these dots.
  • You can trim an edit point using the default Selection tool (A), but you will be limited by adjacent clips or leave a gap.

Keyboard Shortcuts


Select the Edit Selection tool


Select the edit point closest to the playhead


Load the edit point closest to the Timeline playhead into the Trim Edit window


Close the Trim Edit window


Cycles the A-side, B-side, or both edit points in the Trim Edit window and in the Timeline

[ (Left Bracket)

Trim one frame left

] (Right Bracket)

Trim one frame right

Shift-[ (Left Bracket)

Trim the multiframe trim amount set in the Editing tab of User Preferences

Shift-] (Right Bracket)

Trim the multiframe trim amount set in the Editing tab of User Preferences

< (Left Angle Bracket)

Trim one frame left

> (Right Angle Bracket)

Trim one frame right


Trim the multiframe trim amount


Trim the multiframe trim amount


When the pointer is over the A- or B-side clip in the Trim Edit window, press the J and L keys to play backward or forward, and press the K key to set the new edit point


Select the Roll tool


Select the Ripple tool


Toggle linked selection off or on in the Timeline


Temporarily override linked selection to select a single edit point in a linked clip


When one edit point on one clip track is selected, select additional edit points to be included in an asymmetrical trim

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