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Adding Keywords

Although clip ratings are extremely helpful, they’re also quite limited. Fortunately, FCP allows you to add far more nuanced identifiers to clips or clip ranges. You can add your own custom keywords to any selection. This means you can choose your own descriptive text to identify the contents of a particular selection.

You might choose keywords that describe the content, such as the name of the person or subject, the location where the scene is shot, or the particular action that’s taking place. You could also use keywords to identify how the footage was filmed. For example, is it a moving camera? Wide shot? Handheld? Or out of focus? You could add keywords judging the quality of the shot: Is it a good take? No good? Director’s favorite?

You can combine all of these ideas and add as many keywords as you desire. Multiple keywords can overlap, and later you’ll be able to find clips based on any or all of these identifiers whenever you need them.

To add one or more keywords

  1. Select a clip or a range within a clip red_circle-a.jpg.


    red_circle-a.jpg Select the area you want to keyword.

  2. Click the Show Keyword Editor button in the toolbar red_circle-b.jpg (or press Command-K).


    red_circle-b.jpg Click the Show Keyword Editor button in the toolbar.

    The Keyword Editor opens red_circle-c.jpg.


    red_circle-c.jpg The Keyword Editor

  3. Type the keyword in the Keyword Editor red_circle-d.jpg, and press Enter.


    red_circle-d.jpg Type a keyword into the textbox at the top of the Keyword Editor.

    The keyword is added to the selected range. A blue bar appears in the clip’s filmstrip red_circle-e.jpg.


    red_circle-e.jpg When you press Enter, the keyword is added to the selected range. The range is marked with a blue bar.

    Additionally, the keyword is added to one of the Preset Keyword slots in the Keyword Editor red_circle-f.jpg. This makes it easy to add the same keyword to multiple clips.


    red_circle-f.jpg When you add a keyword, it’s also automatically added to one of the preset slots, making it easy to consistently add the same keyword to multiple clips.

  4. To add additional keywords, type additional text in the Keyword Editor, and press Enter.

  5. To add keywords that have already been saved as presets in the Keyword Editor, click the shortcut key button (or press the shortcut on the keyboard).

The keyword is added to the selected range.

When you expand a clip containing a keyword by clicking the disclosure triangle to the left of the clip icon in the Event Browser in list view, keywords appear in a list beneath the clip red_circle-g.jpg.


red_circle-g.jpg To see the keywords listed in the Event Browser, expand the clip’s disclosure triangle.

Notice that Ratings, Analysis Keywords, and Markers also appear in this list. Ratings and markers are also described in this chapter. Analysis keywords are described in Chapter 6, “Importing Footage.”

Selecting any of the items in the list automatically selects the range associated with the item in the filmstrip red_circle-h.jpg.


red_circle-h.jpg Selecting a keyword in the list selects the range of the clip covered by the keyword in the filmstrip.

To remove a keyword from a clip

  1. Select the keyword in the Event Browser by clicking its name in the list or by clicking the colored bar associated with that keyword in Filmstrip view red_circle-i.jpg.


    red_circle-i.jpg Select the keyword you want to remove.

  2. Choose Mark > Remove All Keywords red_circle-j.jpg, or press Control-0 (zero).

red_circle-j.jpg From the Mark menu, choose Remove All Keywords.

The keyword is removed.

To remove all keywords from a clip

  • Right-click a clip in the Event Browser, select a keyword, and then choose Mark > Remove All Keywords from the shortcut menu red_circle-k.jpg; or press Control-0 (zero).

red_circle-k.jpg Right-click a clip, and choose Remove All Keywords.

All keywords for the selected clip are removed.

To copy a keyword to a different slot in the Keyword Editor

  • Drag the text of the keyword to a new position red_circle-l.jpg.

red_circle-l.jpg You can copy a keyword from one slot to another in the Keyword Editor.


red_circle-m.jpg You can also add multiple keywords to the same slot.

To remove a keyword from the Keyword Editor

  • Select the text of the keyword you want to remove, and press Delete.

The selected text is deleted red_circle-n.jpg.


red_circle-n.jpg To delete a keyword from the Keyword Editor, select the text and press Delete.

Keyword Collections

Whenever you add a keyword to a clip in an event, a Keyword Collection is automatically created.

Clicking a Keyword Collection in the Event Library displays a list of all the clips containing that keyword in the Event Browser.

Dragging a clip onto an existing Keyword Collection automatically adds that keyword to the clip. This allows you to effectively use Keyword Collections like folders to organize your clips.

To manually create a Keyword Collection

  1. Right-click an event in the Event Library, and choose New Keyword Collection red_circle-o.jpg; or press Shift-Command-K.


    red_circle-o.jpg Right-click an event, and choose New Keyword Collection.

    An untitled Keyword Collection appears red_circle-p.jpg.


    red_circle-p.jpg A new Keyword Collection is added.

  2. Type a keyword as the name of the collection and press Enter red_circle-q.jpg.


    red_circle-q.jpg Rename the Keyword Collection with the new keyword.

  3. Drag clips or clip ranges from the Event Browser onto the Keyword Collection to add that keyword to the selection red_circle-r.jpg.

red_circle-r.jpg Drag clips to the Keyword Collection to add the keyword to that clip.

To delete a Keyword Collection

  • Select the Keyword Collection in the Event Library, and press Command-Delete.

The Keyword Collection is deleted, and the keyword is removed from any clips that previously contained it.

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