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Using Markers

Markers are reference pointers you attach to a clip, and they have a variety of uses. Over the course of your work, you may find that you need to identify specific moments in your footage. You might want to mark an area of a clip that is out of focus, or you might want to mark the specific frame where a car door closes and a sound effect is required. Any time you want to add a note for yourself or your collaborators, you can simply add a marker. And markers can contain text, so you can explain why you put it there.

Markers appear both in the Event Browser and the Timeline and can be one of three colors:

04_mc_figure_38.jpg Blue Marker: Normal markers

04_mc_figure_39.jpg Red Marker: Uncompleted To Do Item

04_mc_figure_40.jpg Green Marker: Completed To Do Item

Markers act as snap points. By adding a marker on a specific frame, you make it very easy to align another clip right to that frame. For example, if you add a marker exactly where you want a title to appear, when you connect the title, you can snap it right to that marker and ensure the precise placement you desire red_circle-a.jpg.

04_mc_figure_37.jpg

red_circle-a.jpg Use markers and Timeline snapping to help you align your clip elements and make precision editing easy. In this example, the first frame of the audio clip is snapping to the marker in Shot_01.

Markers stay locked to the specific frame where you place them. As you insert or delete other clips in your edited project, any clip markers you’ve placed will ripple along with the clip they’re attached to—moving earlier or later in time to stay aligned with the marked frame.

If you delete a clip that contains a marker, Final Cut Pro will delete that marker as well.

Markers are just tools to aid in your editing work. They have no impact on the playback of your video. They do not appear in the Viewer or when you export or share your finished work.

To add a marker

  1. Move the playhead to the frame you want to mark red_circle-b.jpg; then press M.

    04_mc_figure_41.jpg

    red_circle-b.jpg Position the playhead or skimmer on the frame where you want the marker to appear.

    A marker appears at the specified frame. If skimming is on, the marker will be placed at the skimmer’s position, not the playhead’s.

  2. To add comments to the marker, press M a second time to open the Modify Marker window red_circle-c.jpg.

To add or modify marker text

  1. Move the playhead to the marker you want to modify red_circle-d.jpg. Then press Shift-M.

    04_mc_figure_43.jpg

    red_circle-d.jpg Move the playhead to the marker. Markers get a little bit bigger when you position the pointer directly over them.

    The Modify Marker window opens.

  2. Type descriptive text in the Marker name field red_circle-e.jpg. Then click Done.
04_mc_figure_44.jpg

red_circle-e.jpg The Modify Marker window points to the marker that it controls.

The text is saved with the marker.

To delete a marker

  1. Position the playhead or skimmer directly over the marker you want to delete; then press Shift-M.

    The Modify Marker window opens.

  2. Click Delete red_circle-f.jpg.
04_mc_figure_45.jpg

red_circle-f.jpg To delete a marker, you can also right-click it and choose Delete Marker from the shortcut menu.

The Modify Marker window closes, and the marker is deleted.

To delete all markers in a selection

  • Select a clip or range in which you want to delete all markers red_circle-g.jpg, and then do one of the following:

    04_mc_figure_46.jpg

    red_circle-g.jpg Select the markers you want to delete.

  • Press Control-Shift-M.
  • Choose Mark > Markers > Delete Markers in Selection.

All markers within the selection are removed red_circle-h.jpg.

04_mc_figure_47.jpg

red_circle-h.jpg You can select a whole clip, a portion of a clip, or multiple clips as shown here.

To Do Items

One of the most common uses for markers is to identify tasks that need to be completed. Editors often go through a project and mark each location where a sound effect (or an audio fix) is needed. You can use markers to take notes during a screening, adding markers at edit points that need finessing. FCP offers a special type of marker called a To Do Item.

To Do Items act just like regular markers except they appear red. To Do Items you’ve marked as completed appear green, so you can see, at a glance, which tasks have been addressed and which are still outstanding. This can be especially helpful when collaborating with another editor.

To add a To Do Item

  1. Position the playhead or skimmer over the frame where you want to mark a To Do Item red_circle-i.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_48.jpg

    red_circle-i.jpg Identify a spot where some work still needs to be done.

  2. Press Option-M to add a marker and simultaneously open the Modify Marker window.

    The Modify Marker window opens.

  3. Add text to explain what task needs completing red_circle-j.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_49.jpg

    red_circle-j.jpg Type your To Do Item in the text field. Any existing marker can be converted into a To Do Item in the Modify Marker window.

  4. Click the Make To Do Item button on the left side of the window; then click Done.

    The button turns into a Completed checkbox and the marker turns red red_circle-k.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_50.jpg

    red_circle-k.jpg To Do Item markers are indicated by their red color.

  5. Click Done.

The Modify Marker window closes.

To convert a regular marker to a To Do Item

  • Right-click the marker, and choose To Do from the shortcut menu red_circle-l.jpg.
04_mc_figure_51.jpg

red_circle-l.jpg To turn a To Do Item back into a regular marker, open the shortcut menu and uncheck To Do.

To mark a To Do Item as completed

  • Right-click the marker, and choose Completed from the shortcut menu red_circle-m.jpg.
04_mc_figure_52.jpg

red_circle-m.jpg Quickly mark a To Do Item as completed using the shortcut menu.

Completed To Do Items appear as green markers.

Moving Markers

Markers can be moved frame by frame, or they can be relocated from one place to another. You can also copy a marker to create a duplicate in a new location.

To nudge a marker

  1. Position the playhead or skimmer directly over the marker you want to move.
  2. Press Control-< to nudge the marker to the left or Control-> to nudge the marker to the right.

The marker is moved one frame at a time red_circle-n.jpg.

04_mc_figure_53.jpg

red_circle-n.jpg This figure shows the blue marker before and after being nudged. Note that you can’t nudge a marker across clip boundaries, but you could cut and paste it in a new location.

To move a marker to a new location

  1. Right-click the marker, and choose Cut Marker from the shortcut menu red_circle-o.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_54.jpg

    red_circle-o.jpg Choose Cut Marker from the marker’s shortcut menu. Cutting a marker copies it to the clipboard and replaces any other data currently stored there.

  2. Position the playhead or skimmer on the frame where you want the marker to be moved.
  3. Press Command-V.

The marker is pasted in the new location red_circle-p.jpg.

04_mc_figure_55.jpg

red_circle-p.jpg The marker is pasted in the new location. Cut and paste is the only way to move a marker across a clip boundary.

To duplicate a marker

  1. Right-click the marker, and choose Copy Marker from the shortcut menu red_circle-q.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_56.jpg

    red_circle-q.jpg Choose Copy Marker from the shortcut menu. Copy a marker when you want to duplicate it.

  2. Position the playhead or skimmer at the frame where you want to place your duplicate marker; then press Command-V.

The duplicate marker appears at the new location red_circle-r.jpg.

04_mc_figure_57.jpg

red_circle-r.jpg Press Command-V, and the duplicate marker appears at the new location. In this example, a To Do Item marker has been copied and then pasted several times.

Navigating to Markers

FCP offers a variety of ways to find and navigate to your markers both in the Event Browser and in the Timeline.

If you typically use markers to identify specific moments in the raw footage (before you’ve added clips to a project), you’ll want to be able to find those frames in the Event Browser.

To find a marker in the Event Browser

  1. In the Event Browser, type a search term in the search field in the upper-right corner red_circle-s.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_58.jpg

    red_circle-s.jpg Searching for clips, tags, or markers containing the word stretch. FCP filters the view so that only items with the search term appear in the Event Browser list. Clips that don’t match your search are hidden until you reset the search field.

    FCP applies your search terms and filters the Event Browser display to show only clips, markers, and keywords that contain the selected text.

  2. Click the marker item in the Event Browser to select it.

The clip containing the marker is selected and displayed in the Viewer red_circle-t.jpg.

04_mc_figure_59.jpg

red_circle-t.jpg When you select a marker in the list, the clip opens automatically, and the playhead jumps to the marked frame.

To find a marker in the Timeline

  1. Make the Timeline window active by clicking in it; then press Command-F.

    The Timeline Index opens (if it’s not already showing) with the search field automatically activated red_circle-u.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_60.jpg

    red_circle-u.jpg You’ll find the Timeline search field at the top of the Timeline Index.

  2. In the Timeline Index search field, type any of the text that’s labeling the marker you want to find; then click the Tags button to open the Tags pane.

    A list of markers and keywords that contain the search term appears in the Timeline Index red_circle-v.jpg.

    04_mc_figure_61.jpg

    red_circle-v.jpg Just like in the Event Browser, the view is filtered to show only the items with the search text. Here there are several markers and keywords that all have the word stretch.

  3. Click the marker you searched for in the Timeline Index.

The Timeline playhead jumps to the selected marker red_circle-w.jpg.

04_mc_figure_62.jpg

red_circle-w.jpg The selected object in the Timeline Index is also selected in the Timeline.

To jump from marker to marker

  1. Make the desired window active, and then do one of the following:
  • Press Control-‘ (apostrophe) to move the playhead to the next marker.
  • Press Control-; (semicolon) to move the playhead to the previous marker.

The playhead moves to the next or previous marker in the selected window.

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