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Creating Custom Keyboard Layouts

Ever since Final Cut Pro's debut in 1999, editors with experience on other professional nonlinear editing systems have been requesting custom keyboard layouts, and Final Cut Pro 4 has finally delivered the goods. You can

  1. Completely reconfigure your keyboard layout.
  2. Reassign an existing shortcut to a different key.
  3. Create an entirely new keyboard shortcut.
  4. Select and reconfigure a foreign language keyboard layout.
  5. Save multiple keyboard layouts, and import and export layouts from other sources.
  6. Save a keyboard layout as a text file, so you can document your custom layout.

The Keyboard Layout window ( Figure 3.52 ) makes it dangerously easy to completely rewire your keyboard shortcuts. Take special note of the Reset button, which will return all keyboard shortcuts to Final Cut Pro's default settings with a single click. For a complete rundown on custom keyboard layouts, see Volume I, Chapter 7, of Apple's Final Cut Pro 4 User's Manual.


Figure 3.52 The Keyboard Layout window.

To create a custom keyboard shortcut

  1. Choose Tools > Keyboard Layout > Customize ( Figure 3.53 ).

    Figure 3.53 Choose Tools > Keyboard Layout > Customize to open the Keyboard Layout window.

    The Keyboard Layout window appears. Keyboard layout diagrams are arranged by shortcut modifier key and appear on multiple tabs. A complete list of commands, sorted by command group, appears at the right side of the window.
  2. To find the command you want to assign to the keyboard, do one of the following:
    • Click the expansion triangle next to the name of the command's menu group to reveal the command in the list ( Figure 3.54 ).

      Figure 3.54 Clicking the triangle next to a group name reveals a complete list of commands available in that group.

    • Enter the command's name or a keyword in the Search field. Matching commands display automatically.
    • Click the Search field to view the command list alphabetically.
  3. Click the Lock button to unlock the current keyboard layout diagram.
  4. To assign the command to a key, select the command in the list and do one of the following:
    • Press the key or key combo you want to assign as the new shortcut for that command. If the shortcut is already in use, a dialog box appears asking you to confirm your choice. If you want your new command choice to replace the key's current assignment, click Yes.
    • If your new keyboard shortcut uses no modifier key, drag the command from the list and drop it on the appropriate key in the keyboard diagram.
    • If your new keyboard shortcut is a key combined with a modifier key, select the keyboard diagram for that modifier key by clicking its tab, and then drag the command from the list and drop it on the appropriate key ( Figure 3.55 ).

      Figure 3.55 Drag the command from the list to the keyboard diagram, and drop it on the appropriate key.

  5. To save your changes, close the Keyboard Layout window.
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