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This chapter is from the book

What You’ve Learned

  • Like 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 or by lassoing an edit point with the Edit Selection tool (G).
  • 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.
  • FCP’s Roll tool (R) is equivalent to Avid’s Dual-Roller Trim mode.
  • FCP’s 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. It can be toggled on or off via a check box in the Trim Edit window or in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window.
  • In dynamic trimming, 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 with 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 toggle off the Linked Selection control in the Timeline button bar. You can also Option-click one track to override Linked Selection.
  • You can trim multiple edit points in an asymmetrical trim by selecting a trim tool, Option-clicking the first edit point, and Cmd-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


Selects the Edit Selection tool


Selects the edit point closest to the playhead


Loads the edit point closest to the Timeline playhead in the Trim Edit window


Closes the Trim Edit window


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

[ or ]

Trims one frame left or right

Shift-[or Shift-]

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

< or >

Trims one frame left or right

Shift-< or Shift->

Trims the multiframe trim amount


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


Selects the Roll tool


Selects the Ripple tool


Toggles off or on the Linked Selection function in the Timeline


Temporarily overrides Linked Selection in order to select a single edit point in a linked clip


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

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