October 4, 2016

Here's a Super Fast Way to Cut Unwanted Clips from Your Timeline Sans Mouse

Need to cut a bunch of footage out of your timeline? Speed up your workflow without having to use a mouse.

We've all been there—we're trying to edit an interview, a bunch of b-roll, or a stretch of dialog, but it's taking forever to scrub through and find the footage you want to take out. Well, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter shows you how to speed that process up with Final Cut Pro X keyboard shortcuts. Check out his tutorial below:

Learning your NLE's keyboard shortcuts is a great way of speeding up your workflow, and learning how to remap those shortcuts might speed it up even more. Here are the keyboard shortcuts Pike uses in his tutorial.

Final Cut Pro X

  • Left/Right Arrows: Move 1 frame
  • Shift +Left/Right Arrows: Move 10 frames
  • Command + B: Make a cut
  • X: Select clip in front of playhead
  • Command + X: delete or “cut” clip

If you use Premiere Pro, you can use a similar "mouseless" editing workflow, since Premiere and FCPX have almost identical default keyboard shortcuts.

Premiere Pro

  • Left/Right Arrows = Move 1 frame
  • Shift +Left/Right Arrows = Move 5 frames
  • I: In
  • O: Out
  • Command + X = delete or “cut” clip

What kinds of shortcuts do you think would make this kind of workflow faster? Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment

13 Comments

In Premiere, the up and down arrows will jump the playhead to the next/previous cut, very useful for quickly navigating the timeline. Also, Q and W for ripple trim can be a lifesaver on certain projects.

Here's a NFS post from last year that goes a little more in depth into Premiere keyboard shortcuts.
http://nofilmschool.com/2015/02/premiere-pro-keyboard-shortcuts-save-time

October 4, 2016 at 9:18PM, Edited October 4, 9:18PM

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Jonathan Daniel
Freelance Video Producer
86

Try this one:
In Final Cut Pro X
Choose "in" frame
Command + B: Make a cut
Choose "out" frame
Command + [ Delete and trim (because of magnetic timeline)

Thats two stages less.

October 4, 2016 at 10:41PM

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True, except you made a mistake about the shortcuts :D

Choose "in" frame
Command + B: Make a cut
Choose "out" frame
option + [ : trim left (and therefore delete the part you didn't need)

November 7, 2016 at 7:46AM

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In FCPX, option I or O to where your cursor is trims either the head or the tail of the shot even on multiple stacked clips. Holding Shift while hitting the delete key will leave a gap if you need it. Option/Command/Delete overrides attachments and will cut the clip out and leave whatever is attached to it. Also with either the head of the tail of shot selected, when you are playing back you can hit shift X to dynamically trim the shot to wherever the cursor is during the playback.

October 5, 2016 at 12:00AM, Edited October 5, 12:00AM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
594

I was going to mention trimming the beginning or ending of a clip to the playhead, but the shortcuts are Option+[ and Option+]. At least by default.

October 5, 2016 at 12:34AM

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Braden Storrs
Post Production Manager, Photographer
340

Type-O because my keyboard is an fcpx keyboard and the I and O keys have the left and right bracket symbols above them. I find option [ or ] to be one of the quickest ways to cut in X as I usually have stacks of titles and generators I need to cut all at once.

October 5, 2016 at 11:04AM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
594

This can be even faster: I to mark the in. Move to the end. O to mark the out. Delete. Done. You can do the selection with the mouse if you switch to the Range Selection tool first.

October 5, 2016 at 1:43AM, Edited October 5, 1:43AM

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Why post this video? It isn't a super-fast way to make cuts from FCPX. It's a super longer way and there are other ways to make a cut that are much faster. Like I and O then Delete !

October 5, 2016 at 7:16AM

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Correct! Also, when you use Command-X you are NOT deleting the clip, you are putting on the clipboard! Just hit Command - V and see what happens...

October 5, 2016 at 1:29PM

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Lance Bachelder
Writer/Director/Editor
165

I agree, this video is by someone who doesn't know X very well at all. Here's the video I watched many years ago that taught me the basics of trimming in X https://vimeo.com/64274540

October 5, 2016 at 3:23PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
594

It's a quick post to get clicks. That's half of what NFS posts.

October 6, 2016 at 9:55PM

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I use the mouse, but in a fast way. What I use in Premiere Pro is:
- I have a shortcuts assigned to the f1, f2 and f3 (f1 is undo, f2 is delete, f3 is cut or add edit).
- I have activated the "Select follows playhead"
And with the mouse I move the playhead through the timeline and, when I consider is something I need or don't, I cut and delete the unwanted video, letting just the images I need.
The F1 shortcut was the last one I made. This was for never take off my hand of that part of the keyboard.

October 5, 2016 at 9:52AM

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cmd-B at in-point
opt-left bracket at out-point

… no step 3

October 6, 2016 at 1:42AM

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