Finish Rough Cuts at Warp Speed with These 2 Hotkeys

Don't spend an eternity on a rough cut. It's a rough cut!

Oh, I do love a sexy workflow. All efficient and seamless, looking at me with that attitude like, "If this takes forever, it's your fuggin' fault." (And then I'm all like, "Baby, you're craaaaaazy," and then she's all like...looking at the clock...and then I'm like, "Ch. Okay, damn.")

This little trick caught my eye for exactly that reason: it's super easy, utilizes single-key shortcuts, and will allow you to get through your rough cuts faster than you probably ever have before. In this video from Basic Filmmaker, you'll learn how just two hotkeys and a little scrubbing can make your work in post-production so much easier and less time-consuming. Check it out below:

So, the video demonstrates a couple of techniques you can use to move through your rough cut quickly, but the last one mentioned is the hot soup, my friend. 

The first thing you'll want to do is go up to the Sequence pull-down menu and select "Selection Follows Playhead." This means that whichever clips are below the playhead will be selected. 

For this next part, you'll be utilizing two commands:

  • Cut
  • Ripple Trim Previous Edit To Playhead

By default, the keyboard shortcuts for these commands are set as "CMD+X" (Cut) and "Q" (Ripple Trim Previous Edit To Playhead), but you can customize them to make this process easier, for example, programming Cut as "X". It's a much simpler single-key command.

Okay, so after you've enabled "Selection Follows Playhead", you'll be able to scrub through your timeline to the parts of your clips you want to trim and, without even letting go of your mouse, and hit "X" and "Q" to cut down the bulk of your rough edit.

That's it! You'll be able to blow through your rough edits faster than you can say "sexy workflow."

For more tips and tricks on how to supercharge your workflow, check out some of these posts we've done in the past.

Do you know of a faster/simpler/better way to edit a rough cut? Let us know down below.     

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Your Comment


Or just use Final Cut with the the most responsive scrubbing (no holding the mouse down) and totally care-free ripple edits (magnetic baby!). It's not just for rough cuts, it's for whatever.

But good tip, for when I'm forced back into Premiere on a project...

February 24, 2019 at 2:15PM


The default shortcuts for this process in FCP X would be Command-B to blade at the playhead, and Option-[ to Trim Start, but ideally you'd want to remap them (as here) to two neighboring keys with no modifiers (e.g. F5, F6).

February 24, 2019 at 3:37PM


I think maybe the text writeup is wrong here? Cmd + X is "cut" like "cut it and add it to the clipboard." - it'd actually be CMD + K for "Add Edit"? Or am I looking at an older keyboard preset?

February 25, 2019 at 9:07AM