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Using the Option Key in Final Cut Pro

optionkey.pngThe Option Key in Final Cut Pro should be every user's favorite key.  Why, you may ask?  Because there's such a plethora of key commands or shortcuts that involve the Option key, you simply can't live without it.  Some feel it is the most important of the 4 modifier keys.  Basically, you can think of the Option Key as the "reverse key", or opposite key.  A keyboard shortcut used in one particular way, can be reversed by using the option key.  For example, to set an in or out point, you use the I or O key; to remove an in or out point, you use Option+I or Option+O.

Some other Options:
  • Moving a clip between tracks:  to move a clip up or down between tracks, hold down the Option key while using the arrow up or down keys.
  • Option + and Option - zooms in and out of your Timeline.
  • Option+R:  Render all (I use this one a lot)
  • Solo a Final Cut Pro tracks visibility, lock or auto select
  • Option+M: moves backward to the previous marker
  • Option+Q: brings up your user preferences
  • Option+P: preview effects and transitions before rendering
Using the Option key with the mouse can be even more powerful. Two of the top two ways to use the option key are:

Holding down the Option key will temporarily disable linking. If you need to delete the audio or video track of linked video, simply hold down the option key when clicking on the track you wish to delete, and it will become selected without the linked track becoming selected as well. One the same note you can trim linked video without trimming the associated track by holding down the option key as you trim.

Holding down the option key when parked over an overlay will bring up the pen tool without having to turn on the pen tool. For example if you wanted to drop your audio level, you could use the option key to bring up the pen tool, and then set two keyframes on the overlay, and pull the overlay down just past the second keyframe.
pentol.pngSo think of the option key as the opposite key and you will speed up your workflow and become a more efficient editor!  Be sure to check out our upcoming class schedule and learn a more contemporary workflow.

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MacBook Pro with an External Monitor for Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Using Screenflow for Screen Capture Recordings is the next entry in this blog.

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