Changing Column Names in the Browser

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the December, 2004, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

This technique grew out of a question Joel Kitay asked:

I used Avid for 7 years and now am 6 months into FCP.  I do a lot of sports work. In the Avid, I could custom create columns in my clip bin for “name” “play” “quarter,” etc., and sift all those fields.  So, for instance, if I was looking for all the “passing” plays in the 3rd quarter of a football game, I could sift the bin down to that.


This leads to 2 questions for FCP that I can’t figure out:


  1. Can you create custom data fields in a bin?
  2. Can you then sift these columns by keywords?

His question started me investigating, and here’s what I discovered — the answer is yes, to both questions.

You CAN rename column headings in the Browser, provided they have the word, “Comment” somewhere in the heading. There are six columns that meet this criteria:

The first four are easy to find, just scroll right across the Browser and you’ll find them way over on the right side.

But where, you ask, are the columns for Master Comment 3 & 4?

Well, they are not displayed in the Browser, but if you hold down the Control key and click on any column header in the Browser EXCEPT the Name column, you’ll see a listing of 16 columns that the Browser is tracking, but not displaying.

You can select and display Master Comment 3 or 4 from this list.

To change a column name, control click on the column header — in this case, I decided to change the name of “Master Comment 2” — and select the second option — “Edit Column Name.”

Then, double click in the name itself to select it and type your own name. Press Enter (or Return) to lock the name in.

As for finding information, go to Edit > Find, and select the column, or columns, you want to look in. Type the words or phrases you want to find and Final Cut will display all the clips that match your criteria.

There is one “gotcha,” however. You need to remember the original name of the column when you go to Edit > Find to look for material you’ve stored in this column. The column header may have changed in the Browser, but the name displayed in the Find pop-up list is still the original name.

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