Cool FCP Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the January, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

I was just playing around inside Final Cut Pro and stumbled across eleven keyboard shortcuts I never knew were there.

Control+F2: Play in reverse at 5x speed
Control+F3: Play in reverse at 4x speed
Control+F4: Play in reverse at 3x speed
Control+F5: Play in reverse at 2x speed
Control+F6: Play in reverse at 1x speed
Control+F7: Play forward at 1x speed
Control+F8: Play forward at 2x speed
Control+F9: Play forward at 3x speed
Control+F10: Play forward at 4x speed
Control+F11: Play forward at 5x speed
Control+F12: Play forward at 6x speed

Some of these are similar to pressing J multiple times to go in reverse, or L multiple times to go forward.

Still, I never knew they were there. I LOVE discovering new things!

Note: Some of these keyboard shortcuts may be blocked by the OS or other software. To see a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, select Tools > Button List and enter Play in the search box.

Eric Mittan, ( chief editor at WSIL-TV, sent this in recently:

I work at a small news station in Southern Illinois and I love your Final Cut Tip of the Day. Today’s tip covered keyboard shortcuts, and how to get F9 and F10 working again if they’re assigned to Expose.


However, on the newest models of Apple Keyboard (the Aluminum and wireless Aluminum keyboards) there is a secondary problem, as F9 is assigned to “Forward” as a media player control button, and F10 is assigned to “mute.”


Now while you can certainly make the argument that a “real” editor should go out and get themselves a “real” keyboard, I also think that the budget-minded editor should be able to use the best features of Apple’s Hardware and Software right out of the box. This means a little tweaking.


In order to get F9 and F10 working again in Final Cut on the new Aluminum keyboards, visit System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse and click on the keyboard tab. Make sure the check box is turned on for “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys”. This will make F9 and F10 work in Final Cut again.


But now how do you use volume controls?!? Turning on this function disables the functionality of ALL your volume control buttons, not just F10. Note that there is a Function modifier key labeled “fn” on the new keyboards. On the wireless aluminum keyboard it’s in the lower left corner of the keyboard next to control. On the wired aluminum keyboards, it’s just under F13, next to home and above forward delete. Press this key in addition to F10, F11, and F12, and your volume keys will function as they did before.


Note that the tip works the same for Apple notebooks, with the function key in the lower left corner. Although I think on Laptops, “Keyboard and Mouse” in System Preferences is called “Keyboard and Trackpad”.


FCP Shortcuts


Hope this helps! Here’s a screenshot of the System Preferences pane with the checkbox to be turned on.

Larry replies: Eric, thanks for sending this in. I used to work as a news editor myself, except back then, what we were editing was film. Nothing like wondering if your last-minute lead story would break in the film processor to add some excitement to your life!



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