FCP X: Copying and Pasting Clips

This article was sparked by a conversation with Jeffrey Lyness about how to move clips between projects.

This is the collection of clips we want to paste into a different project — let’s pretend we want to share these clips with multiple projects. This project contains several video clips, a video clip that’s a hold frame (freeze frame), and a connected audio clip. The easiest way to move a clip, or a group of clips, between projects is to use copy and paste.

NOTE: We could also convert this to a compound clip, which is the subject of a different article.

Specifically, select the clip, or clips, you want to copy, and type Command+C (or, you can choose Edit > Copy).

Then, open the project you want to copy the clips into.

Position the playhead exactly where you want the clips to paste and type Command+V (or, Edit > Paste).

The clips will always paste at the position of the playhead, however, depending upon the position of the playhead, one of several things will happen:

We also have a new option: Edit > Paste as Connected Clip. This pastes the contents of the clipboard as a series of connected clips, starting at the position of the playhead. (If necessary, this will create a gap in the Primary Storyline to make sure all clips are connected (indicated by the red box).


Not only can you move clips from one part of a project to another, or from one project to a second project, you can also copy and paste clips from the Event Browser into the Timeline. However, you can’t copy clips from the Timeline and paste them into the Event Browser.

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40 Responses to FCP X: Copying and Pasting Clips

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  1. Bill says:

    Up graded to Final Cut Pro X 10.0.7. Before the upgrade, I was able to copy a simple title graphic, then paste is over a different area of the timeline and it would go on top of the video layer. Now when I go to paste is puts it under the video, hence, not being seen.

  2. Anthony says:

    Hi Larry. Is there a way to paste a clip without cutting into the clip the playhead is positioned on? For instance paste above in a separate layer.

    I had a mic problem and I’m trying to piece together sentences with single words from different parts of my video, copying with the range tool.

    Being able to paste it where it needs to go without cutting in to the main story line then detach the audio would speed up my workflow tremendously. Instead I’m pasting at certain cuts I’ve already made, or at the end of the timeline. Its very tedious because its a 45 minute workout video and I have to zoom in and out and drag one word where it needs to go.

  3. Alex says:

    Is there a way to paste a link to a sequence/project/compound clip in another project? Similar in FCP7 were we could drag a sequence1 into the timeline of another sequence2, then if we made any changes in the timeline of seq1 it would be reflected in the seq2 as well.

  4. Richard Harvey says:

    I am trying to copy a title from an existing project to a new one. I click the title on the time line (either in it, or in the bar above) copy and paste but only part of the title is pasted into the new project. There is more than one text box in the title but I can find no way to activate all three text boxes and copy them all, and copying them individually doesn’t seem to work either. I have been through your training but can’t find specific help on this. Indeed I cannot find anything much on titling, which is still the most shambolic part of FCPX – even in 10.2.1 titles still regularly misbehave and crash my 12-core Mac Pro.

    • Larry says:


      Select the title clip in the timeline so that there is a gold box around the entire title. Then, choose Edit > Copy. Open the project into which you want to paste the clip and choose Edit > Paste.

      Everything inside the original title clip should transfer exactly.


  5. David Mathis says:

    Is it possible to paste as connected with video or audio only?

    The reason I ask was that I was trying to fix an audio problem. I expanded the audio and video of the clip (no detaching), then, by using the range tool I made a selection of clean audio from the same clip then copied. After that I marked both in and out points of where I wanted to fix the audio. As soon as I tried to connect the selection as audio only FCP X connected the first part of the clip instead of my selection. I assume that FCP X uses the clip from the event browser not the selection I made.

    The other option would be to detach the audio, make the selection, copy and paste as connected. I tried setting the edit to audio only before pasting as connected only to have the video be pasted as well.

    • Larry Jordan says:


      Paste as Connected pastes whatever you have on the clipboard. This means that to paste audio only, you would need to select just the audio of what you want to paste.

      The All / Video-only / Audio-only options in the shortcut menu don’t apply to Paste commands.


  6. Susannah Stevens says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks so much for your expertise, which has been useful to me many times! This time I just can’t figure it out. I’m trying to copy a sequence comprising all the clips in one project event into another event, but when I paste them I end up with seemingly random gaps spread throughout the sequence. Any insight?


    • Larry says:


      You are using some terms which are confusing me.

      * To make a copy of a Project, right-click on it and choose “Duplicate Project – Snapshot.”
      * If you copy clips in a Project, you need to paste them into another project, not an event.
      * If you copy clips in Project 1, make sure Project 2 settings match Project 1, especially for frame rate.
      * It is not advised to copy clips from a project into an event, because clips can only exist in one event within a Library.

      Let me know where you are seeing problems.


  7. David says:

    Is there a way to paste insert a clip into the primary storyline and push all the primary’s clips down WITHOUT moving any connected clips, so that they remain at their original locations in the timeline? If there is, I’m doing it wrong. Thanks!

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