FCP X: Hidden Timeline Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted on by Larry

logo-FCPXJust when I think I’ve learned “everything I could possibly know” about Final Cut Pro X, I discover something new. (Sigh… this happens about once a week.)

Several somethings in fact.

Did you know there are hidden keyboard shortcuts for the Final Cut Timeline? Actually, there are several. Some are shortcuts that don’t appear in any menus, others are shortcuts that exist that haven’t been assigned to any keys.


For example, let’s start with this panel here. Located in the lower right of the Timeline, these six icons allow us to adjust the heights of Timeline clips, as well as determine the display proportion between audio and video. All six of these have existing keyboard shortcuts.

(Click to see larger image.)

To access all keyboard shortcuts, go to Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize. This screen appears.


In the upper right corner, search for “clip appear” – you can actually search for any text you want. But “clip appear” will display the screen below.


These fourteen shortcuts then appear – each linked to one of the Timeline display icons. (The reason each of these is doubled is that one shortcut is for the keyboard and the other is for the keypad.)

NOTE: The two symbols mean press Control and Option while typing the number.

Notice the two at the bottom? Press Control – Option – [up/down] Arrow to cycle through all six settings. Cool.

NOTE: Here’s an article that explains how to create keyboard shortcuts.


Shortcut What It Does
Cmd + 1 Go to the Browser
Cmd + 2 Go to the Timeline
Cmd + 3 Go to the Viewer
Cmd + 4 Go to the Inspector
Shift + Cmd + 2 Show/Hide the Timeline Index
Shift + 1 Edit audio and video
Shift + 2 Edit video-only
Shift + 3 Edit audio-only
Control + Shift + R Render everything
Option + S Solo selected clip
Shift + Delete Replace selected clip with a gap (black)
Option + [ Trim start of clip to playhead/skimmer, also called “Trim heads”
Option + ] Trim end of clip to playhead/skimmer, also called “Trim tails”
Option + \ Trim clip to selection
Cmd + [ Timeline History Back (open the project that you opened before the Timeline that is currently open).
Cmd + ] Timeline History Forward (open the project that you opened after the Timeline that is currently open.)


Here are Timeline functions that are available, but not assigned, to a keyboard shortcut. Search on the name of the function in the Shortcuts window to find and create the shortcut.


Here are more articles I’ve written covering other hidden shortcuts:


Keyboard shortcuts provide an endless supply of “Oh! I didn’t know I could do that!” Even better, you get to pick the ones you like that will enable you to work faster and more efficiently.

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10 Responses to FCP X: Hidden Timeline Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Loren Miller says:

    Useful, Larry!

    A little confused:
    “Notice the two at the bottom? Press Control – Option – [up/down] Arrow to cycle through all six settings.”

    Says that’ll increase/decrease waveform size?

    Best, as always.

    • Larry says:


      We are both correct. The description of the shortcut says: “Increase/Decrease waveform size.”

      The result of tapping these shortcuts is that it cycles through the six settings.


  2. Ralph Haney says:

    Forgive me if I missed it somewhere; is there a hidden shortcut for adjusting clip height up and down in the timeline? Not just the six presets but custom height adjustments on the fly? Searched many sites, can’t find it and that would be SO handy… 🙂

  3. David Hartness says:

    I need assistance if I can explain it. The timeline, it’s to small. Its crunched together, how do I streach it out for greater control and visual for my clips, transitions and the like? I have a smail one second clip but when I add it to the small timeline it gets lost between other clips.

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