FCP X: Delete/Add Custom Templates

Posted on by Larry

The effects engine behind Final Cut Pro X is Motion. Motion allows us to create custom effects, generators, transitions and titles.

While I don’t, generally, use Motion to create custom effects, I do use it a lot to create custom titles. Which is great until I need to delete them – or move them to a different computer.

Explaining how to do this is what this Final Cut Pro X training article is about.

When you first create a project in Motion, this opening screen asks you to choose the type of Motion project to create. This choice does two things, one obvious and one hidden.

The obvious is to configure Motion. However, under the hood, this also tells Motion to ask for Theme and Category information during the save, store the file in a specific place, and notify Final Cut Pro X that a new effect exists.

NOTE: To learn how to create Motion projects for Final Cut Pro X, check out this video training.

When you save your Motion project, you are prompted to add Themes and Categories so that Final Cut can organize your effects properly. Adding a Theme or Category creates special folders within which your effects projects are stored. What this means is that it is very easy to find, move, or delete any of your custom Motion projects.

For instance, here in the Titles Browser for Final Cut Pro X, are two custom title effects that I created. Both are in a Theme called “Larry” and a Category called “Webinars” — “Courtesy” and “Note.” (I use both of these in editing my weekly webinars to provide on-screen comments.)


All custom Motion projects that need to be accessed by FCP X are stored in the Home directory of the computer that created them.

To open the Home Directory, either choose Home from the Go menu, or, my preference, is to type Shift+Command+H.

The Home directory opens.

Locate the Movies folder and open it. Inside is a folder called “Motion Templates.”

Inside it, open Motion Templates. Inside it are folders for each of the Motion templates: Compositions, Effects, Generators, Titles, and Transitions.

Open the Titles folder. Inside that you’ll see a folder for each Theme (“Larry”). Inside that is a folder for each Category (“Webinars”). Inside that is a folder for each title.

Inside each title folder are all the elements needed for each effect. I strongly recommend not touching anything inside this project folder.


To delete a custom effect, first Quit Final Cut. This is essential, because otherwise FCP X will get confused and, potentially, unstable.

Then, drag the effect folder you don’t want to the Trash.

When you restart Final Cut, it will only look inside the Movies folder for effects. Anything stored in the Trash will be ignored.

NOTE: You can also use this technique to temporarily remove a custom effect. Simply move the effects folder out of the Movies folder and store it somewhere else. When you need the effect again, drag it back into its original location in the Movies folder. (Remember to always quit FCP X before moving any folders.)


Just as with deleting an effect, when sharing effects between computers, be sure to first quit Final Cut Pro X to prevent any problems.

To copy effects that you created from one computer to another, drag the folder with the effect you want from your Movies folder to the Movies folder of the computer.

NOTE: If you plan to email the effect, be sure to compress (ZIP) it first.

When you restart Final Cut, it automatically finds any effects stored in the Movies folder.


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30 Responses to FCP X: Delete/Add Custom Templates

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  1. inca says:

    Hi Larry,
    I am on FCPX 10.4.8.
    I have somehow created a mess in my titles and I am guessing it’s one reason why my project is running very slow when I try to work on it. Perhaps you could guide me on this:
    Somehow my 3rd party titles are stored both in FCPX’s default location in Movies folder, and also within the FCPX library bundle file. I have two sets of these lower third titles. I vaguely remember clicking on “save with Library” somewhere in the past, because I was going to share the Library with a colleague in a different country, and wanted her to have access to the same title templates I have, which are used in the timeline.
    Moreover, I discovered that in the folder within the FCPX bundle I have more than 1000 copies of the title folder I have used in the project. My guess is that that number corresponds to the total number of titles; I have multiple interviews with English subtitle translations done where the lower third Title was used to display these subtitles.
    I started using bits and pieces from multiple projects to work on the documentary in a new project. When I went back to grab some footage from the older interview projects, I discovered that all the subtitles are replaced with the aforementioned red frame with a large T and a yellow exclamation triangle within it. I have had something similar before and all I had to do was to “relink” the files, but this time there is no such option and when I go to the inspector I cannot even see the text that is inside the title. I wonder if it has anything to do with me deleting preferences when I was trying to improve the speed of the project.

    How could I troubleshoot this situation to gain back the titles I used to have and not repeat the problem?

    • Larry says:


      Sigh… 1,000 copies of a titles folder will probably slow things down. I’m so sorry for your problems.

      The unlinked files were not caused by deleting preferences. They were probably caused by moving or renaming some of your title files. Subtitles are kept in the library by default.

      There’s no easy way out of the mess you are in. What you will need to do is find the original subtitle file, reimport it and link it to your project. If the subtitles were all created inside FCP X, this gets even harder.

      Hmm…. I think a call to Apple Support is the first step – see what they can do to help you get rid of files and folders inside the library that you don’t need. Once the library is cleaned up, you can start re-doing the subtitles.


      • inca says:

        Thanks for writing back quickly, Larry.
        The title was not created in Final Cut. It’s one of the fine titles created by an enthusiast who is very helpful to the community just like you are. I’ll also write to him to see where I made a mistake in using his title templates.
        I’ll also try your idea of reimporting the original title. I can see where my first import is, but to me it already seems problematic that I have the same set of templates in FCP seen twice, one located in the Movies folder, the other in the FCPX bundle in the external hard disk.

        Will keep you posted.

        • inca says:

          Hi again, Larry.
          In my search, I found that I had TWO Motion Templates folders in my Movies folder, probably because I made a mistake when installing a new version of Motion some time ago. I carried the contents of the older one to the new one and removed the old folder. This brought back the missing subtitles into the projects.

          I also remembered that, from the Library’s Inspector options, I had chosen to keep my Motion Content inside the library so that I could test if my friend could see titles I used if she opened a transfer library, even if she doesn’t have the same 3rd party titles installed in her computer.

          Now, the remaining problem is the multiple copies of these title templates. One of the two titles I have used in about 15-20 occasions has 17 copies, telling me that these copies are created every time I put one in a project timeline. Moreover, when I am in the Titles section in the browser, the Installed Titles list has two copies of some of the title templates. When I right-click on them, half of them have “show in Finder” option, while the other half do not show this option at all. When I choose the Library from the Titles menu, as opposed to all Installed Titles, I see those 1000+ copies appear listed there. I believe this is not how it’s supposed to function. Where would the used title files be stored in FCPX structure?

          Anyway, my guess is that I messed up when I was installing these titles. I could delete the 1000+ copies from the Library bundle, but I worry that would remove the subtitles I need for this project. I am waiting for an export to finish so that I can close the Library and select the Motion Content to be back in my local Movies folder.

          • inca says:

            hi Larry. I found that of the two copies of a few title templates were caused by the same files being both in Motion Templates folder in movies and in Application Support folder for FCPX. I quit FCPX and merged the 3rd party titles and effects from FCPX Application Support into Motion Templates and now within in FCPX I have only one copy of each. Looks much better and cleaned up.
            I still have a couple discrepancies on how titles are organized within FCPX and how they are in Finder folder structure or in Motion. That’s might have something to do with Themes. Something to learn later.
            Just wanted to give an update for anyone who made the same mess in their system.

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