In FCP 7, we organized our files using folders and file names. In Final Cut Pro X, we organize files using keywords. There are two ways to apply keywords: automatically and manually. Here’s an article that describes how to apply keywords automatically.
However, most often, we need to organize our clips manually as we figure out the organization we need to make sense of a project. Keywords are perfect for this – and very fast, both to apply and to use.
The purpose of keywording is to allow you to find the files that relate to a particular part of your project. For instance, here are six keywords:
Once applied, it is almost instant to find all clips of the bride at the beach in the daytime. FCP is very fast at categorizing and displaying clips using keywords. (A subset of keywords are Favorite and Rejected, which have their own menu and Toolbar options.)
APPLYING A KEYWORD MANUALLY
For instance, here I have a variety of beauty shots on different subjects. I want to create two new keywords: The West and Flowers, so that I can quickly find just the shots in those categories.
In this example, I’ve selected three clips. To apply a keyword, select a clip, or group of clips, in the Event Browser. In general, it is most efficient to select multiple clips and apply a single keyword. If you are always applying the same keywords to a collection of clips, all but one of those keywords is probably unnecessary.
Click the Keyword Editor icon to display the Keyword Editor, or type Command+K.
If this is the first time you’ve opened the Keyword Editor, it will look like this. If you’ve already entered keywords, you’ll see the first nine keywords you entered displayed here.
NOTE: Final Cut allows an essentially unlimited number of keywords, however only the first nine keywords that you created are displayed in this dialog. You can change them at any time by deleting a reference and adding a new keyword.
In the top text box, type the keyword you want to apply to the selected clips. In our case, I’ve typed “The West”.
Press the Enter key and watch as the keyword animates itself into each of the selected clips, and the keyword itself is added to one of the empty keyword preset slots in at the bottom of this window.
Here’s another example, this time I selected two different clips. They already have two keywords applied: Nature and Scenic. I’m adding another keyword Flowers. Press Enter to apply the keyword “Flowers” to the selected clips.
Notice that past keywords are displayed in this dialog. This provides a fast way to apply past keywords to a selected clip, or group of clips by either typing the keyboard shortcut, or clicking the button next to the keyword you want to apply.
NOTE: To apply an existing keyword, either click it in the Keyword Editor, or type the associated keyboard shortcut: Control+1 – 9. To delete a keyword preset from the Keyword editor, select the word and press Delete. ( For instance, in the screen shot above, The West is selected.”
Notice as soon as you create a new keyword and apply it to a clip, it appears under the Event name in the Event Library; both The West and Flowers are displayed as part of this Event.
The easiest way to view clips by keyword is to click the keyword itself in the Event Library. You can also search on multiple keywords using the Keyword search box – and I’ll write about that in a future article.
To remove a keyword:
BY THE WAY: I cover keywording in detail in Chapter 5 from my FCP X: Editing training. Click here to learn more.
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