Finding and Replacing Transitions

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the December, 2007, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Marco Fantacuzzi, from Italy, writes:

I’m Marco, and I write from Padova, Italy. I’ve been following your newsletter since a couple of years, it’s a very precious tool that gave me the opportunity to learn so many things… Thank you!! And sorry if I always kept passively silent but I never thought I had something to share to other users… 🙂


Last week I attended a Trainer course in Paris, where I met Victoria Parks-Murphy, very skillful and patient teacher: she was the first person that I ever met that could answer to many of my doubts and questions about our beloved FCP. She is great!!


During the course I happen to find a nice trick that combines the use of transitions with the find command, and Victoria suggested me to share it with you and your readers. It can be a saver for editors who use a lot the overwrite or insert with transition feature, or for editors that for some unlucky reason are asked to remove or replace all of the transitions of their sequence with another one!! This is a quick way to do it (instead of removing them one by one):


The find command in Final Cut Pro is sensitive to transitions. Let’s suppose you have a sequence with a series of dissolves you want to modify, or delete. You can select the current sequence, and hit Cmd-F, the search dialogue will appear.


Find 1


Then you insert the name, or part of the name of the transition you want to select, for example dissolve, or wipe, and hit Find All. All the transitions of the sequence with that name will be highlighted, and you’ll be able to erase them in one click, hitting Delete, or (this is really powerful!!) replace them with another transition.


Find 2


[In order to change all the selected transitions at once, you must use the Effects menu to select the new transition; use either the Video Transitions or Favorites menus. Dragging and dropping from the Effects tab won’t work.]


I think this is one of the little magic things of FCP, that can help an editor in saving time. I must confess, Larry, that I’m always looking for solutions like this, not because I’m lazy, but because I try to take to the best the instrument that I’m working with… I think you can understand!!


So, I hope you can this little trick useful, and even if you knew this already, it has been a good chance for me to break the silence and the ‘passive reading’ mode, and get to know you, one of my favorite teachers…

Larry replies: Marco, I did know about this trick, but I keep forgetting it. Thanks for sending it in!

By the way, I’m also a fan of Ms. Parks-Murphy and I’m glad you think as highly of her as I do.

One last note:

The default transition does not necessarily need to be a 30-frame cross-dissolve. You can change the transition to any length and any effect Final Cut supports. Here’s an article that explains how to do it: Changing the Default Transition


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