Opening Final Cut Pro's Help Files Using Preview

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the December, 2004, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

This technique came from a request by Jean Morrow, who wrote:

I’m wondering if you can tell me how to get the Help information in Final Cut Pro 4.5 to open in Preview, where I can search it easily, rather than in Adobe Acrobat. I’m running OS 10.3.5, so it should open in Preview, but it won’t. If I knew where to find the file on the hard drive I would try opening it from Preview, but I can’t locate it. I just upgraded to FCP 4.5 from FCP 4.1, but it wasn’t opening in Preview in 4.1 either.

Larry replies: Jean, switching Final Cut Pro’s Help files to open in Preview is easy. However, before you start, be sure that Final Cut is not running.

The first way you can do this is to switch ALL PDF files to open with Preview:

  1. Find any PDF file on your hard disk
  2. Click it once to select it
  3. Choose File > Get Info
  4. Twirl down the “Open With…” triangle, if it isn’t already
  5. Select “Preview” from the pop-up menu
  6. Click the “Change All” button.

There’s a second way, however, if you don’t want all PDFs to open with Preview, just the FCP help files:

  1. Control-click on Final Cut Pro in your Applications folder

  3. Select “Show Package Contents” from the pop-up menu

  5. Double-click the “Contents” folder to open it

  7. Double-click the “Resources” folder to open it

  9. Double-click the “English.lproj” folder to open it (If you are running a different language than English on your system, open the folder named after the language you are running)

  11. Double-click the “Final Cut Pro Help” folder to open it

  13. Select all Help files. (In the English version there are five of them.)

  15. Get Info (Cmd-i) on these selected files

  17. Twirl down the “Open With…” triangle, if it isn’t already

  19. Select “Preview” from the pop-up menu

  21. Close the Get Info box and all windows.

This second technique switches only the files you selected to open in Preview, so when you access help in Final Cut Pro, it will use Preview to open the files.

IMPORTANT CAUTION: The files inside the FCP icon folder, which you access using Show Contents are essential to it’s operation. Don’t touch, move, rename, or otherwise mess with any other program files or FCP will most likely stop working.

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