FCP 7: Creating Text Favorites

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the February, 2006, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

This technique grew out of a conversation with Gloria Messer, of New York City, who started it by writing:

Your latest newsletter is fabulous, as usual. The fact that I could not change colors, fonts or sizes in a scroll in FCP has always been a source of frustration. I am thrilled by your solution. Now, why didn’t I think of that???


Is it possible to center a name on a line under a lower-third title? Would you just skip a line on the 2nd scroll on V-2, or would you use the asterisk and how?

Larry replies: Gloria, your question gave me an incentive to relook at the text tool. And I discovered two features that I didn’t know existed.

First, though, to answer your question, the text generator in Final Cut has been generously described as “limited.” While all scrolling titles are centered, lower-third supers are only flush-left, for no rational reason that I can understand.

However, here’s the cool part. Did you know you can create Text and Drop-shadow favorites? Neither did I. But, if you have a lot of text titles, or drop shadows that you want to add, using Favorites is a very convenient way to do it.

Here’s how.


  1. Create a text clip, click the Controls tab in the Viewer and style it however you want. 


    In this case, I’m using 80 point Impact as a full-screen title to a Snowboard sequence.



  3. With the text clip still in the Viewer and the Viewer selected, select Effects > Make Favorite Effect


  5. In the Browser > Effects tab > Favorites folder, a new item shows up which is the text favorite you just created. 


  7. Drag it from the Favorites folder into the Browser. You can now use this just like any other clip — except your text settings are now preset. You can rename it, if you wish.

  9. Put your playhead in the middle of the clip in the Timeline over which you want to superimpose the title you just created.

  11. Edit the text clip to the Timeline by dragging it to the Canvas and dropping it on top of the Superimpose overlay menu.

  13. Double-click the text clip to load it back into the Viewer. 


  15. Select the Motion tab and click the checkbox next to Drop Shadow to turn it on. Modify your drop shadow settings — I recommend using an Offset of 1.5, a Softness of 30 and an Opacity of 90


  17. When your shadow settings are set, select Effects > Make Favorite Motion


  19. Notice that a second clip appears in the Browser > Effects tab > Favorites folder. It’s called “Text (Motion).” These are the drop shadow settings you just created. 


  21. To help you remember, double-click the name of the favorite settings and change the name to “Drop Shadow.”

  23. Now, whenever you want to create a text title, simply edit the text clip from the Browser to the Timeline using the Superimpose menu in the Canvas and change the text in the Controls tab. 


  25. And, to apply a drop shadow, select the text clip you to which you want to apply the settings and chose Effects > Favorite Effects > Drop Shadow (or whatever you named the clip.)

As a note, you will need to restart Final Cut for the Effects menu to recognize the changed name of the drop shadow favorite.

As someone who as grumbled countless times about not being able to save drop shadow settings, this is a wonderful timesaver!

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