Selecting Visibility Lights

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. ]

The green visibility lights at the far left of the Timeline are useful when you want to make a video track invisible or an audio track inaudible.

Here are some quick tips to working with them:

1) To make a video track invisible, click the green light for that track. When the light is dark, the track is invisible.

2) To turn off ALL tracks, EXCEPT the one you are clicking on, Option+click the visibility light.

3) To turn on all tracks, after Option+clicking a track, Option+click it again. All tracks turn on.

However, there’s a huge “gotcha” in using the visibility lights: whenever you change the visibility lights ALL render files associated with that track are deleted.

Now, for audio, this isn’t that big a deal. But, for video, it could be significant.

So, here’s the workaround for video. To make a clip invisible, so that you can see what’s below it, Control+click on the clip and turn off Clip Enable. The clip will become invisible.

You will still lose the render files associated with that clip, but you won’t lose them for the entire track.

An even better shortcut exists for audio. Click the small speaker button in the extreme lower corner of the Timeline.

This displays Mute and Solo buttons for each track. Clicking the Mute (speaker) button turns off the audio for that track. Clicking the Solo (headset) button turns off all other tracks EXCEPT the one soloed.

This same option clicking also works on the Auto-Select lights, next to the locks on the Timeline. However, explaining how THOSE work is fully an article in itself — and here’s the article.


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