FCP 7: Share vs. Send vs. Export

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the August, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


One of the new features that I find very interesting in Final Cut Pro 7 is File > Share. I’ve mentioned this earlier and will talk about it later in this issue.

In past versions, we could only use File > Export to create a file. Now we have four options. In this short technique, I’ll illustrate what these four options are and when to use them. (This is a modified excerpt from my forth-coming book for Peachpit Press.)

File > Share provides a fast way to assign a compression setting and destination, for one or more files. This provides a single button way to “do something to a file, then put it somewhere.” It can build all your selected files into a single master movie or output them as separate files. However, it limits you to one destination per Share window and requires a pre-set compression setting.

File > Send to Compressor is the best choice when you want to create a customized compression setting that you have not yet saved as a preset. It is also the best choice when you want to send a file or files to multiple destinations.

Both Send and Share do their exporting in the background, making them very, very fast.

Note: Actually, the exporting process still takes a long time, but since Final Cut is ready for you to continue editing almost immediately after you click Export, both of these options give you the appearance of exporting instantly. Don’t be surprised if your compressed files take a long while to appear.

File > Export > QuickTime Movie is the fastest way to get your movie out of Final Cut as a high-quality master file. It is best used when you need a stand-alone file with outstanding image quality. Use this when you want to create a master file you can store, transfer to another computer, or process repeatedly thru Compressor.

File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion is the best choice for exporting freeze frames or compressing video using third-party software that doesn’t work with Compressor.

UPDATE – Aug. 30, 2009

Tom Wolsky adds:

Just a note about Send and Share. Though they are sort of background processes, they are very slow compared to a reference export and encode in Compressor, and they both require the FCP application to remain open, as both methods call up the application, slowing done the compression process significantly.


The advantage of the Share function that gives you a post-process function like send to YouTube is available in Compressor without using the Share or Send function. The only thing in the Share function that gives it an advantage is the Blu-ray disc creation function with basic menus.

Larry replies: Thanks, Tom.

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One Response to FCP 7: Share vs. Send vs. Export

  1. Marcel van Wissen says:

    Dear Larry,
    When I’m trying to use the share function, the export button does not react. It remains grey. Regardless of my choice for dvd, youtube, or any other output format. Same with the ‘submit–button in Compressor.
    Is this is an issue in my ‘settings’?
    Thnx for your reply,

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