This is a very brief first look at the some of the key features of FCPX from the viewpoint of the professional editor. Not the data wrangler, not the media manager, not the one-stop shop, production-company-in-a-bedroom. The cutter.

(I have tried to avoid any of the features that have been previewed already such as magnetic timeline, auditioning, clip connections and compound clips and have dug a little deeper to find some of my essential top ten features that have not been seen, at least by me, until now.)

Despite all the rumours, I am delighted to say the editor’s tools are all there in spades.  So the message to all those guys and gals who cut, day in, day out, to tight deadlines at the highest level.  Join in the fun, this is awesome.

So here are a few of the features I looked for first as an editor.


1. Programmable keyboard.  Yes it’s there.  Of course, it had to be.



2. The instinctive shortcuts. The things you press thousands of times a day.

They’re all there.  No need to reinvent the wheel.


JKL, mark in/out/clip, shift-Z, previous/next clip, nudge left and right.

They are all exactly the same as FCP7. Of course they are.

Yes mark in and mark out!


3. Ripple Roll Slip Slide.

They are all there but with much easier intuitive functionality.

Many many ways to perform these functions.

Including a single button press to trim to playhead/skimmer (called top and tail).  Yowza!



4. Insert/ Overwrite/Replace. With the added bonuses of Append and Connect. Append places a clip at the end of the timeline.  A lot of editors I know keep a bunch of clips at the end of the timeline, just as a clip buffer.  They are going to love append.



5. Skimming?  Eh?  What is this skimming?

Just like iMovie?  Correct. And you can turn it off if you’d prefer to work with playhead and JKL.



6. Magnetic Timeline.  Can I turn that off please?


Yes you can. Select the new Position Tool; this effectively turns off the magnetic timeline and allows you to move clips and create gap clips. I guess this kind of replaces the functionality of the track tool. (Fans of the razor blade note you have not been forsaken.)


Above is a “gap clip”.


7. All those thumbnails in the timeline.  Can I turn them off?

Of course. There are six ways to view the timeline.



8. A much requested feature from Avid editors; can I see a list of all the clips in the timeline?


Yes you can (above), as well as markers/tags/to do notes (below).



9. Can I see my project clips in list form?  And not all those pictures.

Yes, although most of the screenshots I have seen have been with the filmstrip mode, there is also a list view (below).



10. Without the source/destination controls, how do you separate video/audio?


It’s all there and it seems pretty simple to learn and is not scary at all.

Don’t get left behind.


11.  Some other notable features that I have come across in the last eight hours. (wow extra value and a bit Spinal Tap - Ed.)


a. FCP X now has optical flow for speed changes.

You can also adjust the speed of a compound clip.

b. All the normal media management tools are there; consolidate, copy, move.

c. You can search for text in the timeline. (ie subtitles)

d. You can export to all manner of formats, including html for live streaming!

e. Edit DSLR footage natively.

f. And finally, Hitler was right.  This does mean an end to those pesky clip collisions.

This is not even the beginnings of a comprehensive list of features but my stress was eased considerably knowing that all the stuff that I thought had been whisked away is still there.


Alex Snelling

Apple Certified Master Trainer



Copyright ©2011 Alex Snelling/FCP.co


Final Cut Pro X

Motion 5


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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