Changing Timeline Background Color in Avid Media Composer

Making the timeline visually perfect can come down to the background color. Every editor needs to maximize the ease with which they are able to see their editing work space. This can be affected by fonts, sizes, organization or even color. Color can help certain objects stand out either through contrast or through its own vividity. It can also simply make things more attractive and interesting.

Step 1: Picking a Color

The timeline is a critical part of the Avid interface. You may find that you want this window to pop more than the others, or you may find that the default grey is simply ugly. Either way, examine the colors that are in the tracks and clips. Note that you will want the background to contrast these colors so that you will be able to see them clearly. Once you have something in mind, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Deselect Tracks

If you have any tracks in the timeline selected, you will not be able to choose the background. Instead, you would be provided with options to change the track or clip colors (which you can do if you so please). So, deselect all of your tracks by clicking on the names of them so that the tiles turn grey rather than purple.

Step 3: Setting the Background Color

Now left-click on the icon on the lower left hand corner of the timeline window that looks like two white, horizontal bars sandwiching a black bar. This is known as the "Fast Menu". A list of options will come up including one that says "Background color". Place your cursor over the selection and to the right will appear a palette of colors. Pick the one that you like and click on it. Now the background of the timeline should be the color of your choice.

Step 4: Changing Your Mind

This step is not for everyone, but some of you may realize that you were wrong to change the background color and just want it to go back to the way it was. Go back to the "Fast Menu" and left click on it. At the very top of the list of settings is "Default Setup". Click on this option in order to return your timeline to the Avid-recommended display. Note, however, that this will not only affect the background color, but also any other changes you have made to the fonts, track colors or clip colors. So only use this step if you are fully dissatisfied with the changes you made to your timeline.

Adjusting the Avid interface is an option that you should definitely explore. Everyone responds differently to color, so make an effort to find what works best for you. Not only could this ease the strain on your eyes, but it could also affect your mood through some subliminal pathway. Whatever can be done to improve your editing experience cannot possibly be considered trivial.

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