Final Cut Pro: What is a Fit to Fill Edit?

A fit to fill edit allows you to replace a clip in your timeline without changing the timeline's overall duration. For example, if you were editing a project that had to be exactly twenty two minutes and you needed to replace a clip without changing the entire project's length, then you could use a fit to fill edit.

How Does It Work?

A fit to fill edit works by adjusting the length of the new clip that is replacing the old one. If the old clip was ten seconds long and the new clip was five seconds long, then Final Cut will automatically put the new clip in slow motion so that it can fill the entire ten second length. Likewise, if you were replacing a five second clip with a ten second one, then Final Cut will speed up the length of that clip so it can be played back in its entirety.

Fit to fill edits can be especially useful when editing a commercial if there is not any dialogue in the clip. Commercials have a very strict time length that can not be changed due to the way that ad space is sold. If there is not any dialogue in the scene, then a fit to fill edit might help you take care of empty gaps. These edits should not be used when dealing with clips that have sync sound due to the fact that the sound would be considerably altered. 

Performing a fit to fill edit is easy. The first step is to select the video track where the edit will take place. 

Choose What to Replace

There are two ways of choosing what you're going to replace on the timeline. If you're replacing an entire clip, then drag the play head over the clip and click on it so it's selected.

If you're replacing a specific time point in the timeline that overlaps over several clips, then you can set in and out points on the timeline for your new clip to play at.

Choose the Replacement

Now, double click the clip you're going to add so that it will open in the viewer. Scroll through it and select in and out points for the clip to play at. 

Fit to Fill

Once you've selected your in and out points, you're going to drag the clip from the viewer to the canvas window overlay marked 'fit to fill.' Once it is there, release the clip. It should now appear in the timeline where the old clip once was.

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