Final Cut Pro: What is Drag-To-Timeline Editing?

On newer versions of Final Cut Pro, you can edit your clips by dragging parts of them to the timeline. This is the part of the software which allows you to access the amount of time your film takes. For example, if you have a film which runs for 55 minutes, then the timeline will show those 55 minutes divided up into portions (and looking somewhat like a ruler). In order to edit clips onto the timeline, you have to know what you can do there, but once you have dragged the clip to the timeline, you should be able to do what you want quickly and easily.

Materials Needed

  • Final Cut Pro
  • Computer
  • Media File

Step 1: Selecting the Clip

In order to drag the clip over to the timeline, you will need to have a file selected in the Final Cut Pro software window. Choose a film that you do not particularly want anymore for your first attempt at this, in case anything goes wrong. Once you have the film uploaded onto the browser, you can see the frames of the media file, and check which ones you want to edit. Highlight the parts of the file that you want to use, and then hold them with the mouse while carrying them over to the timeline.

Step 2: Add the Clip to the Timeline

Once you are there, you can add the clip that you wish to to the timeline. Keep hold of the clip until it is over the timeline, and then drop it down onto the location. Your clip should now be ready to edit.

Step 3: Drag Your Mouse

When you take your clip over to the timeline, you can position the pointer so that the timeline automatically chooses a method of editing for you. Correctly placing the pointer is vital to making this system work, so move your pointer up and down over the line in the track, and this will alter the editing options. Drag the clip to the middle of the timeline, but keep hold of it with the mouse. With the clip still highlighted by the mouse, drag the pointer up and down as you did previously.

Step 4: Changing the Editing

The tip of the pointer can be used in any position in order to get the editing processes that you want. Positioning the pointer below the one-third way line will suggest an Overwrite, while a higher pointer will get an Insert edit. Once you have got the editing process that you want, let go of the mouse and drop the clip back into the viewer window. You should now have edited the clip without actually having to press any of the tabs. There are a number of different editing functions that you can get control of by using the pointer, but the best way to understand how all of these work is to practice yourself using some old clips.

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