How to Color the Avid Timeline

Whether you want to personalize your editing experience or simply create some form of organization, you may want to know how to color your timeline. There are several aspects that you can concentrate on.

Step 1: Background

The first part of the timeline that you can customize the color on is the background. The background is the area around all of your tracks. By default, this area is gray. You may find that a more vibrant color will help your eyesight with some extra contrast. Or, you may just want to add some expression to the window. To do this, you will need to first deselect all of your tracks. Go down the the fast menu at the bottom left hand corner of your timeline window. The icon looks like two white bars sandwiching a black bar. Select the "Background Color" option and choose your color.

Step 2: Tracks

You can also set tracks to a certain color. This adjustment will cause all of the clips in a given track to be displayed in the assigned color. You may want to do this in order to keep your audio tracks and video tracks looking distinctly different. Select a track or multiple tracks that you want to color. Go to the fast menu at the bottom of the timeline window. When the list of functions pops up, you will notice that where it used to say "Background Color", it now says "Track Color". This is because you now have tracks selected. Pick your color and repeat this step for any other tracks.

Step 3: Clips

You may have noticed an option in the fast menu called "Clip Color". Go explore this operation. Depending on your version of Avid, you will either be presented with a list of options or a small window of options. Either way, they will be similar only organized differently. The first option after "None" is "Source". Select this if you want Avid to differentiate the clip colors based on their source. We will skip "Local" for the moment. Next is "Offline", which will cause any offline clip to turn bright red. Finally, there is SD/HD, which will differentiate between the different formats in your timeline.

Step 4: Local

Go back to the "Local" option in step 3 and turn it on. This allows you to select an individual or many clips and specifically color them as you wish. You may want to do this to help you get back to a certain point easily. Use the life/overwrite mode to select this clip. Now, go up to "Edit" and choose "Set Local Clip Color". You can either choose from the list of options that is readily available, or you can go into "Pick" and truly customize your choice. Remember that if you select "None", the clip will simply follow suit with the designated track color.

Coloring your Avid timeline is a matter of personal preference. Keeping your workspace optimized for you is always a high priority.

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