Mapping Focus to the Keyboard

Of the many seldom used functions in Avid, try mapping "focus" to the keyboard. Though you may have never heard of this operation before, you may discover that it is quite useful.

Step 1: Focus

The focus function can be simply explained as a punch in. We will avoid using the word "zoom," so as to avoid confusion with a different operation. When you focus on your timeline, the view will punch in to the spot where your cursor is. The focus function is represented by two circles with a dot in the middle. The button can be found at the bottom left hand corner of your timeline window. Click the button once, and you will notice that your timeline magnifies. Hit it again, and you will jump back out to the original view. This is different than the zoom function because focus is designed for quickly jumping in and out, whereas the zoom is a more permanent adjustment.

Step 2: Keyboard Set Up

Though the button is not that far out of the way, you may come to love the focus function so much that you want to make a keyboard short cut for it. So, open your keyboard window by going to your bin window and clicking on the "Settings" tab. Scroll down to double click on "Keyboard". Now also open your command palette. Go up to "Tools" and select "Command Palette". The focus function is in the command tab called "Other". Again, it will be represented by the two circles within each other. Look down at your keyboard map. You may wonder how you are going to fit another function on there without sacrificing something important. Activate the window then hold down shift. With shift held down, you have plenty of available keys. Continue holding shift while you click on the focus icon in the command palette, then drag it down to the available key of your choice on the keyboard map.

Step 3: Using the Keyboard Command

Close all the settings windows. Now return to your timeline. Hold down shift and hit the key that you assigned the focus function to. Your view will punch in as it did before. Now repeat the keystrokes, and your view will jump back out. This does not save very much effort over clicking on the icon that already exists on the timeline, but perhaps it is enough to make a difference. If you would like, you can continue exploring the available functions and mapping them to your keyboard, but at some point you will start having trouble remembering them all.

The focus function can be easily mapped to your keyboard. You can use these steps to map any function to a key, but it is important to prioritize the most important ones. Focus is a quick viewing adjustment that you may find to be one of the best operations for your style of editing.

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