The Wonderous Gadget that is the Trim Edit Window

Ah the Trim Edit Window! I have traditionally only used this handsome tool precisely 4 times per year: once each semester when I was teaching Final Cut Pro at SFSU and it came up in the lesson plan. Now that I no longer teach, I never use it. Maybe I’m missing out on something good and I do think it’s kinda fun to play with, but as far as I’m concerned, I can trim just as precisely by using the trimming workflow that I discussed several weeks ago. At any rate, I have a feeling there are some Trim Edit Window aficionados out there and this shortcut goes out to them:

When you hit CMD 7, the edit point nearest your playhead will be used (no need to select it) and the magnificent, impressive Trim Edit Window will open in all its glory over your Viewer and Canvas. Mercifully, it is not in the scope of this shortcuts blog to cover the mechanics of this stupendous edit point trimming machine and why indeed should I bother when Damon Abacherli explained it so beautifully on the the always excellent Ken Stone FCP site. You can also bone up on it here in Apple’s official FCP 7 documentation.

Now having been so glib about this fine tool, I will point out what I think is the coolest thing about it and I’ll admit that I should use it more for this purpose: it will allow you to trim more than one edit point simultaneously! That sounds a bit confusing, so allow me to explain. Suppose you have video on two or three stacked tracks. The edit points for each may not be lined up, but they are on separate tracks (the Trim Edit Window cannot simultaneously trim different edit points on the same track and that would be crazy–it’d be like Vulcan Chess). Anyway, it’s easy to imagine how, since you’re trimming what’s happening on one track and it may have a ripple effect, it would be efficient to trim the stacked tracks at the same time, right?  Sure it would. To do this, simply select an edit point and then CMD-select the additional edit points and invoke CMD 7. You’ll only see one edit point in the Trim Edit Window, but you can choose which one you want to see in the Track pop-up menu at the top of the window. No matter which one you’re looking at however, all selected points will be trimmed. Pretty cool.

The other nice feature of this window is Job Security. It is so complicated looking, large and intense that, if you start using this in front of your producer, it will quickly put to rest any thoughts they may have entertained that what you do is easy (ha) and that they should start doing more editing themselves. Maybe I don’t use it because I’m a lone wolf freelancer.

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