Insert clips in your project

An insert edit places the source clip so that all clips after the insertion point are moved forward (or rippled) in the Timeline to make room for the clip being added. No clips are removed from your project. An insert edit makes the project longer by the duration of the inserted clip.

Clip being inserted between two other clips

You might use insert edits when you want to add a new shot in the beginning or the middle of your project. You can also use an insert edit to interrupt the action in an existing clip with the action in the newly inserted clip. The action in the original clip then resumes after the inserted clip.

Note: You can use three-point editing to make insert edits. For more information, see Three-point editing overview.

Insert Browser clips in the Timeline

  1. Select one or more clips in the Browser.

  2. Move the playhead to the point in the primary storyline or a selected storyline (or make a range selection) where you want to insert the clip.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Edit > Insert (or press W).

      Note: If you use the keyboard shortcut and the skimmer is present in the Timeline, the edit will occur at the skimmer position.

    • Click the Insert button in the toolbar.

      Insert button in toolbar

The clip appears in the Timeline and all clips after the insertion point are rippled forward. If the skimmer is not present, the clips are inserted at the playhead position. If you perform an insert edit in the middle of an existing Timeline clip, that clip is cut at the insertion point, and the second half is moved to the end of the newly inserted clip, along with the rest of the footage to the right of the insertion point.

Insert a gap clip or a placeholder clip in the Timeline

Sometimes you need to reserve space in the Timeline for a clip that you don’t yet have. Final Cut Pro provides two possible solutions to this problem: placeholder imagery or a blank and silent clip called a gap clip that can be adjusted to any duration.

  1. Move the playhead to the point in the primary storyline or a selected storyline (or make a range selection) where you want to insert the gap clip or placeholder clip.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To insert a placeholder clip: Choose Edit > Insert Generator > Placeholder (or press Option-Command-W).

      Final Cut Pro inserts gray placeholder imagery that you can customize. For more information, see Use a placeholder. You can adjust placeholder clips to any duration.

      Placeholder clip in Timeline
    • To insert a gap clip: Choose Edit > Insert Generator > Gap (or press Option-W).

      Final Cut Pro inserts a blank clip (containing blank video and silent audio) that you can adjust to any duration. (The film industry term for this is slug.)

      Gap clip in Timeline

      Note: Gap clip color is determined by the current background color in Final Cut Pro. To adjust the background color, choose a Player Background option in the Playback pane of the Final Cut Pro Preferences window. If you want a different color, consider using a solid generator.

The clip appears in the Timeline, and all clips after the insertion point are rippled forward (to the right).

Insert clips by dragging them from the Browser, a media browser, or the Finder

You can insert clips between clips in the Timeline by dragging them from the Browser, another Final Cut Pro media browser, or the Finder.

The clip appears in the Timeline, and all clips after the insertion point are rippled forward (to the right).