Extend or shorten a clip

You can trim a clip in your project by adjusting the start point or end point of the clip.

The default type of trim in Final Cut Pro is a ripple trim, which adjusts a clip’s start point or end point without leaving a gap in the Timeline. The change in the clip’s duration ripples outward, moving all subsequent clips earlier or later in the Timeline.

Clip being shortened

Similarly, if you delete a clip from the Timeline, subsequent clips ripple earlier to close the gap. Ripple edits affect the trimmed clip, the position of all subsequent clips in the Timeline, and the total duration of your project.

You can see a “two-up” display in the Viewer as you trim edit points in the Timeline. This display shows a more detailed view of each side of an edit point. For more information, see Show detailed trimming feedback.

Drag edit points with the Select tool

  1. In the Timeline, move the pointer to the start point or the end point of the clip you want to trim.

    The pointer changes from an arrow icon to a trim icon. The look of the trim icon changes to indicate whether the trim will affect the end point of the left clip or the start point of the right clip.

    Trim icon changing to show whether left clip or right clip will be trimmed
  2. Drag the start point or the end point in the direction you want to trim the clip.

    As you drag, the clip shortens or lengthens. Numerical timecode fields indicate the duration of the clip and the amount of time you are moving the edit point.

    Numerical timecode field appearing above clip to indicate duration of edit

    Any clips to the right of the edit point are rippled accordingly.

    When you extend a clip to its maximum length in either direction, the clip edge turns red.

    Red clip edge indicating that clip has been extended to its maximum length

Enter a new duration for a clip using timecode

You can change the total duration of one or more selected clips by entering a timecode value.

  1. Select one or more clips in the Timeline.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Modify > Change Duration (or press Control-D).

    • Double-click in the center of the Dashboard in the toolbar.

    The timecode entry field appears in the Dashboard.

    Timecode field in Dashboard
  3. Enter a new duration for the selected clip.

Final Cut Pro moves the end point of the clip to the duration you entered, and any subsequent Timeline clips ripple accordingly.

For more information about entering timecode values, see Navigate using timecode.

Note: If you enter a duration longer than the available media in the clip, Final Cut Pro extends the duration to the maximum length of the clip.

Trim to a selection

  1. In the Timeline, select the part of a clip that you want to keep.

    Range selection in Timeline

    For information about making range selections, see Select a range.

  2. Choose Trim > Trim Selection.

    Final Cut Pro trims the clip start and end points to the range selection.

    Clip trimmed to start and end points of range selection

The unwanted sections are removed from the clip and the project, and the subsequent clips in the project ripple accordingly.

Nudge edit points with keyboard shortcuts

You can fine-tune the start or end point of a clip using keyboard shortcuts. You can move the edit point by one or more video frames, and you can also move the edit points of connected audio clips (those not in the primary storyline) by subframes.

  1. In the Timeline, select the start or end point of the clip you want to trim.

    Start point of clip selected in Timeline
  2. To move the edit point, do any of the following:

    • To move the edit point left by one frame: Press Comma (,).

    • To move the edit point left by 10 frames: Press Shift-Comma (,).

    • To move the edit point right by one frame: Press Period (.).

    • To move the edit point right by 10 frames: Press Shift-Period (.).

  3. If you want to move the edit point of connected audio clips by one or more subframes, do any of the following:

    • To move the edit point left by one subframe: Press Option-Comma (,).

    • To move the edit point left by 10 subframes: Press Option-Shift-Comma (,).

    • To move the edit point right by one subframe: Press Option-Period (.).

    • To move the edit point right by 10 subframes: Press Option-Shift-Period (.).

    For more information about subframes, see View audio waveforms at the audio sample level.

The clip is trimmed and the Timeline updates accordingly.

Move edit points to the playhead

You can adjust selected edit points in the Timeline, either as a ripple edit or a roll edit, using keyboard shortcuts.

  1. In the Timeline, select the edit point you want to adjust.

    End point of clip selected in Timeline

    Note: For a roll edit, select both sides of the edit point with the Trim tool.

  2. Position the playhead or the skimmer at the point in the Timeline to which you want to move the edit point.

    Skimmer positioned on clip in Timeline to define new edit point
  3. Choose Trim > Extend Edit (or press Shift-X).

    The edit point is extended (or shortened) to the playhead or skimmer position.

    Clip’s end point extended to skimmer position in Timeline

    In the example above, if you selected the end point of the clip, subsequent clips in the Timeline are rippled accordingly. If you selected both sides of the edit point with the Trim tool, the right clip is shortened (with a roll edit) and no clips ripple.

Trim edit points using timecode

You can trim clips numerically by entering timecode values.

  1. If the Select tool is not the active tool, choose it from the Tools pop-up menu in the toolbar (or press A).

    Select tool in Tools pop-up menu
  2. In the Timeline, select the start point or the end point of the clip you want to trim.

  3. To trim the edit point, do one of the following:

    • To move the edit point forward: Press the Plus Sign (+) key, type a timecode duration for the trim, and press Enter.

    • To move the edit point back: Press the Minus Sign (–) key, type a timecode duration for the trim, and press Enter.

      The timecode entry field (with blue numbers and the plus or minus sign) appears in the Dashboard in the toolbar as you type.

      Timecode field in Dashboard

The clip is shortened or extended by the amount of time you entered, and subsequent clips in the Timeline are rippled accordingly.

Note: You cannot use this feature to extend a clip beyond its maximum duration.

For more information and tips on entering timecode, see Navigate using timecode.

Cut the start or end of a clip at the playhead

Some of your video clips may have sections at the beginning or the end that you don’t want to include in your project. You can easily trim off these ranges with a single command, even while playing back the project. No selections are required. This type of edit is sometimes called a top and tail edit.

  1. In the Timeline, position the playhead or the skimmer on the frame at which you want to trim the clip.

    Skimmer positioned on clip in Timeline
  2. Do one of the following:

    • To trim off the start of the clip: Choose Trim > Trim Start, or press Option–Left Bracket ([).

    • To trim off the end of the clip: Choose Trim > Trim End, or press Option–Right Bracket (]).

    • To trim the edit point closest to the playhead: Choose Trim > Trim to Playhead, or press Option–Backslash ().

    The clip is trimmed to the playhead (or skimmer) position, and the Timeline updates accordingly.

    Trimmed clip in Timeline

    In the case of connected clips or storylines, Final Cut Pro trims the selected clip. If there is no selection, Final Cut Pro trims the topmost clip.