Make slide edits with the Trim tool

Performing a slide edit allows you to move a clip’s position in the Timeline between two other clips without creating a gap. The clip’s content and duration remain the same; only its position in the Timeline changes. When you slide a clip, the adjacent clips get longer and shorter to accommodate the change in the clip’s position. The combined duration of these three clips stays the same, and the project’s total duration remains unchanged as well.

Clip’s position between two other clips being changed with slide edit

Note: To slide a clip between two others, the preceding clip and the following clip must have media handles, additional media available beyond the edit point. You can double-click any edit point to view or adjust its media handles in the Precision Editor.

If there are no media handles available, consider using the Position tool instead. For more information about the Position tool, see Arrange clips in the Timeline.

For more accurate visual feedback on edits involving contiguous clips, you can turn on “Show detailed trimming feedback” in Final Cut Pro preferences. For a slide edit, this “two-up” display in the Viewer shows the two edit points you are adjusting: the end point of the preceding clip and the start point of the subsequent clip. For more information, see Show detailed trimming feedback.

Slide a clip in the Timeline

  1. Choose the Trim tool from the Tools pop-up menu in the toolbar (or press T).

    Trim tool in Tools pop-up menu

    The pointer changes to the Trim tool icon .

    Tip: To switch to the Trim tool temporarily, hold down the T key. When you release the T key, the tool reverts to the previously active tool.

  2. Option-drag a clip to the left or right.

    Yellow selections on the neighboring clips indicate a slide edit.

    Yellow selections on neighboring clips in Timeline indicating slide edit

    As you drag, a timecode field indicates the amount of time you’re moving the clip in the Timeline.

    Slide clip maintaining original duration but appearing at new position in Timeline

    When you release the mouse button, the slide clip appears at the new position in the Timeline. The adjacent clips are trimmed to accommodate the change in the clip’s position.

    With the current selection, you can also slide the clip with keyboard shortcuts by doing either of the following:

    • Nudge it (one frame or 10 frames) to the left or right.

    • Enter an amount of time to slide the clip left or right.

    For more information, see Arrange clips in the Timeline.

    Note: If either edit point turns red as you drag, you’ve reached the end of the available media for that side of the clip.

    Red edit point indicating end of available media

Note: You can also make slide edits by entering a timecode value to move clips or by nudging clips with keyboard shortcuts. For more information, see Arrange clips in the Timeline.