Make slip edits with the Trim tool

Performing a slip edit doesn’t change a clip’s position or duration in the Timeline, but instead changes what portion of the clip’s media appears in the Timeline. A slip edit allows you to change a clip’s start and end points simultaneously.

Whenever you arrange clips in the Timeline so that edit points line up with musical beats or other fixed sync points in a movie, you want to keep your clips in position to maintain the alignment. These situations leave you with very little room to adjust a clip because you cannot change its duration or move it elsewhere in the Timeline. All you can do is move both the start and end points of the clip simultaneously, keeping the clip’s position and duration fixed.

The portion of the clip seen in the project changes, but its position in the Timeline stays the same. Surrounding clips are not affected, and the overall duration of your project doesn’t change.

Clip start and end points being changed with slip edit

In the example above, the slip edit changes the start and end points of clip B, but not its duration or position in the Timeline. When the project plays back, a different portion of clip B’s media is shown.

Note: To slip a clip, it must have media handles on both sides, meaning that there must be additional media available on both the head and the tail of the clip. If you’re having trouble slipping a clip, check that the clip has media handles on both sides. 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 slip edit, this “two-up” display in the Viewer shows the start and end points of the clip you’re slipping. For more information, see Show detailed trimming feedback.

Slip 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. Drag a clip left or right.

    As you drag, a timecode field indicates the amount of time you’re moving the start point and the end point. Yellow edge selections on the start point and end point indicate a slip edit.

    Clip start and end points being changed with slip edit while clip position and duration remain fixed

When you release the mouse button, the slipped clip appears in the Timeline with a new start point and a new end point.

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

  • Nudge the start and end points (one frame or 10 frames) to the left or right.

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

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

Clip in Timeline with red start point indicating end of available media