Adjust Timeline settings

In Final Cut Pro, it’s very easy to adjust the Timeline display options. For example, you can show clips with or without video filmstrips or audio waveforms. Or you can change the vertical height of the clips or the size of filmstrips or audio waveforms in relation to the video thumbnails that appear in the filmstrip of each clip in the Timeline. You can also show only the clip labels.

The snapping behavior makes it easier and quicker to do things like line up a video clip with an audio clip, or align the playhead to a particular marker. When snapping is turned on, items you move in the Timeline appear to jump, or “snap,” directly to certain points in the Timeline. This can help you quickly line up edits with other items in the project.

Snapping affects the functions of many of the editing tools in Final Cut Pro, including the Select tool, the Trim tool, the Position tool, the Range Selection tool, and the Blade tool. Several elements trigger snapping in the Timeline:

Adjust Timeline clip appearance and height

  1. Click the Clip Appearance button in the lower-right corner of the Timeline.

    Clip Appearance button

    The Clip Appearance window appears.

    Clip Appearance window
  2. Do one of the following:

    • To display clips with large audio waveforms only: Click the leftmost Clip Appearance button (or press Control-Option-1).

      Far-left Clip Appearance button for displaying large audio waveforms only
    • To display clips with large audio waveforms and small filmstrips: Click the second Clip Appearance button from the left (or press Control-Option-2).

      Second Clip Appearance button from left for displaying large audio waveforms and small filmstrips
    • To display clips with audio waveforms and video filmstrips of equal size: Click the third Clip Appearance button from the left (or press Control-Option-3).

      Third Clip Appearance button from left for displaying audio waveforms and filmstrips of equal size
    • To display clips with small audio waveforms and large filmstrips: Click the third Clip Appearance button from the right (or press Control-Option-4).

      Third Clip Appearance button from right for displaying small audio waveforms and large filmstrips
    • To display clips with large filmstrips only: Click the second Clip Appearance button from the right (or press Control-Option-5).

      Second Clip Appearance button from right for displaying large filmstrips only
    • To display clip labels only: Click the rightmost Clip Appearance button (or press Control-Option-6).

      Far-right Clip Appearance button for displaying clip labels only

    Tip: To increase the size of audio waveforms for Timeline clips, press Option–Control–Up Arrow. To decrease the size of audio waveforms for Timeline clips, press Option–Control–Down Arrow.

  3. To adjust the vertical height of clips in the Timeline, drag the Clip Height slider to the left to decrease the clip height, or to the right to increase the clip height.

  4. To turn connection lines for connected clips and storylines on or off, select or deselect the Show Connections checkbox.

  5. To adjust the clip label display, choose an option from the Show pop-up menu:

    • To view clips by name: Choose Clip Names.

    • To view clips by role: Choose Clip Roles.

    • To view multicam clips by the name of the active video angle and the active audio angle: Choose Clip Names or Angles.

Enable or disable snapping

While snapping is extremely useful, it can also be a hindrance if you’re trying to move a clip only a few frames among a series of markers and clip boundaries, and you don’t want it to snap to any of these points. Fortunately, you can turn snapping on or off at any time, even while you’re dragging a clip.

Do one of the following:

  • Choose View > Snapping (or press N).

    A checkmark indicates that snapping is on. You can press N to turn snapping on or off while you’re dragging a clip.

  • Click the Snapping button in the upper-right corner of the Timeline.

    Snapping button

    When snapping is on, the Snapping button appears blue.

Tip: To turn snapping on or off temporarily, hold down the N key. When you release the N key, snapping reverts to the previous state.