Navigate using timecode

Timecode is a signal recorded with your video that uniquely identifies each video frame. When you play a clip from the Browser, its timecode signal appears in the Dashboard, in the center of the Final Cut Pro toolbar, using this format:

Timecode fields for hours, minutes, seconds, and frames

Timecode supports a variety of functions in Final Cut Pro, including Timeline playback, synchronizing video and audio clip items, and adding, trimming, and moving clips. In addition, timecode allows you to navigate through projects in the Timeline and see the duration of clips, range selections, and projects.

Navigate by entering timecode

To move the playhead to a new Timeline location, do any of the following:

  • To move the playhead to a specific Timeline location: Click once in the center of the Dashboard (or press Control-P), enter the new timecode value, and press Return.

    For example, to move the playhead to 01:40:31:03, press Control-P, and then enter “1403103” and press Return.

    Timecode field in Dashboard showing timecode value to move playhead to
  • To move the playhead by a timecode duration: Make sure no clips are selected, and press the Plus Sign (+) or Minus Sign (–) key, enter the number of frames, seconds, or minutes you want to move the playhead, and press Return.

    For example, if you type “+1612” and press Return, the playhead moves ahead 16 seconds and 12 frames.

    Timecode field in Dashboard showing plus sign and number of seconds and frames to move playhead forward

The new timecode values appear in the Dashboard as you enter them. When you press Return, the playhead moves to the new Timeline location.

Here are some tips for entering timecode values:

  • You don’t have to enter the separator characters (colons). Final Cut Pro adds them automatically after each set of two digits. For example, if you enter “01221419,” Final Cut Pro interprets it as 01:22:14:19 (1 hour, 22 minutes, 14 seconds, and 19 frames).

  • If the leftmost fields are zeroes, you don’t have to enter them. For example, if you enter “1419,” Final Cut Pro interprets it as 00:00:14:19. If you enter “253407,” Final Cut Pro interprets it as 00:25:34:07.

  • If the rightmost fields are zeroes, you can use periods instead. For example, to move to timecode 00:00:03:00, type “3.” (3 and a period). To move to 03:00:00:00, type “3...” (3 and three periods). Instead of a period, you can also use a comma, colon, or semicolon.

Note: You can change the time display in the Dashboard to show timecode, timecode and subframes, just frames, or just seconds. For more information, see Editing preferences.