Navigate within your project

The ability to jump to any point in the Timeline instantly is one of the main benefits of a nonlinear editing environment. Final Cut Pro provides a variety of quick and easy ways to navigate your project.

You can also use a text-based view of the Timeline to navigate and search your project. For more information, see Use the Timeline Index to view, navigate, and search your project.

You can use the J, K, and L keys to play through a project with different speeds or directions. For more information, see Play back media.

Navigate by skimming, clicking, or dragging

  • To skim to a frame in your project: Move the skimmer left and right over the clips in the Timeline to quickly view them in the Viewer.

  • To move the playhead to a frame in your project: Move the playhead by clicking or dragging in the ruler at the top of the Timeline, or by clicking in the Timeline background.

    Tip: To prevent the playhead from moving while you select a clip in the Timeline, press Option as you click.

Navigate frame by frame

To make it easier to find specific frames in a clip, you can step through the filmstrip frame by frame, rather than skimming it.

  1. In the Timeline or the Browser, move your pointer over a filmstrip and click.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To move backward in one-frame increments: Choose Mark > Previous > Frame (or press the Left Arrow key).

    • To move forward in one-frame increments: Choose Mark > Next > Frame (or press the Right Arrow key).

Navigate by subframe

You can navigate clips by subframe. A subframe has 1/80 the duration of a video frame and is a more precise unit of reference when viewing or editing audio waveforms that are zoomed in to the sample level.

Note: You can’t make edits to video at the subframe level.

  1. In the Timeline or the Browser, move your pointer over a clip and click.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To move backward in one-subframe increments: Press Command-Left Arrow.

    • To move forward in one-subframe increments: Press Command-Right Arrow.

Note: You can change the time display in the Dashboard to show subframes. For more information, see Editing preferences.

Navigate by jumping

Use the following techniques to move the playhead quickly from point to point in the Timeline.

  • To go to the next edit point: Choose Mark > Next > Edit (or press the Down Arrow key), or click the Next Edit button below the Viewer.

  • To go to the previous edit point: Choose Mark > Previous > Edit (or press the Up Arrow key), or click the Previous Edit button below the Viewer.

  • To go to the start of the project: Choose Mark > Go to > Beginning (or press the Home key).

  • To go to the end of the project: Choose Mark > Go to > End (or press the End key).

  • To go to the next marker: Choose Mark > Next > Marker, or press Control-Apostrophe (’).

  • To go to the previous marker: Choose Mark > Previous > Marker, or press Control-Semicolon (;).

For more information about markers, see Markers overview.