Organize files while importing

You can choose how to organize your media when you import it into Final Cut Pro.

You can copy the source files into the library or link to them at their current location. If your source files have Finder tags or the folders containing the files have meaningful names, you can choose to have the tags and folder names applied to the files as keywords during import.

If your source footage contains shots of people, you can have Final Cut Pro analyze the footage during import and apply keywords for the number of people in each shot and the shot type.

A Keyword Collection is created for each keyword added to your clips during import. Select a Keyword Collection in the Libraries list to see all the clips with that keyword applied.

Organize your files during import

  1. To import a file, choose File > Import > Media, navigate to the file you want to import, select the file, and click Import.

    For more information, see Importing overview.

  2. Use the settings on the right side of the Media Import window to choose how you want to organize the imported media in your library:

    • To add the imported media to an existing event: Select “Add to existing event,” and choose the event from the pop-up menu.

    • To create a new event: Select “Create new event in,” use the pop-up menu to choose the library in which you want to create the event, and then type a name (for example, “Chris and Kim Wedding”) in the text field.

    To learn more about events, see Organizing libraries overview.

  3. In the Files section, select a file storage option:

    • Copy to library: This option duplicates the media files and places the copies in the current library storage location.

      Note: The name of this option changes to “Copy to library storage location: location name“ when the current library is set to an external storage location.

      You can set the storage location for a library using the Library Properties inspector. For more information, see Manage storage locations.

    • Leave files in place: This option links to the source media files at their current location. If you import files with this option selected, Final Cut Pro creates symbolic links (also known as symlinks), which are special files that point to the media files without copying them. When you move, copy, or back up events and projects that use these files, Final Cut Pro moves or copies the symbolic links only (not the source media files). If, after you move or copy your project or event, you want to replace the symbolic links with the actual source media files, select the events and choose File > Consolidate Event Files. For more information about files and clips, see Media files and clips.

  4. In the Keywords section, select any of the following options:

    • From Finder tags: Creates a keyword for each Finder tag in the files you’re importing. Additionally, a Keyword Collection is created for each keyword. For more information about Finder tags, see the help for OS X (available from the Help menu when the Finder is active).

    • From folders: Creates a keyword for each folder name and applies the keyword to all the files in the folder during import. Additionally, a Keyword Collection is created for each keyword.

      Finder displaying source media inside event folder
    • Find people: Analyzes video clips and still images for the number of people present and shot types. After analysis, any of the following keywords are added to the clip: One Person, Two Persons, Group, Close Up Shot, Medium Shot, and Wide Shot. Additionally, a Keyword Collection is created for each keyword. The “Consolidate find people results” checkbox simplifies and summarizes all of the “find people” analysis keywords. If you’re analyzing to find people, it’s recommended that you also select the “Create Smart Collections after analysis” checkbox. For more information, see Analyzing media overview.

  5. If you want to create optimized or proxy media, analyze the video, or analyze the audio, select the relevant checkboxes in the Transcoding, Video, and Audio sections.

    If you don’t set Final Cut Pro to analyze your media during the import process, you can analyze it later (if necessary) in the Browser.

  6. Click Import Selected or Import All. (The Import button changes its name based on your clip selection.)

    By default, the Media Import window closes when you click Import. You can begin working with your clips in the Browser. Final Cut Pro imports your media in the background.

    If you selected any options in the previous step, Final Cut Pro transcodes and optimizes the files after the import process is complete. You can view the progress of the import and other background tasks in the Background Tasks window.