Skim media

You can quickly skim your video and audio to preview it, search for a particular shot, or make an edit. When skimming is turned on and you move the pointer forward or backward over a clip in the Browser or the Timeline, the content under the pointer plays in the Viewer.

You can also use the Blade, Trim, and Range Selection editing tools to skim clips in the Timeline or in the Precision Editor.

As you’re editing in Final Cut Pro, you may find skimming distracting when you move the pointer from one location to another. You can disable all skimming (or just audio skimming).

Skim clips

  • Move the pointer forward or backward over a clip in the Browser or the Timeline.

    The skimmer (a vertical pink line) indicates exactly where the pointer is as you skim, and the corresponding frames are displayed in the Viewer.

    Skimmer positioned in clip

    Tip: You can also press the Space bar at any time to play forward from the skimmer position.

Skim clips with editing tools

You can skim clips when you use the Blade, Trim, and Range Selection tools in the Timeline or in the Precision Editor. The tools behave as skimmers as you move the pointer over a clip.

  1. Select a clip in the Timeline or open the Precision Editor.

  2. Select either the Blade, Trim, or Range Selection tool from the Tools pop-up menu in the toolbar.

    Tools pop-up menu in toolbar
  3. Move the tool forward or backward over a clip.

    When using an editing tool as a skimmer, you can skim and add markers to clips under connected clips in the Timeline.

    Editing tool being used as skimmer

Turn skimming on and off

  • To turn all skimming on or off: Click the Skimming button, choose View > Skimming, or press S.

  • To turn audio skimming on or off: Click the Audio Skimming button, choose View > Audio Skimming, or press Shift-S.

When skimming is turned on, the skimming buttons appear blue.

Skimming and Audio Skimming buttons

Note: When skimming is turned off, you can still skim with the Blade, Trim, and Range Selection editing tools.

Skim audio for individual clips or audio components

You can turn on clip skimming to limit audio skimming to an individual clip. This is useful if you have a connected clip in the Timeline and want to skim it without also hearing audio from the clip in the primary storyline.

Important: Audio skimming must also be turned on in order to use this feature.

You can also use clip skimming to skim and listen to an individual audio component when editing clips that show expanded audio components. If clip skimming is turned off, you hear combined audio for all components in the clip as you skim.

Tip: To view expanded audio components, select the clip in the Timeline and choose Clip > Expand Audio Components (or press Control-Option-S).

  • To turn clip skimming on or off, choose View > Clip Skimming (or press Option-Command-S).