When editing projects in Final Cut Pro X, it’s easy to accumulate a wide variety of different clips in the timeline. These items can be spread out across the timeline in such a way that it can be cumbersome to select multiple clips at once using a cursor and keyboard.

Thankfully, a very handy tool, called the Timeline Index, makes finding, identifying, and selecting clips a breeze. The Timeline Index is not only useful for quickly identifying clips inside the project timeline, but it’s capable of filtering on specific types of clips, and selecting multiple clips simultaneously.

Using FCP X’s Timeline Index

To use the Timeline Index in Final Cut Pro X, simply click the Timeline Index button in the bottom left-hand corner of the app’s interface. You can also use the keyboard shortcut: ⇧+⌘+2 to hide and show the Timeline Index.

The Timeline Index contains several key features that makes it easy to hone in on specific types of clips in the timeline. Most importantly, it includes a search box. You can use this search box to find clips by name or other related metadata.

I often use the buttons at the bottom of the Timeline Index to filter on audio clips, video clips or titles. In particular, I use the Timeline Index to select all of my voiceover clips in order to add effects to all voiceover clips on the timeline in one fell swoop. Attempting to select all of these clips at the same time with a cursor/keyboard combination can be arduous if you have a large, sprawling project timeline.

Video walkthrough

You can also use the Timeline Index to quickly rename clips in the timeline. Since clips in the index are displayed in the order that they appear in the timeline, you can linearly rename specific clips with ease.

The Timeline Index is a feature that’s easy to overlook, but provides time-saving functionality that’s a must for large projects. I highly recommend getting accustomed to using it in your Final Cut Pro X editing workflow. We’ll have more to discuss about the Timeline Index in future posts.

If you’ve not yet used Final Cut Pro X, but you’re interested in video editing, you should give it a shot. Apple is still offering a free 30-day trial its website. It’s also selling Final Cut Pro X for a one-time $299 purchase on the Mac App Store.

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