Post Production

Reverse favoriting in Final Cut Pro X

This week on MacBreak Studio

This week on MacBreak Studio, Steve Martin from Ripple Training demonstrates a very interesting editing technique in Final Cut Pro X he terms “reverse favoriting.”

The scenario: identifying good sound bites in a long interview clip.

The problem: while in List view in FCP X, it is not possible to zoom into a clip. So, if you’ve set a range based on a short sound bite in a long clip, you can’t really see the range. Now, is that really a problem? After all, you can still favorite that range by pressing F, or you could switch to the Filmstrip view and zoom in (albeit with the clip “wrapping” in the window). However, it isn’t that easy to adjust the range.

The solution: rather than setting ranges in the Browser, Steve edits the entire clip into an empty project. Then he creates his sound bite ranges by inserting gap clips: so instead of pressing the “i” key to set the in point and the “o” key to set the out point, he presses “Option-w” for each, which visually isolated each sound bite in the timeline. Not only that, it makes it easy to zoom in and adjust the sound bite range without affecting the surrounding clips.

Next, he selects all the parts of the clip he doesn’t want (holding down the Command key to make these non-contiguous selections), leaving just the soundbites and the gap clips remaining.

Now for the interesting part. As long as Show Used Media Ranges is enabled (from the View menu), if you click the disclosure triangle for the clip in the Browser, every sound bite will appear beneath the clip tagged as “Used.” If you then select them all (using the Shift key) and press F, all these clip ranges will be made into favorites (in addition to being tagged as used)!

You can then rename the favorites based on the content; use them in a new empty project, or work with the clips in the current timeline. It’s an unusual workflow that might make sense for you – all good details in the video above. If you want to learn how to edit more efficiently in Final Cut Pro X, check out our Warp Speed Editing tutorial.

Was This Post Helpful:

0 votes, 0 avg. rating

Support ProVideo Coalition
Shop with Filmtools Logo

Share Our Article

Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, videographer, editor, trainer and writer based in the Bay Area. He produces Final Cut Pro X-related training and plugins for with his partners at Ripple Training. He is an…

Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
DavidTyree markspencer Brian Seegmiller Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

As usual. Edifying as all get out. Do you use Screenflow or QuickTime 10 for the screen capture?
Thank you.


Screenflow, we love it.


Bought it three years ago. Immediately made money with it. Modified my exports to 1920X1080. It melds beautifully with FCP X. Love it, too. Thank you.

Brian Seegmiller
Brian Seegmiller

That was a great tip and many editors work in different ways. I would just use the filmstrip view in the browser, zoom in and select favorites that way.