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Lesson 3. Drag-and-Drop Editing > Dragging and Moving a Clip

Dragging and Moving a Clip

You can drag clips left or right and up or down in the Timeline. Dragging clips left or right repositions them in the sequence. Dragging clips up or down repositions them vertically onto another track in the sequence. You can also move a clip by typing an offset amount directly in the Timeline and using shortcut keys.

In the Timeline, click the canoe coming clip again to select it. Then move the mouse pointer through the clip without clicking or dragging it.

The pointer changes to a move tool. Like the resize arrow that indicates a possible size adjustment, this indicates that you can move a clip. However, it's not a tool you select from the Tool palette.

Click and drag the canoe coming clip to the right, but don't release it.

Several things happen. A small duration box appears that displays a + sign and a number. This is how far in time you have moved the clip forward from its original position. Also, the pointer changes to a downward arrow. (You'll learn about the two small viewing frames in the Canvas in the next exercise.)

Release the clip. Then drag it to the left and then right past its most recent position.

A minus or plus sign appears to indicate how far the clip is being moved from its current position. If you move the clip again, the distance is measured from the new location.

Drag the clip up to the V2 track and release it. Drag it above the V2 track where the V3 track would appear and release it.

When you drag a clip to an empty track area, a new track will automatically be created.

Press Cmd-Z to return the clip to its previous location and to remove the added track.

You can also move a clip vertically and horizontally at the same time.

Drag the clip back down to the V1 track, dragging left horizontally as you go.

With the clip selected, type 300 (for 3 seconds and zero frames) in the Timeline track area.


It may seem strange to just start typing a number without typing it somewhere specific, but with the clip selected, Final Cut Pro anticipates what you want to do.

In the center of the Timeline, a Move box appears with the number you typed.

Press Return to enter the amount and move the clip.

To move the clip to the left 4 seconds, type –4. (minus 4 followed by a period) and press Return.

As in the Timecode Duration field, a period here also represents two zeros.

Drag the VO_01 clip until its In point aligns, or snaps, to the beginning of the canoe coming clip.

When a clip snaps to another clip's In or Out point, brown snapping arrows appear, just as they do when you snap the playhead to the same location.


Snapping is a magnet-like function that allows you to easily align clips to each other, or to the playhead location. Snapping is discussed in more detail later in this lesson.

Drag the rowing sound clip, and snap its Out point to the Out point of the canoe coming clip. Play these three clips to see if you like the new placement of the voice-over.

When you selected one track of a stereo pair in the previous exercise, both tracks became selected. When you drag or move one track of a stereo pair,they both move in tandem. Notice the green arrows, indicating a stereo pair, on the rowing sound clip.



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