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Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 9: Everything Else

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 9

This is the ninth and last lesson in a series on mastering Avid Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts. Each lesson tackles a handful of shortcuts. By the end of all the lessons you should be flying through your editing sessions.

This isn’t just any old list of shortcuts. For many of them I explain exactly how they work and how I use them everyday as a professional editor.

If you’re just getting started, no worries. You can take this lesson and circle back to the previous lessons. You can find all the lessons here.

This lesson focuses on everything else not in the other lessons!

Everything Else

There are shortcuts that just don’t fit into any one group and groups of shortcuts I didn’t want to dedicate an entire lesson towards. Well, here they are! If you see any that I’ve missed over the past nine lessons, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add them in.

Toggle Source/Record

Shortcut: Esc

If you look at the image below, you’ll see the Source and Record Monitors. Source is on the left and Record is on the right. The Timeline or the material that’s loaded in the Monitor is represented by the white or gray bar beneath the player. When that monitor is active, meaning you can hit keyboard shortcuts like J, K, L, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Home, End, Space Bar, D, F, G, etc. and it’ll do something, the bar is white. When it isn’t active, it’s gray. Only one will be active at a time. In the example below the Record Monitor is active.

Use Esc to Toggle Between Source and Record Monitors

Use Esc to Toggle Between Source and Record Monitors

Hitting the escape key will switch between the two Monitors. You don’t have to click back and forth when you are deciding on In/Out Points in the Source Monitor and down in the Timeline. Try this one out if you haven’t used it before!


Shortcut: Cmd+Z (Mac) | Ctrl+Z (PC)

This is pretty straightforward. Just like in pretty much any program out there you can undo an action you just made. Keep hitting this shortcut to undo further and further back.


Shortcut: Cmd+R (Mac) | Ctrl+R (PC)

If you undo too far backwards, use this shortcut to go forwards an undo step.


Shortcut: Cmd+F (Mac) | Ctrl+F (PC)

This shortcut opens the Find tool.

Use Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (PC) to open Find

Use Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (PC) to open Find

Full Screen Playback

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+F (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+F (PC)

This shortcut enters Full Screen Playback mode.

Title Tool – Center Object Horizontally

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+C (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+C (PC)

In the Title Tool use this shortcut to align the text or object horizontally (left and right) across the screen. Basically this centers the text or object along an imaginary Y-Axis running down the middle of the Title Tool.

Title Tool – Align to Frame Bottom

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+Z (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+Z (PC)

In the Title Tool this shortcut aligns the selected object(s) to the bottom of the frame.

Title Tool – Send Object Backward

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+K (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+K (PC)

This will send a selected object, including text, back in the stacking order. This is important when you are placing objects on top of each other.

Title Tool – Send Object Forward

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+L (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+L (PC)

This will send a selected object, including text, forward in the stacking order. This is important when you are placing objects on top of each other.

Title Tool – Switch Between Selection Tool and Text Tool

Shortcut: Opt+Click Text (Mac) | Alt+Click Text (PC)

Holding Opt or Alt and clicking text will switch between the Selection Tool (how you move the text around the Title Tool) and the Text Tool (how you type in text).

Title Tool – Bold Text

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+B (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+B (PC)

This shortcut bolds selected text.

Title Tool – Italicize Text

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+I (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+I (PC)

This shortcut italicizes selected text.

Title Tool – Soft Drop Shadow

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+H (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+H (PC)

This shortcut adds a soft drop shadow to selected text or objects.

Title Tool – Duplicate Object

Shortcut: Cmd+D (Mac) | Ctrl+D (PC)

This shortcut duplicates a selected object.

Title Tool – Save Title As…

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+S (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+S (PC)

This shortcut will allow you to save your title.

MultiCam Mode

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+M (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+M (PC)

Use this shortcut to enter MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 1

Shortcut: F9

This shortcut uses MultiCam 1 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 2

Shortcut: F10

This shortcut uses MultiCam 2 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 3

Shortcut: F11

This shortcut uses MultiCam 3 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 4

Shortcut: F12

This shortcut uses MultiCam 4 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 5

Shortcut: Shift+F9

This shortcut uses MultiCam 5 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 6

Shortcut: Shift+F10

This shortcut uses MultiCam 6 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 7

Shortcut: Shift+F11

This shortcut uses MultiCam 7 when in MultiCam Mode.

MultiCam 8

Shortcut: Shift+F12

This shortcut uses MultiCam 8 when in MultiCam Mode.

Smart Tool

Shortcut: Shift+Tab

This shortcut turns on or off the Smart Tool.

Smart Tool – Segment Mode (Lift/Overwrite) (Red Arrow)

Shortcut: Shift+A

This shortcut turns on or off the Segment Mode (Lift/Overwrite) (the Red Arrow) in the Smart Tool.

Smart Tool – Segment Mode (Extract/Splice-In) (Yellow Arrow)

Shortcut: Shift+S

This shortcut turns on or off the Segment Mode (Extract/Splice-In) (the Yellow Arrow) in the Smart Tool.

Smart Tool – Overwrite Trim (Red Trim Roller)

Shortcut: Shift+D

This shortcut turns on or off the Overwrite Trim (the Red Trim Roller) in the Smart Tool.

Smart Tool – Ripple Trim (Yellow Trim Roller)

Shortcut: Shift+F

This shortcut turns on or off the Ripple Trim (the Yellow Trim Roller) in the Smart Tool.


Shortcut: Shift+G

This shortcut turns on or off Keyframes.

Link Selection Toggle

Shortcut: Shift+L

This shortcut turns on or off Link Selection Toggle.

Audio Mark In

Shortcut: Shift+E

This shortcut marks an Audio In Point.

Audio Mark Out

Shortcut: Shift+R

This shortcut marks an Audio Out Point.

Go to Audio Mark In

Shortcut: Shift+Q

This shortcut moves the Time Position Indicator to the Audio In Point.

Go to Audio Mark Out

Shortcut: Shift+W

This shortcut moves the Time Position Indicator to the Audio Out Point.

Mark Markers

Shortcut: Shift+T

This shortcut marks an In and Out Point around the nearest Markers. I actually learned this one while making this lesson.

Current Settings

Shortcut: Cmd+= (Mac) | Ctrl+= (PC)

On various tools you can use this shortcut to jump to that tool’s settings.

Home (Move Window Back to Position)

Shortcut: Cmd+’ (Mac) | Ctrl+’ (PC)

If you move a window like a tool to a different part of the screen and want to move it back to where it is set in the workspace, use this shortcut.

What’s Next?

That’s all the shortcuts for Lesson 9 of Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts. What’d you think? Learn anything new?

Give me a shout if you have any questions. Leave me a comment below, message me through the contact page or send me an email – josh [at] editvideofaster.com.

Please, if you found these lessons helpful I’d love for you to go to this page so we can stay in touch. There will be many more useful posts, videos, tutorials, guides and more to help you in your editing adventures and this is the best way to find out about them.

– Josh

Keyboard Shortcuts Exam Pre-Sale!

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Exam

Please note the pre-sale is now over. Please visit this page for more information on the exam.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been creating a bunch of lessons about Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts and their related functions. This is because I want you to become a keyboard shortcut master. If you know the keyboard shortcuts and understand their functions, you’ll be a faster video editor. That means you finish projects sooner, get paid faster and make your bosses and clients happier.

When I was learning Media Composer I wish I had a way to check my progress. I didn’t. I didn’t have a teacher. I couldn’t afford a class. There were no lessons to follow. I just plugged away each day, screwing up and knocking clips out of sync, until I eventually got to a place where I believed, “I think I finally understand all this.” Not knowing your skill level is rough, especially if you’re new to an industry or software. You don’t have to go through that pain and mystery like I did.

I’m in the process of creating an exam to solve this very issue. It will be a simple, convenient and affordable way to test your abilities with Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts.

The exam will be launching February 13th (my birthday!). It will take place here on EVF. If you’ve taken any of my free Media Composer quizzes the format will be familiar. Please take a crack at a quiz so you know what to expect for the exam.

The multiple-choice exam will cover everything in the Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts lessons. There will be two more lessons released before February 13th. To do well on the exam you need to know what the keyboard shortcuts are and how their associated functions work.

Before we go any further, please remember that I have no affiliation with Avid. I’ve written for their blog before but that is it. They do not compensate me and this exam is purely based on my experience with Media Composer. Cool?

Your results, if you choose, will be displayed on the leaderboard. On the leaderboard you’ll have the opportunity to link to your website, demo reel or piece of work you’ve done. The leaderboard will be in order by score then by date. The first person that gets 70 out of 70 will be at the top of the leaderboard permanently. So that means if you want to be near the top you better 1) study the lessons and 2) take the exam before others do.

The exam will cost $35. I want anyone attempting the exam to take it seriously. I want you to study and master the keyboard shortcuts. If you study the shortcuts, take the exam and feel that it wasn’t what you expected and you now hate me and feel wronged, I’m happy to issue a refund. I’m positive that will not happen though.

Once you purchase the exam you’ll download a document with instructions that will direct you to the exam and the password to access it. Go to the page, enter the password, enter your first and last name and your email address. This email address is how I will contact you about the leaderboard. Take the exam. Get a great score because you studied and relish in the fact that you’re a keyboard shortcut master.

If you are not pleased with your score you have one week to retake the exam.

A few days following your completion of the exam I will email you to get the link to your website, demo reel or piece of work you want associated with your name on the leaderboard. If you do not want to be on the leaderboard you can opt out; just let me know! I will be emailing you from josh@editvideofaster.com.

Okay, one last thing.

The exam will go live on Saturday February 13th. It will be $35. I am doing a special introductory offer of $15 if you purchase before Friday January 22nd, 2016 11:59 EST. The price will never be this low again.

To get this deal click the “Buy Now” button below. You can use PayPal or a credit card. After that you will be prompted to download a document with instructions. Please email me at josh@editvideofaster.com (this is reiterated in the document) saying you’re part of the pre-sale for the exam! I should get your email address when you make the purchase but I want to make 100% sure I have it to send you access to the exam once it is launched. Once it’s launched I’ll send you the link to the exam with your password.

If you’ve been around here on EVF for a while you know that I’m completely honest with you. I believe this exam is a fantastic way to test your Media Composer chops. It’s something that I wish I had years ago and that’s why I’ve created it for you.

If you have any questions whatsoever email me or use my contact page. But remember you have until January 22nd, 2016 to get the exam for only $15, more than 55% off.

Please note the pre-sale is now over. Please visit this page for more information on the exam.


Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 1: Tools

Hey! This is the first lesson in a series on mastering Avid Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts. We’ll go through pretty much every keyboard shortcut in Media Composer in this series.

If you’ve taken either of my quizzes (Quiz 1 and Quiz 2) and/or you are interested in becoming a faster, more efficient editor than this series is for you. Each lesson we’ll tackle a handful of shortcuts. We’ll go through what the shortcut is and for some I’ll comment on the tool, function or whatever the shortcut does based on my experience using Media Composer hour after hour over the past seven years.

Okay, enough talking. Let’s get into our first lesson!

Media Composer Keyboard Shortcuts for Tools

There are a bunch of tools in Media Composer. There’s the Audio Mixer, Audio EQ, Composer, Effect Editor, Media Tool and more. Ten (10!) of them have simple shortcuts. In this lesson we’ll cover them.

Audio Tool

Audio Tool

Audio Tool

Cmd+1 (Mac) | Ctrl+1 (PC)

The Audio Tool shows the audio levels (how loud or soft it is) in visual form. Once you hit play the Audio Tool goes up and down based on the audio that’s being played at that frame. There’s a small sideways Audio Tool at the top of the Timeline. However the normal Audio Tool makes it much easier to see. I tend to always have this tool open.




Cmd+2 (Mac) | Ctrl+2 (PC)

Did you know Media Composer had a calculator? This isn’t your ordinary calculator either. This calculator counts timecode!

Read more

Figuring It All Out


I want to do a little exercise. I haven’t been shy in saying what I want out of EVF. And with what I want out of EVF I need to figure out what the heck I’m doing. What I’m doing is pretty much boiled down into this sentence that I need to complete:

I make _____________ for _____________ because _____________.

I need help completing this sentence.

What do I make?

I make many things. I write blog posts, I create YouTube videos, I build educational courses, I co-host a podcast, I build the post production community, I create products that help editors and more.

If I were to boil it down into one thing I would say I make knowledge about video editing (as a career and it’s software) easier to consume and understand.

Let’s take this and go a step deeper. There’s so much I want to make and create but if for this very moment I’m picking one thing, let’s say the thing I’m best at, is that I make learning about video editing software (mainly Avid Media Composer and Adobe After Effects) better and simpler.

So here’s where we’re at:

I make learning about video editing software better and simpler for _____________ because _____________.

Who do I make it for?

This one is easy right?! I make it for video editors!

Yes. And no. I need to go deeper. I need to define who that person is.

Who is that person? Who are you reading this?

You are an editor. You are in the industry or trying desperately to become part of it. Regardless you want to become better at what you do. You want to become more knowledgeable at your craft and quicker at it. You want to make cool videos. You want to learn so much but don’t have the time.

Okay, let’s go one step deeper. Who do I make it for?

I make it for busy video editors who want to improve their skills.

Okay. Here’s where we’re at:

I make learning about video editing software better and simpler for busy video editors who want to improve their skills because _____________.

Why do I make what I make?

Video editing is difficult. iMovie and YouTube make it sound so easy. Drag and drop. Add heart wipe. Export straight to YouTube. Boom. Done.

Oh. It’s not quite like that? Really? You have to label media properly, import, label clips, more labeling of files, create a PSD with an alpha, realize it’s the wrong blue, go back to Photoshop, re-export, re-import, yada yada yada yada and you’re only 1/10,000th of the way done.

Video editing is difficult. The software doesn’t always make sense if you don’t know what it is thinking. I want you to understand what Media Composer is doing when it is creating an MXF file. If you don’t get that then you don’t understand media management and if you don’t understand media management you won’t have a job for long.

Being skilled at your NLE makes you happier. It makes you better at what you do. And what you can do with your video editing abilities can change the world. What you can do is create beautiful art.

Okay, Josh. Go deeper. Why do I make what I make?

I make what I make because being skilled in your editing software enables you to create beautiful art.

Do I like that? Yeah? Yeah.

Putting It All Together

Let’s put it all together and see where we are at.

What do I make? I make learning about video editing software better and simpler.

Who do I make it for? I make it for busy video editors who want to improve their skills.

Why do I make what I make? I make what I make because being skilled in your editing software enables you to create beautiful art.

When I put it all together what do we get?

I make learning about video editing software better and simpler for busy video editors who want to improve their skills because being skilled in your editing software enables you to create beautiful art.

There we go. Was that that difficult?

Do you fall under this umbrella? Are you a busy video editor that wants to improve your skills so you can create beautiful art? And you want me to help you?

If so, let me know. And let me know what you’re struggling with and looking for!

I’ll see you soon with a new tutorial (because you’re a busy video editor who wants to improve your skills so you can create beautiful art)!

– Josh


A Few Updates!


Hey! I just wanted to give you a couple updates on what’s going on here at EVF.

First off, I’m about to be busier than ever. I’m shooting every weekday until… August 29th. Yep. The rest of the month. I’ll be shooting in four different cities and on top of that I’ll have to be editing a lot of what I shoot at night.

I can’t tell if all this is coming at a good time or not. I would like to get my mind off things but at the same time want to be around for everyone. Over the past month I have lost two people very close to me, one very unexpectedly. Myself, my friends and my family have been weathering the storm admirably and I’m extremely proud of them, proud to be part of my circle of friends and proud to be a Short.

Read more

One-On-One Video Editing Coaching


I want to make you a better video editor. That’s what I’ve been doing through my site, YouTube channel and other avenues for the past year. Pretty much this entire time I’ve been helping a faceless audience. I’ve been guessing at what you want to learn and hoping I’m using something relatable to be able to teach you. I know it’s working for a lot of you (I love the thank you emails I get!). However a lot of the time I still don’t know what you are struggling with. You, the one reading my words right now, I want to help you. That’s why I want to be your coach.

Recently I’ve had a huge problem. I have had several requests come in for complex custom tutorials that can’t be reused for everyone. I want to help these individuals out but I have such limited time after my 9-5, creating content for this site, walking Peyton, another new secret project I’m announcing soon (!!!) and trying to have something close to a social life. I have two options. I can:

  1. Spend several hours creating these custom tutorials, which results in lost time either with my family or creating content for this site or
  2. I can keep my family time and EVF content creation time but not be able to help these individuals in the way that they want/need help since email and screen shots aren’t enough sometimes.

Neither option works for me.

I cannot justify helping one individual person at the expense of not being able to create content for this site (and thus helping many). It isn’t fair to everyone else…that means you! My family time will always come first and with my limited free time I need some grounds for cutting out on one of them. That justification comes in the form of private, one-on-one premium coaching.

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When You Have Enough Tools and It’s Time to Start Building


Me, and a lot of other editors, like to say that knowing an NLE is just another tool in your tool belt. I like to take that analogy and go a step further. Every effect you learn to apply, software trick you implement, skill you acquire, connection you make, value you create for others and anything else you can think of that works towards improving yourself is a tool. Your tool belt consists of all of these. Each tool preforms a certain action whenever you are working on a project.

With your fully loaded tool belt you can build all sorts of things. The majority of time we tackle two types of projects. The first project is something simple, let’s say a chair if we can turn my analogy into something physical. We know there are four legs, a seat and a back to it. We have at least a rough blueprint we can follow or can easily find someone (or a YouTube video) to guide us. The other type of project is to build more tools! We build ourselves another screwdriver or a hammer or drill bit. These two types of projects pay our bills (barely) and (we hope) make our bosses happy. Are you happy though? If you are anything like me then you might not always be satisfied with the things you are building and their outcomes. Do they have enough reach? Do they improve my life or someone else’s life substantially?

Sure, we’re content after we sell off our chair or put away our screwdriver. We sold enough to pay off the mortgage this month or make ourselves more valuable candidates for a future job by having more tools. What we built was average. Deep down that’s not what we want. That’s not why we do what we do. We want incredible. As I lay here at 11:00PM drafting this on my phone in bed with my wife and dog already asleep long ago I’m reminded about how much incredible I want in my life and how little I am doing about it. For now…

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Focus, Lists and Spirals

Focus, Lists and Spirals

Two quick updates before we get into today’s post:

What should I put up as decorations?

What should I put up as decorations?

#1 – I finally moved into my new edit bay at the office! Here’s a picture of phase 1. Next up is phase 2, which is all about decorations. Any ideas on what I should put up?

#2 – I got featured on Pro Video Coalition! How crazy is that?! Scott Simmons is doing a post production quick tip everyday this month and he offered to let me write one. Read it here!

Okay, on with today’s post about Focus, Lists and Spirals…

Have you ever felt like there is so much you have to do but then instead of doing one of them you decide to sit down and start watching TV? That’s where I’ve been for the past couple weeks. There is sooooo much going on and I haven’t gotten anything done because I don’t know where to begin.

I really want to get back on track, if I was ever actually on track, with writing more how-to or instructional posts about editing. However since this feeling is so over-whelming at the moment I feel like I should share this struggle with you, tell you what I’m doing about it and get your thoughts on the topic.

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Entrepreneuring Video Editing

An honest discussion about making money

An honest discussion about making money

I want to get this off my chest.

I want to make money from this site and brand.

That isn’t a secret I’ve been keeping. It’s just something I’ve never fully and openly disclosed. I’d like to take the next ~thousand words to talk about it.

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Finishing Strong to Start Stronger

There are 10,000 posts like “The Top-8 Ways to Tackle Your New Year’s Resolutions” streaming through your social media timelines and inboxes right now. This post is not one of them. This short post is to tell you that you can do whatever you want to do and give you a quick tip on succeeding in whatever goals you have whenever you have them.

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