Save Time Editing With Top And Tail

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Two of the editing features that have been part of Avid Media Composer for quite some time are the Top and Tail commands. Using both will save you a little bit of time as you make your edit. Here's a basic rundown of how each command works:

  • Top - This command will remove the portion of the selected video and/or audio clip located to the left of the playhead.
  • Tail - This command will remove the portion of the selected video and/or audio clip located to the right of the playhead.
Notice the Top and Tail commands in the Edit section of the Command Palette

Notice the Top and Tail commands in the Edit section of the Command Palette

You can use Top and Tail to quickly remove sections of a clip you won't need in your sequence, rather than setting an In point, an Out point, and then lifting or extracting the clip.

By default, the Top and Tail commands are not mapped to the keyboard, so you will need to set up keyboard shortcuts to use them. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Settings tab in your project window.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Keyboard listing and double click to bring up your current keyboard shortcuts (or you can just type "k" in your Settings window).
  3. Hit Cmd + 3 to bring up your Command palette and browse over to the Edit tab. The Top and Tail commands will be there.
  4. Make sure the "Button to Button" button at the bottom of the Command Palette window is selected.
  5. Click and drag the Top button and the Tail button to the keys on your keyboard you have designated (Some editors map them to the "E" and "R" keys. I have them mapped to SHIFT + I and SHIFT + O).

That's it. When you are ready to use each command, all you need to do is hit the designated short cut keys. Make sure, however, that you have the specific Video and/or Audio track(s) selected first.

Do you have any other Avid tips? Leave them in the Comments section.