I've got half way through editing a clip on the timeline. Now I want to delete the remainder of that clip, but save a reference to it somewhere. And then I'm going to add a second clip afterwards, and I might or might not use the rest of the first clip later on the timeline, haven't decided yet. But I don't want it hanging around cluttering my timeline in the meantime.

I understand that cutting on the timeline doesn't affect the original media, so I can simply 'delete' the remainder of the clip on the timeline, and then use I and O on the original clip, in the media bin, later on, and click 'E', in order to grab the rest of the first clip, back onto the timeline.

However, there are a couple of inconvenient points about having to find the range of the original clip all over again:

  1. I have to go off and find the exact range all over again... I'd like to store it somehow, ideally without eg having to write down in a notebook the exact start time of the rest of the clip
  2. I actually have two clips on the timeline, one above the other, linked together, that I've already gone to great pains to 'sync' together, so the actions in one are synced with the actions and audio in the other. I don't want to have to resync all over again.

Thoughts? Perhaps this isn't the exact way to achieve this in FCPX? What is your approach when you've edited half a clip, on the timeline, and you think you might use the rest of the clip later, but don't want to keep it hanging around on the timeline in the meantime?

I have read through in detail all the answers of How can I save clips that I cut? , but they do not appear to answer my question. Some of the answers simply say that the question isn't for an FCPX workflow, and to use a different workflow, but don't recommend an FCPX-compatible workflow to use.

Having written the question, a couple of answers occurred to me, so I've added in an answer with these options.

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of options to achieve storing a partial clip for later use.

1. keywords

The first option is to use keywords. I haven't tried using this approach, and it seems tricky to use to me, but maybe because I didn't try using it yet.

Basically, what you do is:

  • shift-F the clip, which is the same as opening the context menu and doing 'reveal in browser'
    • the original media clip will be selected in the media bin
  • click the > arrow next to the original media clip to expand it, to show the clips inside
  • press shift-F again
    • the cut clip, inside the original clip, will be selected
  • press command-K to open the keyword editor, or go to 'mark' menu, then do 'show keyword editor'
  • type in some phrase to remember your clip, like unused_part_of_my_clip, then press ,
    • this will label your sub-clip with the keyword, in the media bin
  • now you are free to delete your sub-clip from the timeline
  • whenever you want, you can go to the media bin, expand the original media clip, and drag the labeled sub-clip back onto the timeline

2. Compound clips

This is particularly useful for your second case, where you have two clips already stuck together on the timeline. Simply select those two clips, then open the context menu and do 'New compount clip...'

  • a new compound clip will be created in the media bin
    • also your original two sub-clips will be converted into a single clip in the timeline :P
  • you can now delete the clip from the timeline
  • whenever you want, you can drag the compound clip from the media bin onto the timeline

By the way, after moving the compound clip onto the timeline, you can double-click it to get back to the original sub-clips, or you can select it in the timeline, go to the 'Clip' menu, and do 'Break apart clip items'

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