A Preview of Menus and Buttons in the FCP X Interface:

Menus and Buttons in the FCP X Interface:

Below is the events list view

Since Apple have released three screen shots of the new FCP Interface we are able to see the new menus and buttons.

Here is my take on what some of these will offer.




First the menu bar:

Moving from the left, File, Edit, View, Mark have the same labels in both FCP 7 and FCP X. The difference in FCP X is that Clip, Modify and Share – replace Modify, Sequence, Effects and Tools. Window and Help stay the same.

I have noticed that Apple have gradually used the term Share in their applications to replace what was generally known as Export.

So what can we gleam from this?

Certainly not mind blowing, but it is an indicator of the following change:

The Share menu will now have the export and the share functions that were in the “File” menu of FCP 7. This could indicate more options for export since it now has its own menu.


Now to the Buttons

The Event library looks like it mirrors the Hard Disk in a similar way as Motion and iMovie – perhaps we will be able to access the HD directly as we do in Motion now and not have to “import” files as in FCP 7. Notice the icon for the Audi project a star similar to the iMovie icon – UMMM!


Now to the full view of the event Library:

List view:

This is made up of 3 x main areas. The left side bar and a main window to the right that is split between thumbnails of the clips at the top and line listing of the clip names. Note that the list view option of the event Library shows when the blue list button in the bottom bar is selected.


Clip view :

When viewing the Events Library as clip images the window is broken into 2 x areas. The left side bar is the same as List view but the clips are arranged as in iMovie with the ability to break the clips into seconds (what has happened to time code?) maybe the switch to the right of “10 s” will change from secs to time code.


Note that the different blue button selection for Clip view:

Note that when viewing thumbnails in either the clip or list view the thumbnails show the audio wave forms. If there is no audio there are no waveforms.

The full view of the time line:

The big difference here is the lack of the left side bar from FCP 7 – how we will select tracks and solo/mute (maybe in the right button bar – see later in this review) will need to wait for the release in June. In the meantime, what we do know is that the tracks will lock from the button bar – with the key button. There is also similar buttons to those used in iMovie for import from the camera, (camera image) selection of favourites (star images)

There are 3 x icons to the right of the key icon. I am sure that the middle icon is for “insert” of a clip to the timeline and the right hand image is for overwrite. this indicates that along with the skim click and drag method of selecting footage we will still be able to insert “in” and “out” points and move clips to the timeline as inserts or overwrites by clicking the buttons and I am sure, also by keyboard shortcuts.

The blue arrow indicates that tools currently in FCP 7 will be selectable along the arrow (pointer tool)


From the detailed segment above we can see that text is shown as different image as in iMovie, this indicates that text can be moved to new locations by simply dragging (and I hope by selecting frames – add or subtract – as in FCP X)

If you look at the green audio clip you will see that peaking is displayed directly as orange (and red) in the clip rather than in the VU meter as in FCP 7.


Different coloured markers indicate that chapter markers, audio markers and others are available as in FCP 7.


The button bar at the right hand side of the time line gives us the most information of all those that we have looked at:

There are a number of icon conventions that we see in other Apple software apps.

From the left – bottom bar: The blue rectangle with orange line is possibly for turning the time line playhead on and off. – not sure about that – and why? Next is wave forms on or off. the far right (in blue) is snapping on/off.

From the left – top bar: I would not like to guess the first 2 buttons – what looks like a magic wand is a mystery at the moment. the buttons I can decipher are:

Double page icon is for selecting the effects –

The camera will access iPhoto or Aperture – I would guess there will be a selection to change the default preference.

Next – the musical note is access to iTunes (maybe now FCP X will auto convert compressed Mp3 and ACC files to 48 kHz)

Next is the transition button (same logo as iMovie)

Next is most likely the solo audio button.

Next to the right is for text generator.

The “i” is for selecting the color corrector (see “i” in blue below).

This allows a different way of using a what was the three way colour corrector by way of Shadows, Midtones and Highlights. The secondary colour space is a feature brought over from The current studio application “Color”

By no means have we been able to see all of what FCP X will have to offer – we will have to wait for the final release in June.

I hope this short review will have given you a step up for the big changes in interface and terminology that is about to happen.

Below are the 2 other full screen shots released by Apple:

Event clip view with effects


Color correction full screen shot (click on image to enlarge)

Good luck.

I am very happy field questions – but remember that everything I have evaluated is taken from 3 x static screen shots.

4 responses

  1. From what I have seen so far, the kay is not the lock feature, but the keyword input.

    “From the left – top bar: I would not like to guess the first 2 buttons” – the first one should be the clour-menu, and the second the time-menu

    “The blue rectangle with orange line is possibly for turning the time line playhead on and off. – not sure about that – and why? Next is wave forms on or off.”
    I think these 2 icons are for turning skimming on/off.

    A nice website to find mor about the new interface is:

    • Thanks for the input Peter,

      I agree with your evaluation about the key – very logical – I was working on the key icon’s features in iMovie – but agree your idea is more likely.

      Also orange line is likely to be skimming on and off rather that the play head on/off

      Thanks for the link to Ken Stone.

      • Especially the function of the key icon I have taken from iMovie 09 – there it is the keyword feature – I don’t know about iMovie 11 – but I think it will be the same.

        Best regards, Peter

  2. Thanks for this great in-depth speculative preview. I’m really excited to get my hands on FCP X!


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