How to run both FCP 7 and FCP X on the same computer

Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X share some of their resources so will not run on the same computer –

or to be more accurate in the same user on the same computer.

As those of you that own both FCP 7 and FCP X will know, Both applications cannot be run at the same time. Well here is the good news – and is so easy to do.

Just set up a new user – call it FCP X or something similar and launch FCP X from that user. You can then run  FCP 7 concurrently in your original user account. Of course you could run FCP 7 on the new user and FCP X in the old, if you prefer. Both can be run independently in either user account as well, if you wish. If you already have a second user account – no need to set up a new one.

You will need to copy your purchased (non Apple) Final Cut plug ins (third party effects/titles and generators) to the new account. You could copy your preferences if you want or set up new preferences in the  new account.

Warning: You might run into user conflicts if you copy the preferences/plugins directly from one account to the next so consider copying to an external hard disk and then copy from there to the new user account. (you could copy to the root folder on your Macintosh HD as well, then copy from there to the new user account)

If you are setting up FCP X on the new user account, this is how to copy your plug-ins and preferences to the new user.


Final cut X’s third party plug-ins are kept in the “motion templates” folder which is in the “movies” folder in your user folder

You will need to copy the contents of Effects, Generators Titles and Transitions. To make it easy for you only the third party plug-ins show as the Apple supplied plug-ins are elsewhere.

You need to copy the contents of the “motion templates” folder into the “movies” folder on your new user account. If you do not have  the “motion templates” folder in you new account’s “movies” folder then you could copy the whole “motion templates” folder across or create a new Motion templates folder.


FCP X keeps its preferences in the User Library.

Copy the two files:

Place them in the same location in your new user account.

If you want to move the FCP 7 to the new user you only need to move the Preferences to the new user.

FCP 7 keeps its Plug-ins in the System Library rather than the user Library: You do not need to copy these as the new user has access to them because they are in the system.

The preferences are in the user library:

The preferences do need to be copied.

Copy these into the same place in the second user account.

Tutorials: Final Cut Pro X from $1.99

47 individual lessons over 8 hours of tutorials,
Separate Basic and Advanced sections.

VEO shop

We recommend the plug-in collection
from FCPEffects:


Real world review of 7 to X – transfer FCP 7 projects to FCPX

Transfer FCP 7 projects to FCP X

Review of 7 to X from Intelligent Assistance

Along with last week’s major upgrade to FCP X from Apple was an announcement of the release of the, “just as important” ability to transfer legacy footage from FCP 7 to FCP X.

Intelligent Assistance say this about their new application:

“7toX for Final Cut Pro brings your Final Cut Pro 7 projects forward to Final Cut Pro X so you can use Apple’s powerful new professional editing tools to update or finish your older projects. The lightweight application is simple to use, with drag-and-drop support and progress information. 7toX translates important metadata from your Final Cut Pro 7 Project — including bins, clips and sequences — to a new Event in Final Cut Pro X (version 10.0.3) with the highest fidelity of any translation application for Final Cut Pro. In addition, the application provides clear, detailed reporting after every transfer.”

We recommend Final Cut Library Manager as a Must have Application:

FC Library manager 2


But how does it perform in the real world. I had an indepth look at the application today and here are the results:

The process is simple and happens without fuss.

1:- In FCP 7 choose the File menu and from the Export submenu, select XML… Name and save the XML file. (make sure all clips are on line)

2:-  When you launch 7 to X, an open dialog appears allowing you to locate your exported XML file.

You see a progress bar during translation and, when completed, you have a choice of opening FCP X directly or saving as a FCP X  XML file. I suggest you save as a file as It has crashed on me several times when opening directly in FCP X .

3:- Open FCP X and from file menu select Import> XML file.

In this real world test I used a FCP 7 project that contained:

12 x sequences

33 x tape based clips 1080/50i

326 Card clips that had been transcoded by FCP 7 as ProRes 422

How long did it take?

7 to X took a total of 8 x minutes to translate from the XML file created by FCP 7 ( FCP 7 took 1 x minute to create)

7 to x created a 1.8 Mb xml file

What resulted?

The result was the creation of  a new event, in FCP X, with all the FCP 7 project contained in it including a keyword collection of the 12 sequences from FCP 7.

The resulting timeline is below:

Now how accurate is it?

I did not expect that it would be seamless but there are some major drawbacks (I’ll look at some of those further on). But with that said the project come over completely including all the audio files and original clips.

These are some of the items that did not translate well.

Unknown transitions needed to be redone but dissolves/fades were fine. Manual fades are recognised

It does not like mixed overlapping formats of footage so that they show as multiple layered clips in the FCP X’s viewer.

View of the time line in FCP X

The frame above, as shown in the viewer – different formats are retained.


Gaussian Blurs come across at 50 % so need to be lowered back to FCP 7 levels.

Gaussian Blur as converted

Gaussian Blur reset to FCP 7 level


Filters and effects that are not recognised are marked in the FCP X time line with red markers and notes are added.


Overall impressions.

I am most impressed and will use the application extensively – what a bargain for $10.00


We recommend Final Cut Library Manager as a Must have Application:

FC Library manager 2


Tutorials: Final Cut Pro X from $1.99

47 individual lessons over 8 hours of tutorials,
Separate Basic and Advanced sections.

VEO shop