final cut pro

Insert and Overwrite Edits

Once you have some clips in your Timeline and you want to add more video clips or additional audio tracks to the tracks for your existing clips, there are two basic ways to do this.

  • You can do an insert edit, in which the new clip will be inserted into an existing clip in the Timeline. This will preserve the entirety of the existing clip, and move segments of it to the left and right to make room for the new clip.

  • You can do an overwrite edit, in which the new clip will overwrite or replace portions of your existing clip or clips. The portions replaced will be equal to the duration of the new clip you're moving to the Timeline.

In both cases you begin by clicking on the Playhead in the Timeline and positioning it at the point where you want to place the new clip.

Then there are several ways you can do an insert or overwrite edit of a new clip.

The easiest way is to click on the clip in the Viewer that you want to add to the Timeline, and hold down your mouse button. You'll see a small version of the clip appear where you've selected it.

Now drag the clip down to the track on the Timeline where you want to place the clip, and position it at the point where you positioned the Playhead.

If you see a downward pointing arrow appear, that means the clip will overwrite or replace the existing clip (that is, a portion of the existing clip will be overwritten by the new clip). Release your mouse button to do the overwrite.

If you see an arrow pointing to the right, that means the clip will be inserted into the track and then push the segments of the existing clip to the right and left (thus preserving all of the existing clip). Release your mouse button to do the insert.

The same principles apply if you're adding an audio track from the Viewer to the Timeline.

Note: Even if you're adding the new clip to an empty track above some existing video in the Timeline, you still have the option of doing an insert or overwrite edit.

If you see a downward pointing arrow, then the new clip will appear on a new track on top of the existing clip below, which means that when you play the video, the clip on top will be displayed, while the clip underneath will not play.

If you see an arrow pointing to the right, then the new clip will appear on a new track on top of the existing clip below, and the existing clip will be split in two and its segments moved to the right and left to make room for the new clip above.

Other Ways to do Insert and Overwrite Edits

Another way to do insert or overwrite edits is to first position the playhead at the point in the Timeline where you want to place a clip, and then select in the Viewer the new clip you want to place in the Timeline and drag it over to the Canvas area to the right. When you do this, you'll see several colored editing option boxes pop up on the Canvase screen, including Insert Edit and Overwrite Edit. Dropping the clip in one of these highlighted areas will then place the clip into the Timeline at the point where you've set the playhead, either inserting it between or within existing clips (if you drop the clip on the Insert Edit box) or overwriting a portion of the existing clips (if you drop the clip on the Overwrite Edit box).

As an alternative, you can again position the playhead at the point in the Timeline where you want to place a clip, then select in the Browser or Viewer the new clip you want to move into the Timeline and click on one of the small yellow or red colored icons that look like envelopes on the lower left of the Canvas screen. Click on the yellow icon to do an Insert Edit, or click on the red icon to do an Overwrite Edit.

As a third alternative, you can again position the playhead at the point in the Timeline where you want to place a clip, then select in the Browser or Viewer the new clip you want to move into the Timeline and press the F9 key on your keyboard to do an Insert Edit or press the F10 key to do an Overwrite Edit.

Note: If you choose one of these latter three alternate ways of doing an insert or overwrite edit, then you should be sure first to identify the destination tracks in the Timeline where you want the new clip to be placed.