Insider Tips: Customize Avid Media Composer Shortcuts and Edit Faster

Every week, Insider asks one of our expert contributors to share a tip, tool, or technique that they use all the time and couldn’t live without. This week, Chris Tennant shows us how to assign menu items as keyboard shortcuts in Avid Media Composer.

Customize keyboard shortcuts using the Command Palette

As an editor, speed and efficiency is integral to your workflow. One of the best ways to speed up your process is by mapping  your own keyboard shortcuts designed around your personal editing style.

To customize your keyboard shortcuts, go to the “Settings” palette, and then the “User” tab. Scroll down to the keyboard section, and double-click on the Keyboard layout that’s checked.

Next, bring up the Command Palette by selecting Tools->Command Palette, or hitting Ctrl/Cmd+3. While Command Palette is in “Button to Button” mode, you can search for actions and drag any of them onto the various keys of your keyboard layout.

The Command Palette is also a great way to discover new functions and features in Media Composer. By browsing through the different actions, you may find something that you didn’t know existed, but could greatly speed up your process.

However, there are some functions that don’t appear on Command Palette, like enabling the Effects Editor for example. To map these functions, change the Command Palette to “Menu to Button” mode. Click on the keyboard shortcut you want to change, and then navigate to the menu item in the toolbar. It will appear as an abbreviation on your keyboard mapping so you can easily activate it going forward.

You can use Command Palette to map buttons outside of your keyboard as well. For example, you can customize the buttons beneath Program Monitor in the same way as your keyboard. However, it’s best to close Command Palette when you’re not actively using it, since having it open can interfere with your keystrokes and menu selections.

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Chris Tennant

Christopher Tennant is an IATSE Assistant Editor who’s worked on features and TV for Sony, Netflix, Legendary Pictures, Blumhouse, and others. He lives in Los Angeles and writes a blog featuring post-production guides.

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