Final Cut Pro Tip #021 – Shuffle Edits
Shuffle Edits are great way to quickly rearrange or shuffle clips on the timeline. While shuffle edits are extremely useful, they can also be somewhat tricky. These edits cannot be performed with transitions, and they can only be made if the clip is moved outside of its original starting position on the timeline.
To perform a shuffle edit select the clip that you want to rearrange or shuffle. Drag the clip to the position on the timeline where you want the clip to go. You may want to make sure that snapping is turned on (n). Match the start or head of the clip you are dragging to the the edit point that you want the clip to start at. Hold down the option key. You should see the cursor change to a rounded arrow (if you do not see the cursor change a shuffle edit cannot be make with the selected clip). Release the mouse button and then the option key, and your edit is made.
If you are shuffling a clip and it does not leave the entire length of its original position the edit cannot be performed. This does not mean that you cannot use the shuffle edit to rearrange your clips. Simply look at the timeline and determine which clip needs to be moved the most to perform the shuffle edit. There will always be 2 clips that can be move to preform this type of edit. Generally start out with the shorter clip and you should not have any issues.
Here is the description from the Final Cut Pro manual if you need more clarification.
Performing Shuffle Edits
A shuffle edit (sometimes referred to as a swap edit) allows you to move a clip item to a different position in a track without leaving a gap. When you perform a shuffle edit, you insert a clip item from one position in your sequence to another, and all clip items before or after the clip insertion point are rippled so that the gap left by the moved clip is filled. Shuffle edits do not affect the length of the clips or the overall duration of your sequence, and clips on other tracks are not affected. Shuffle edits may only be performed with one clip item at a time, and they can’t be performed on clip items with transitions applied.
Tip: You may want to turn snapping on to make it easier to align the clips you are moving (see “Snapping to Points in the Timeline” on page 195). To shuffle a clip item from one position to another: 1 Select a clip item you want to move in the Timeline with the Selection tool.
2 Drag the selected clip item to the beginning of the clip item you want to insert the dragged clip item in front of. If you have trouble aligning it with the edit point, press the N key to turn snapping on.
3 While continuing to hold down the mouse button, press the Option key. The pointer turns into the Shuffle Edit pointer. The direction of the small arrow in the Shuffle Edit pointer indicates which direction clip items will be rippled around the insertion point of the moved item.
If the small arrow points right, all clip items to the right of the insertion point are rippled to the right, filling the gap where the moved clip item was previously located.
If the small arrow points left, all clip items to the left of the insertion point are rippled to the left, filling the gap where the moved clip item was previously located.
4 Release the mouse button to place the selected clip at the insertion point.
Important: Shuffle edits are only possible if you move a clip item beyond the boundaries of its original position. If you don’t move a clip item far enough, pressing the Option key while you drag the clip item allows you to perform an insert edit, but not a shuffle edit.