Final Cut Pro X: Effects Presets

Creating the perfect effect takes a lot of time. Wouldn’t it be great if, once you create an effect, you could save it to reuse again later?

Good news! Final Cut Pro X provides exactly that: an Effects Preset.

Image Courtesy: EditStock (

Here’s an example. In this image, I’ve added:

Whew! All to give the image an “old-timey” look, which fits perfectly with the story.


At the bottom right of the Video Inspector is the Save Effects Preset button.

That opens this window. At the top, I named this effect “Old-Time Memory”.

All presets need to be stored in a category. Click the Category menu and choose where you want the presets stored. While Color Presets would work, I decided to create a new category, so I chose New Category at the bottom of the menu.

This displays a small window where I can name the category. All we are doing here is creating a folder where this effect – and future effects – will be stored. The actual preset name was entered earlier in the Name field.

In the Attributes section, check the effects you want to save with the preset. In my case, I want to save the look, but not the changes I made in the Transform menu. The image on the left shows all the applied effects, while the image on the right shows my final choices; I’m keeping the effects, but not keeping the changed Transform settings.

Notice the yellow diamonds in the Keyframe column? These indicate that an effect has keyframes applied to it.

If the effect you are saving includes keyframes – and in my example, I’m excluding them – these bottom two choices are relevant:

If you don’t use keyframes, you don’t care about this setting.

If you do use keyframes, most of the time you will probably want to choose Maintain Timing; however Final Cut gives you the option to adjust keyframe positions based upon clip durations.

Click Save and you are done.


To apply a preset, open the Effects Browser, go to the Category you saved the effect into and apply it, the same as any other effect.


Effects are stored in the Library of your Home Directory. But, rather than dig through the Library to find these files, the easiest way to delete them is to right-click the effect you want to remove and choose Reveal in Finder.

Then, select and delete the effect you no longer want, the same as any other file.

NOTE: For the record, custom effects are stored in: [Home Directory] > Library > Application Support > ProApps > Effects Presets.

Be careful not to delete any files in this folder that you did not create!


Effects presets can save us a lot of time when we are reusing effects across multiple clips, or multiple projects. And creating them only takes a few seconds. Now you know how.

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One Response to Final Cut Pro X: Effects Presets

  1. stu aull says:

    Waiting for this one Larry – thanks!

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