The Difference Between Trim and Crop in Apple Final Cut Pro [v]

[This is an excerpt from a recent on-line video webinar: “Ask Larry Anything!” which is available as a download in our store, or as part of our Video Training Library.]


Trimming and cropping are basic techniques in any video edit. In this video tutorial, Larry Jordan illustrates the difference between trimming and cropping a video clip using Apple Final Cut Pro.


The Difference Between Trim and Crop in Apple Final Cut Pro

TRT: 3:49 — MPEG-4 HD movie



What better way to end the year than with a session that covers just about anything? Well, at least the things you are interested in! Yup, it’s the perfect time for “Ask Larry Anything!”

This session is organized into seven categories covering different aspects of Apple Final Cut Pro, Motion and Compressor. During this session, Larry Jordan covers:

These sessions are always interesting because there is always new stuff to learn!

Visit our website to see lots more video training in our store.

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7 Responses to The Difference Between Trim and Crop in Apple Final Cut Pro [v]

  1. In 3:48, as succinct discussion of why I dislike FCPX (the NLE that calls a project an “event”, and bin a “library”.)

    That’s NOT a “trim”, that’s a “crop & resize/repo”.

    SO, what do the geniuses from Cupertino call Trim, as in trimming the length of a clip?

    • Guess I’ll sign up for the next ALA!

    • Larry says:


      Smile… You are welcome to dislike FCP, but let’s get the words right. An “event” is a folder, FCP 7 and Premiere call “events,” bins.”

      And a library is the master container for everything: media, timelines (which FCP calls “projects” and Premiere calls “sequences”), text, effects and metadata.

      And you are ALWAYS welcome to join an “Ask Larry Anything” session.

      Finally, cropping in both FCP and Premiere takes the cropped object and fills the frame with it. “Repo” is a print term, not one I’ve seen in video.


  2. Tiberio says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for all you do for us FCPX users. I had a question about a frustrating dilemma that has prolonged the editing of my recent project, which appears as a stylistic Zoom chat. There are times I make a crop, but then I want to trim from there to make a Zoom window. FCPX does not allow this – if trim is selected after the crop, the image shrinks and it requires resizing to fit into place. I guess nobody anticipated making these kinds of Zoom videos, but it would be great if there were an easier solution. Another problem I face is when I trim to make a particular aspect ratio, and then I go to crop after that, the aspect ratio changes as I try to resize it. Then, once clicking out of this, the image simply blows up to more than the screen size, which also requires resizing. Hoping you have some tips. Thank you!


    • Larry says:


      Stop using crop. Instead, use Trim and Scale.

      To restrict where a video appears, put the source image in the primary storyline. Above it, add Generators > Solids. (I picked a Pastel) Size and frame it to the position you want. Then, to the solid, apply Video Inspector > Blend Modes > Stencil Alpha.

      Now you can scale your image as much as you want without needing to trim or worry about it getting too big.


      • Tiberio says:

        Thank you for your reply, Larry. You’ve been an invaluable resource over the years and I appreciate your time. While on the subject, I was wondering if you’ve ever come across the need to measure what’s on screen. In making various Zoom windows, I’ve had difficulty sizing everything evenly, and it seems I mostly have to eye it or hold a ruler up. There might be an instance where I have six windows up at a time, and they could all be the same size, or maybe two need to be larger and four are smaller, or I may even have various different sizes that all need to fit into one 16×9 screen. Any advice on how you might handle that? I’ve come along pretty far, but it’s been tedious and not the best workflow. I’m coming down the stretch now and any advice on how to make it swifter would be most appreciated. Thanks again.

        • Tiberio:

          Take a look at This free utility provides MANY benefits:

          * Customizeable Viewer grid
          * Scrollable Viewer guidelines
          * Scrolling timeline
          * Timeline Index export.

          I use it on all of my edits.


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