Welcome to the blog. I thought I’d start things off with a few Avid keyboard shortcuts that I have added to my settings in the last few months that make my life exponentially easier. As you well know, there are infinite combinations of how to set up your keyboard, and based on what functions you do the most, you will have different shortcuts you want to have in certain handy places. However, I picked a few keys from my settings that I think will be useful for almost everybody, as they are frequently used commands with complicated default keystrokes or mouse-clicks that I have remapped to convenient and easy-to-remember places:
1. I’ve seen so many other AE’s using the awkward two-key “More detail” and “Less detail” commands or the imprecise slider at the bottom of the timeline window to zoom in or out on their sequence. I’ve very simply mapped these commands to the “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys, conveniently located next to the “Home” and “End” keys that also pertain to navigating through your sequence. You can easily double- or triple-tap these keys to zoom in or out on your playhead quickly. It can also be useful to press the keys immediately once, one after the other, to center your playhead as an alternative to hitting the “Focus” button. As an added convenience, I’ve mapped “Show Entire Sequence” to both “Page Up” and “Page Down” with the “Shift” button depressed. This makes zooming in and out of my sequence a breeze.
2. This one I discovered just a couple weeks ago, and it’s a huge time saver. Sick of always hitting “Apple-Shift-A” every time you want to deselect all the tracks in your timeline or clips in a bin? Simply map “Deselect All” to the “S” key and map “Select All” to the “A” key (I moved the “Go to Next Edit” and “Go to Previous Edit” keys to “Shift-S” and “Shift-A”). Yep, it works in bins and the timeline!
3. It always seemed unnecessary to me to have two sets of “Mark In” and “Mark Out” keys on the keyboard when every key is such valuable real estate, and it makes the most sense to use the “I” and “O” keys since they already represent the first letter of each command and are right next to each other (seriously, did the inventor of the QWERTY keyboard plan that or something?), and also because of their proximity to the J-K-L movement keys. I found a different combination for the “E” and “R” keys that also uses the first letter of each: “ExpertRender” and “Render.” With one keystroke you can choose whether to render the selection completely or just enough to play back smoothly in real-time.
4. The “Toggle Source/Record in Timeline” button is one I frequently use to help me more precisely search through a particularly long clip in the source window or view a sequence that I have loaded there. The “H” key is a logical place to put this command, since it’s kind of stuck between groups of buttons that work well together, and the many different incarnations of Avid seem to assign a different default command to it anyway (“Focus,” “Add Edit,” etc.).
5. Finally, why bother to hit Apple-S every time you want to save your project? I map my “Save” command to the F4 key (and many other non-editing commands to the F-number keys so they’re all in the same area). I wish it would always save the entire project when I press it, but you must select the project window first in order for that to happen.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to add comments to this post with your own life-saving keyboard shortcuts, and I might just incorporate them into my own keyboard setup.