Assistant editors: ever find yourself stuck doing the same mind-numbing action over and over ad nauseum for hours? For instance, sometimes I will be in a situation where I need to play through one long clip in a sequence and add edits at numerous points along the way. Instead of moving my fingers off the “J-K-L” keys and across the keyboard to hit the key for “Add Edit” every time I want to do so, I came up with an alternative. Under the “Settings” tab of the project window, highlight your keyboard setting. Hit Apple-D (or Control-D on a PC), and it duplicates the setting. You can rename it “Temporary Keyboard” or “Add Edit Keyboard” or whatever you want. Now remap the “Add Edit” command to the semi-colon key or “H” key (or wherever you want it that’s more handy than where you usually keep it), and whenever you need to add an edit, you can simply slide your finger over one position and hit the key without moving your hands. This allows you to switch back and forth between multiple commands at lightning speed, without even really having to think about it. When you’re done with the whole process, simply go back into the “Settings” tab and click the check mark onto your main keyboard setting, and everything is mapped back to how you normally like it.

An alternate keyboard can be useful for any sort of repetitive task. For actions that require a whole string of commands, you can even map them to consecutive keys (I use the number keys on the top row of the keyboard) and hit them all in a row over and over, without searching across the keyboard for the right buttons. I do this when I am multigrouping footage that is synced in a timeline, and it saves me a ton of time. As an alternative, you can use an external program that records your keyboard strokes and mouse clicks into a macro and play it back in a loop at warp speed, while you cross your feet on your desk and watch the computer do your work for you. Now that’s a time saver.