Optimize Pro Tools: Faster Key Commands

2011 Mar 02, 2011

The best of the best Pro Tools users are fast. They don’t waste time fiddling around with the mouse when they could make an edit or a function happen with a simple keyboard shortcut. Neither should you. In fact you may already be using some common key commands to speed up your workflow. But today I want to show you a faster way…

The Normal Way

Normally when you want to use a key command in Pro Tools you use a combination of the Command (or Control) key along with a letter. For example, just a quick glance at the Edit drop down menu will show you some common functions. Command+Z will undo, Command+X will cut, and Command+V will paste, etc.

This is set up by default. And there is nothing wrong with using these keyboard shortcuts. But did you know there was a faster way? Have you ever noticed that little A-Z button in the top right section of your edit window? What does it do?

The Faster Way

If you’ve never bothered clicking on that button then you’re missing out. This is the Keyboard Shortcut Focus button. What it tells Pro Tools to do is allow you to use shorter shortcuts (ha!) which save you time. For example, after you press this button you no longer need to hit Command+Z to undo something. You only need to hit the letter Z. Same is true for cutting and pasting. Just hit the letter X to cut and the letter V to paste. That’s 50% fewer keystrokes to hit!

That may not seem like a bit deal to you right now, but when you are editing and mixing, any seconds you can shave off of  having to fiddle with extra keys on the keyboard or your mouse, are seconds you can devote to making mix decisions and creating better music. And honestly, if there’s a faster way to do something, why not do it?

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