QA Graphic

Final Cut Pro for YouTube Shorts

Some things I have learned

YouTube Shorts are the platform's answer to the bite-sized video craze, offering a dynamic way to engage viewers with short, catchy content. But even with short videos, editing is key to a polished and impactful final product. Here's where Final Cut Pro comes in, with its powerful tools to help you create captivating YouTube Shorts.

Setting the Stage: Project Creation

  • Vertical is Key: YouTube Shorts are vertical videos, so make sure your Final Cut Pro project reflects that. When creating a new project, click "Use Custom Settings" and choose "Vertical" under Video Format. Alternatively, duplicate an existing project, change the format to "Vertical," and use the "Smart Conform" feature to automatically adjust your clips.

  • Time is of the Essence: Remember, YouTube Shorts have a maximum duration of 60 seconds. To keep yourself on track, add a 58-second gap clip (Option + W) at the beginning of your timeline as a reference point.

Editing Magic: Building Your Short

  • Embrace the Speed: Final Cut Pro offers fantastic keyboard shortcuts to streamline your workflow. Use "Q" to connect clips to the gap clip, and "Command + G" to create a connected timeline for smooth editing.

  • Taming Landscape Footage: If you're using horizontally shot clips, select them and go to the Video Inspector. Under "Spatial Conform," choose "Fill" to ensure your content fills the vertical frame. You can further refine the framing using the Transform tool.

  • Short and Sweet Transitions: Cuts are your friend in YouTube Shorts. Quick cuts keep the pace high and maintain viewer engagement. Experiment with different cut placements to find the rhythm that best suits your video.

Adding Polish: Sound and Text

  • Music Makes the Moment: A catchy tune can elevate your Short. Explore Final Cut Pro's sound library or import your own music. Remember to adjust the audio levels to avoid overpowering your video content.

  • Text for Impact: Titles, captions, and call-to-actions add clarity and interactivity. Final Cut Pro provides a variety of text templates to choose from.

Ready for Takeoff: Exporting and Uploading

  • Exporting for Success: When exporting your Short, choose H.264 video format and ensure the resolution matches your project settings (typically 1080x1920).

  • Uploading to Shine: Head over to YouTube and upload your masterpiece! Don't forget to add a catchy title, description, and relevant tags to boost discoverability.

Bonus Tip: Embrace the Overlay

While YouTube Shorts themselves don't have on-screen elements like likes and comments, you can use Final Cut Pro to add a custom YouTube Shorts UI overlay (available online) during editing. This gives your viewers a more familiar Shorts experience within your video.

With these tips and Final Cut Pro's powerful tools, you're well on your way to creating captivating YouTube Shorts that will keep your audience hooked. So grab your footage, unleash your creativity, and get ready to take the Shorts world by storm!



A Mac veteran since 1989, I'm here to share my experience with tips and tricks every Friday. Witnessing the evolution of Mac software and hardware firsthand, I've gained a deep understanding of how these machines work and can help you troubleshoot any issues that may come up.


ThursdayGluten Free
SaturdayInternet Tools
SundayOpen Topic
Monday Media Monday
WednesdayKeyboard Maestro