Free Final Cut plugin: Change font of multiple text clips at once

Here’s a filter which uses the name of a clip’s reel to define which font to use when drawing text. It is a bit of a bodge, but it might save you a lot of time.

Once you have installed the plugin*, here’s how you use it:

1. Choose ‘Slug’ from the generators menu:

2. Apply the ‘Text – Reel Font Alex4D’ filter (which is in the ‘Text’ folder of ‘Video Filters’)

3. Make sure the pixel aspect ratio setting of the filter matches the pixel aspect ratio of your Sequence. Have a look at ‘Settings…’ in the ‘Sequence’ menu:

Make the same choice from the pop-up menu in the filter settings:

You need to do this because there is a fault with FxScript, the plugin programming language which means filters can render differently depending on whether you use Safe or Unlimited RT to render your sequence.

4. To set the font the type uses, right-click the Slug clip and choose ‘Item Properties:Logging Info…’:

Enter the name of the font you want to use in the ‘Reel’ entry:

5. Now you have a prototype clip, you can use it elsewhere in your project as much as you want, you can drag it to the browser, option-drag it along the timeline, blade it to divide it into two. As these clips will remain affiliated, you need only change the font named in the Reel of one instance of these clips for them all to change.

6. When you change the font in one of the clips, the reel name (i.e. the font to be used) will change in all the affiliated clips. However, Final Cut will not know that the clips need to be re-rendered. You need to force the clips to be re-rendered. First select one clip and choose ‘Reveal Affiliated Clips in Front Sequence’ to select the other clips with the same font:

While they are selected, disable and re-enable the visibility of the clips. You can do this quickly by pressing Control-B twice, or choose ‘Clip Enable’ twice from the pop-up menu:

Download Alex4D Reel font

*To install the plugins, download the ZIP document, extract the file and copy the ‘Reel font Alex4D.fcfcc’ file to

Your Startup HD/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Pro System Support/Plugins

(Your Startup HD/Users/your name/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Express Support/Plugins for Final Cut Express users)

The filter appears in the ‘Text’ filter category.

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10 comments
  1. Rob said:

    Sorry Alex – I don’t understand this. Slug is just slug, right? Where’s the actual text?? Should you apply the filter to a text clip instead of slug, perhaps? Thanks!!

    • Alex said:

      Once you add the filter to the slug, double-click the slug, and choose the ‘filters’ tab in the viewer to edit the text.

  2. loothi said:

    Nice one, Alex, a bodge.. but a very useful one!

  3. elizabeth said:

    Hi Alex will this plug in work in final Cut Express too?

    • Alex said:

      I think so, but I don’t own a copy, so have no way of testing it.

  4. jay said:

    thanks so much for the plug in. is there a way to have more than one font in a sequence? no matter where i take the original slug from it changes the reel name on every clip.

    thanks!

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