Final Cut Pro tip: Stopping subclip name suffixes

A handy method for breaking down a long clip in Final Cut is to set markers to indicate the start of interesting shots, and make subclips based on these markers.

Once you have set the markers, you’ll see them listed below the clip in the browser. You can turn these into subclips by dragging them to a bin. In this example, a shot of bus journey through London (‘christmas lights full-1296p’) has five markers, each representing when the bus arrived at each landmark. To divide the clip into subclips that each only have the footage from the named landmark, I dragged the markers to a bin named ‘Christmas lights subclips’:

[Note that usually the subclips in the bin would be listed in alphabetical order, which wouldn’t be useful. To keep the subclips in chronological order, I sorted the Browser by clicking the ‘Media Start’ column]

This is convenient, but the fact that Final Cut adds from ‘christmas lights full-1296p’ to the name of each subclip is a little redundant. The following tip shows how you can edit the Final Cut Pro application itself so that it doesn’t add these suffixes to the names of the new subclips.

Before I explain this tip, I can only tell you that this method worked for me, I haven’t tested it on any combination of software and hardware but my own. This process might damage FCP on your system, so be careful. This operation is a little like the Mac users of 10 and 20 years ago using ResEdit to muck around inside their applications.

ResEdit was a tool for programmers, and it was easy to blunder around too much and create a fault in the application being modified. That is why the first stage is to make a backup copy of Final Cut, in case the copy you work on crashes or cannot open.

The backup copy is good to have around when the next software update appears. It is possible that changes inside Final Cut will make the upgrade process fail, and you’ll end up without a working copy of Final Cut. Before applying an update, delete your modified ‘Final Cut Pro’ and rename ‘Final Cut Pro copy’ back to ‘Final Cut Pro’

1. Duplicate ‘Final Cut’ by selecting it and choosing Duplicate from the File menu or press Command-D (to make a safety copy in case this process goes wrong)

2. Select the original ‘Final Cut’

3. Control-click it and choose ‘Show Package Contents’ from the pop-up menu

4. Go to the new folder that represents the contents of ‘Final’

5. Open these series of folders within ‘Final’: Contents > MacOS > Plugins

6. Select ‘Browser.bundle’

7. Control-click it and choose ‘Show Package Contents’

8. Open these series of folders within ‘Browser.bundle’: Contents > Resources > English.lproj

9. In the newly visible ‘English.lproj’ folder double-click ‘Localized.plist’ to open it in ‘TextEdit’

10. Search for string number 8045

11. Change the line below
%00s from ‘%01s’

i.e. from

12. Save ‘Localized.plist’

13. Close the Browser.bundle window and the Final Cut window.

When you next open Final Cut Pro (version 6.0.4), any new markers you drag from a clip will turn into subclips with no from ‘Clip’ suffix at the end of their names. Note that the string might not be number 8045 in other versions of Final Cut. If it is different in your version, try searching for %00s from ‘%01s’ in ‘Localised.plist’ and change that string.

If you are feeling brave, you could experiment and find the string that adds the word ‘Subclip’ to newly generated subclips based on In and Out points. Try searching for Subclip with a space in front.

Good luck!

  1. Marcin Zwolski said:


    Thx for the tip. I’ll try it at home 😉

    And yes, subclips are really useful. But my way of working with them – on the show I edit in a hurry right now – is to set and name markers, then drag them directly into timeline (markers will collapse into subclips, without making a mess in Browser 😉

    The only thing I still haven’t figured out is: is it possible to search through markers? I would like to find/select specific markers at once, without scrolling up or down in FCP Browser…

  2. Alex said:

    You can only find markers in the Timeline window only. You can only find the next marker in the timeline, but they can be clip markers as well as sequence markers.

  3. Marcin Zwolski said:

    True, and I remember about it. I could put a clip with markers into the Timeline, find markers I’m interested and copy them to the Sequence I’m working on. But it’s time consuming… And of course, I could put all marked media in one Sequence – over 10 hours – but I’m afraid it could make FCP unstable. What’s more, copying selected markers leaves gaps betweeen them while dragging markers from Browser to the Timeline doesn’t. No good solution….

  4. SMD said:

    There’s a much better way, WITHOUT editing code in FCP:

    * create your markers in your Master Clip
    * Duplicate the Master Clip
    * Create a new bin
    * DRAG all those MARKERS from duplicated Master clip into the new bin you’ve created
    * All the markers disappear from Duplicated Master clip, but that’s okay, you still have the original.

    Voila! No funky names after (AND subclips are searchable in your bin, markers are not–waiting for this to change FCP developers)
    * If you like, delete the Duplicate of your Master Clip, you STILL have the original Master Clip with Markers

    NOW MY QUESTION: all methods of creating subclips get rid of COMMENTS–how do I keep my Comments in the newly created subclips???

    • i also have an issue with the loss of comments on subclips… previously i thought one could drag the subclip before entering comments (but this would negate the advantage of reviewing material logically)… but the 3-26 post indicates even in this manner all comments are lost??? is this also true in avid?

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