Final Cut Pro 7 documentation: Cutting the clicks

The FCP7 documentation system isn’t great, but there is a way of reducing many of your clicks. When you first go to a section with disclosure arrows, they default to being closed:

fcp7_manual-b4

This means you have to click each blue arrow, or the words next to each arrow, to see what is hidden:

fcp7_manual-during

To have a version of your documentation that defaults to all the information being visible, you need to change the source HTML of the files. You need to rename all instances of “TaskContentBox” to “TaskContentBox-open” in all the .html files in the help system.

doc_find_n_replace2
Click to see the Find and Replace using Bare Bones’ free TextWrangler software

    1. Create a copy of the documentation built into FCP7: Control-click the Final Cut Pro application, choose ‘Show Package Contents’ from the shortcut menu
    2. In the new window that shows the content of FCP, navigate to “Contents:Resources:English.lproj”
    3. Create a copy of the “finalcutpro_help” folder by dragging it elsewhere on your Mac, outside the Final Cut Pro window
    5. Start “TextWrangler” and choose “Find…” from the “Search” menu
    6. In a Finder window, navigate to where you created the copy of the FCP help system, navigate inside to “en/finalcutpro” and drag the “usermanual” icon to the “Multi-File Search” area.
    7. Search for “TaskContentBox” (including the quote marks)
    8. Replace With “TaskContentBox-open” (again including the quote marks)
    9. Click “Replace All”
    10. Make sure the confirmation dialogue looks like this:
    doc_confirm
    i.e. Don’t Confirm Saves
    11. After a short while 698 of your help files will have been modified.
    12. Quit out of TextWrangler
    13. Go to the top level of the “finalcutpro_help” folder and open the “index.html” folder in Safari. Whichever section you go to in the help system will default to all the information being visible.

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3 comments
  1. Thanks, Alex. We’re all eagerly awaiting more in-depth info on the ins and outs of FCP 7. We have dozens of licenses at my company, and won’t be upgrading just yet. But it’s the guys like you, out here breaking it in for us, that will make it easier to make the leap.
    Best,
    Biagio

  2. Philip Howe said:

    I have also been looking for adobe cs4 and cs5 manuals – there were no pdf files on the install dvds, at least fcs came with pdf files, although nothing like the full manual.
    this is terrible, I find reading pdf files on any computer very painful to my eyes, it has been proved to be very bad for our eyesight.
    and yet the software is more complex and new features are big features – now we are expected to buy a book about each application within the sets, whether adobe or apple, 10 books for cs4!

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