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Tutorial: How to Customize Your Avid Keyboard

Art of the Cut's Steve Hullfish explains how to customize your keyboard and keyboard shortcuts for smooth and streamlined editing in Avid Media Composer.

Saving and Recalling Settings

Another important thing, especially for a freelancer, is to be able to save and recall keyboard settings. Let's say, for example, that I want to share a blank keyboard with you, or I can put it on a thumb drive so that I can use it when I'm out freelancing. While I'm in Settings mode, if I go up to file and choose New Settings File, that opens a window that says “Untitled Setting."

You can drag anything from the Settings window into that window (Figure 5, below). Let's say I have an Export setting that I want to share with you so that when you export your stuff it comes out the same as mine. I can drag one of my Export settings into that window, as shown in Figure 5. You can populate a little list. You could select all and grab all of your settings and put them in there if you wanted to, but this is designed for a kind of a customized export of just a few things. Import the settings you need, close out of the window, give it a name, and save it. I'll call mine “StevesKeys.”

Figure 5. Saving a select group of keyboard settings. Click the image to see it at full size.

Now let’s go to another user setting. Let's say that Joe has decided that he wants to use my keyboard settings. If I want Joe to be able to use my settings, I simply choose File > Open Settings File, and navigate to the location of where I saved those settings, and there is StevesKeys.xml (Figure 6, below).

Figure 6. Accessing the saved settings. Click the image to see it at full size.

You could put this on a USB drive. This could be sitting on your desktop. It could be on a network. Just locate it and choose Open. When you see the settings, drag them over, and choose Add (Figure 7, below). Now we've got Steve's left side and Steve's right side and they are in Joe's settings just like we had them in my settings.

Figure 7. Adding the settings. Click the image to see it at full size.

That's how you can copy, share, save, and move settings. I also highly recommend that with each point release you redo your user settings. Some of the weirdness, strange, kind of buggy behavior that happens with new point releases is not because that there's a bug in the Avid but it's because there is a corruption in your user settings. So I suggest starting off with a clean user setting all the time.

One way to makes that very quick and painless is to print out your keyboard settings, because a keyboard setting is really one of the most difficult things to change out of your user settings.

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