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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.

Today we're going to talk about Avid editing and customizing your keyboard in Avid, which is a very important thing to know how to do. The keyboard’s default configuration is a great place to start, and there are plenty of people who would say that you shouldn't change the default because it makes it harder to work on another editor's machine.

My keyboard has been massively customized since about 1994, and I find it very difficult to use someone else's keyboard. So if you do find yourself jumping between editing stations, I recommend that you keep your keyboard fairly close to Avid’s default settings.

Accessing the Keyboard Settings and Command Palette

To begin, let’s look at our Settings. There you’ll find the Keyboard Settings. What you see should look like the 3 columns of information you see in Figure 1 (below), with general settings groups in the left column and specific settings choices in the middle column. For example, you can see the 7 types of Bin Views, beginning with Basic, Capture, and Custom.

Figure 1. Bin views and Export settings in the Settings menu

Lower down in Figure 1, you can also see the various Export settings. Even farther down, scrolling through the alphabetical list of settings in the left column, you’ll find the Keyboard settingw. You can also jump to this by pressing K on your keyboard. Double-click Keyboard Settings to open up the Keyboard Setting, which you can see in Figure 2 (below).

Figure 2. Keyboard Settings. Click the image to see it at full size.

The other thing that we need to customize our keyboard is the Command Palette. To access the Command palette, go to Tools > Command Palette (Figure 3, below) or press Command/Control+C. With the Command Palette and Keyboard Settings open, you can see the default settings (Figure 4, below Figure 3).

Figure 3. Accessing the Command palette

Figure 4. Default Keyboard and Command settings. Click the image to see it at full size.

If you've got a nice color-coded keyboard for Avid, the icons shown in Figure 4 are going to be identical to what your keyboard shows. In the Command Palette, there are 3 important buttons to know about: The “Button to Button” Reassignment button, the Active Palette button, and the “Menu to Button” Reassignment button. We're going to start out with “Button to Button” Reassignment. This allows you to take any buttons in the Command Palette and drag to your keyboard, or even to the UI.

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