Pro Tools – Shortcut of the Week (2009.06.01)

Pro Tools is a strong multi-track editing program, but unless you’re willing to drop some change on a custom keyboard, it can be tough to learn all the keyboard shortcuts.  I’m featuring one a week in an attempt to highlight the tricks I find most useful.

Zoomer Tool:  Command+1

Trimmer Tool:  Command+2

Selector Tool:  Command+3

Grabber Tool:  Command+4

Scrubber Tool:  Command+5

Pencil Tool:  Command+6

Smart Tool:  Command+7

Seven shortcuts!?!  While normally I think that this would be too many to digest in one shot, it wouldn’t make any sense to list these separately.  These tools are lined up across the toolbar in the order above, with the exception of the Smart Tool.  I think it would be harder to remember the shortcuts above if you didn’t see them in one place.

The Smart Tool is actually sitting under the Trimmer/Selector/Grabber tools, but I think it’s easy enough to remember that as command+7 - we read left to right, top to bottom.

So why bother with these shortcuts?  Why not just use the Smart Tool all the time?  I’m just making the transition away from the Smart Tool myself.  The Smart Tool is easy - no need to remember which tool does what, but it also doesn’t have much depth.  Among other behaviors, command-clicking changes functions with each tool.  This means more control with fewer wrist movements, and that’s the main purpose of shortcuts, right?

Note: You can also use the F5 through F10 keys to access the six individual tools, but I work on laptop keyboard primarily.  The function keys are all dedicated to other tasks, and I’m happy with this setup right now.