Premiere vs Vegas vs Final Cut - Fast Timeline Navigation

When editing videos, I want to do it the fastest possible way.  One way is use move around or navigate the timeline quickly.  I realised the three popular video editing software  have their own way of operating efficiently.  I like to quickly zoom in and out of the timeline, split, delete, trim, insert clips and close gaps.

Here are methods I found most useful for navigating the timeline on Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas Pro and Final Cut Pro... each using a distinct way.

(I am referring to editing with a laptop where there is a trackpad.)

Adobe Premiere Pro - Keyboard Shortcuts and TrackPad.
The "-" and "+" keys are my favourite for zooming in and out of the timeline at where the playhead is.  Then the "I" and "O" keys to mark in and out a source clip, as well as the "," and "." to insert and overwrite clips onto the timeline.  The trackpad is used mostly to position the playhead and make group selections.  I don't like to use the mouse because I need my right hand to press the keys mentioned above.

Sony Vegas Pro - Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts.
The mouse scroll wheel is my best friend when using Sony Vegas Pro to  magnify and contract the timeline.  It is very responsive and I can get to any part of the timeline quickly creating markers using the "M" key.  The "S" key is most convenient for splitting clips and the "D" key for changing tool on the fly.  I noticed my left hand is most of the time on the left side of the keyboard and the right hand mostly on the mouse... very ergonomic!

Final Cut Pro X - TrackPad and Keyboard Shortcuts.
Apple's trackpad is made in heaven when compared with other brand windows laptops.  Hence Final Cut Pro is best navigated with the trackpad using natural finger gestures.  Pinch and spread to enlarge and shrink the timeline, like using the iPhone. Press "R" and swipe the trackpad to select a range on a clip instead of marking in and out. Press "B" for the blade tool and make a split.  So left hand mostly on the left side of the keyboard and right hand on the trackpad.

In conclusion,  the fastest timeline navigation method is offered by Final Cut Pro X on the Apple MacBook, with the exception of lagging when background rendering occurs.  If there is no lagging, then Sony Vegas Pro wins.  Premiere Pro has the worst navigation feature, because you have to memorise the keyboard shortcuts.

What method do you use most?

Adrian Lee
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