A step-by-step guide to smart video editing with Final Cut Pro.

BookAuthority Best Final Cut Pro eBooks of All Time

This book — now in its Second Edition — is a comprehensive best practice guide for all editors. You’ll not only learn how to use the features, but also find out which ones are the most important, and when you should use them. With the help of practical examples, the book will show you how typical footage can be assembled, trimmed, colored, and finessed to produce a finished edit, exploring a variety of techniques.

September 2023: The Second Edition is now up-to-date for all the new features introduced in FCP 10.6.6, and tested against the bug-fixes in 10.6.8. The new 10.6.9 update fixes some bugs and includes support for the new Apple Log profile.

Updates to the book are fREE!

If you own the book — and even if you bought it in paper form — you can download the current electronic version of the book, as a PDF, for free. Fill out this form at the Packt site, and they’ll be in touch with your PDF. Also — look for the link in the book to join our Discord server!

Available at Amazon US in paperback and Kindle formats (also in UK, Canada, Australia). Recommended by Apple.

As you progress through the book, you’ll follow a standard editing workflow to get the feel of working on real-world projects and answer self-assessment questions to make sure that you’re on track. 

By the end of the book, you’ll be well versed in the key features of this app and have all the tools you need to create impressive edits.

If you’d like to know more, download the first chapter of the book for free — it’ll give you an overview of Final Cut Pro, and of the book itself. You can also read what other people have said about it, and see it in real life on Richard Taylor’s FCP TV Live.

Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing was written by Iain Anderson, an Apple Certified Trainer, and the creator of many video tutorials for macProVideo.com and coremelt.com.

You’ll learn how to review all your footage quickly and efficiently

You’ll learn how to keyword and rate your video clips so you can easily find the right shot when you need it

You’ll learn how to build a rough cut and finesse it to a fine cut, using powerful editing techniques

You’ll learn complex color correction and finishing techniques to make the most of your footage

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Part 1: Importing and Organizing

Chapter 1: Quick Start: An Introduction to FCP
Chapter 2: Before the Edit: Production Tips
Chapter 3: Bring It In: Importing your Footage
Chapter 4: Sort It Out: Reviewing and Keywording
Chapter 5: Choose your Favorites: Selecting, Rating, and Searching

Part 2: Rough Cut to Fine Cut

Chapter 6: Build the Spine of the Story: Quick Assembly
Chapter 7: Cover it Up: Connections, Cutaways, and Storylines
Chapter 8: Neaten the Edges: Trimming Techniques
Chapter 9: Consider your Options: Multicam, Replacing, and Auditions
Chapter 10: Explore a Little: Compound Clips and Timeline Tricks

Part 3: Finishing and Exporting

Chapter 11: Play with Light: Color Correction and Grading
Chapter 12: Refine and Smooth: Video Properties and Effects
Chapter 13: Blend and Warp: Video Transitions and Retiming
Chapter 14: Boost the Signal: Audio Sweetening
Chapter 15: A Few Words: Titles and Generators
Chapter 16: You’re Done: Exporting Your Edit and Finishing Up

Appendix A: 360° Workflows (New in the Second Edition!)

Published by Packt Publishing.


Why a book?

With online video training commonplace, why write a book? Because everyone learns in different ways, including in-person training, video tutorials, and written manuals; a mix of solutions is worthwhile. Video tutorials play in real-time, while a book is always at exactly your speed. If you can read and understand a concept more quickly than someone can speak, reading can be faster.

A book doesn’t need a pause button, stays exactly where you left it, and can be read far away from your Mac.

Why this book?

The official Apple training manual (for FCP X version 10.4) is good, but it’s outdated, doesn’t discuss the latest features, and is no longer recommended by Apple. In contrast, Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing is up-to-date with the latest releases, is recommended by Apple on the official Final Cut Pro Resources page, and will be updated for future releases too — with free updates.

This book was written by an Apple Certified Trainer, and it’s designed to teach you how to use the best features in the best way, as well as to point you to third-party solutions where they can help.


Books are great, but that doesn’t mean video training can’t also be great. Iain has created many video courses at macProVideo.com that are available on a subscription or as an outright purchase. If you’d prefer to learn interactively, Iain is also available for in-person or remote training sessions through Training Brisbane.

If you’re still stuck, there are also many other excellent video training courses, free videos on YouTubehelpful groups on Facebook, and friendly people on Twitter too.

Hang on… where’s the X?

While the current version of the book is called Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing, the very first version of the first edition was called Final Cut Pro X Efficient Editing. Apple changed the name of the app to remove the X, and we followed suit. The video editing app previously known as FCP X (or FCPX) is now just Final Cut Pro or FCP. While previous releases of the book are still largely current, you should have already received an electronic update to the latest version. Just like Final Cut Pro itself — updates are free! Join the Discord server to register your purchase and get your copy.


Available at Amazon US, and also at Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia and many other booksellers.

If you’re looking for a new Mac to run Final Cut Pro, try a MacBook Air with the M2 chip (US link, AU link), the MacBook Pro 16″ with M1 Max chip (US link, AU link), or something in-between.

Finally, if you’re already using Final Cut Pro and looking for a new way to highlight or draw attention to parts of your shots, please try out Iain’s plug-ins, Annotator and PiP Kit, available now through FxFactory.