Cut and Paste Editing

This is the more traditional method of editing in CINELERRA-GG and therefore is the default. To enable the cut and paste editing mode on the timeline, select the I-beam toggle on the control bar at the top of the main program window. You can copy edits in the same track, copy from different tracks in the same instance, start a second instance of CINELERRA-GG and copy from one instance to the other or load a media file into the Viewer and copy from there.

To start editing, load some files onto the timeline. Select a region of the timeline by click dragging on it and select the cut button to cut it. Move the insertion point to another point in the timeline and select the paste button. Assuming no In/Out points are defined on the timeline this performs a cut and paste operation.

Most editing operations are listed in the Edit pulldown . Some of them have a button on the program control toolbar as well as a keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut is in parenthesis here.

Split | Cut
(x) Delete the selected area and put it in the cut buffer for future pasting. If a cut is made on the Insertion Point only, without selecting a region, hard edges are created.
(c) Copy the selected area and put it in the cut buffer for future pasting.
(v) Paste the material that is in the cut buffer.
(Del) Clear the selected area. If the insertion point is over an edit boundary and the edits on each side of the edit boundary are the same resource, the edits are combined into one edit comprised by the resource. The start of this one edit is the start of the first edit and the end of this one edit is the end of the second edit. This either results in the edit expanding or shrinking.
Paste silence
(Shift+Space) Paste blank audio/video for the length of the selected area. Following edits will be pushed to the right.
Mute Region
(m) Overwrite blank audio/video on the selected area. Following edits don't move.
Trim Selection
Delete everything but the selected region.
Select All
(a) Select the whole timeline.

In Cut and Paste editing mode you can edit labels as well. By enabling Edit labels in the Settings pulldown, or by disabling the Lock labels from moving button on the Program Control Tool Bar, labels will be cut, copied or pasted along with the selected regions of the armed tracks.

Using labels and In/Out points are useful in editing audio. You can set In/Out points for the source region of the source waveform and set labels for the destination region of the destination waveform. Perform a cut, clear the In/Out points, select the region between the labels, and perform a paste.

In / Out Points

The In and Out bracket placement is explained here to illustrate their usage. Because of the shape of the markers [ and ] you may assume that they are inclusive – that everything placed in between would be included in the clip , such as in the case of being transferred to the timeline from the Viewer. In reality, one of the two markers will not include the frame that was visible at the time the marker was affixed. Depending on whether the Always show next frame option is used or not, it is the In or Out marker that will not be inclusive.

To obtain a clip on the timeline exactly as you saw in the Viewer, you must necessarily move the In mark back from the beginning before the first desired frame or move the Out mark forward after the last desired frame, depending on the Always show next frame setting.

Some of the confusion can be attributed to the fact that the Viewer shows frames, while the markers determine spaces, i.e. times, that are not visible between frames. You have to think of each frame as being delimited by two spaces – one preceding and one following. The In mark is always placed before the displayed frame and the Out mark is always placed after the displayed frame, while taking into account in its calculations whether the Always show next frame option is used or not. If you just remember that the reference of the markers is in the middle of the icon, you will avoid confusion.


To perform overwriting within the timeline paste on a selected region (highlighted or between In/Out points). The selected region will be overwritten. If the clip pasted from the clipboard is shorter than the selected region, the selected region will be shrunk. Following edits will move. If the clip pasted from the clipboard is longer than the selected region, the selected region will be overwritten with the first part of the clip and the remaining part of the clip will be written after the overwriting. Following edits will move.

Tracks Concatenate tracks

This operation copies all the assets of every disarmed but playable track and concatenates it by pasting those assets at the end of the first set of armed tracks. They are pasted one after the other, keeping the same order they have on the stack.

Split – blade cut and hard edges:

You can cut the tracks into 2 pieces on the timeline by putting the hairline cursor on the place you want to do a cut and then using the character “x” or the scissors tool (figure 5.7).

Figure 5.7: Blade cut
Image cut

A cut uses a non-empty selection region, where the blade cut or split has no duration in the selection, just a hairline. As usual the use of cut when a selection is set, deletes/cuts the highlighted area. In the case where an In point or an Out point exists on the timeline, the clip is split at the location of the In/Out point since it has priority over the cursor location. A blade cut simply splits the edit into two edits. In order to have the video and audio aligned, it works best to have Settings Align cursor on frames . When a blade cut occurs, the edges are created as hard edges. These are edges that cannot be deleted by track optimizations . CINELERRA-GG has built-in optimization on the timeline. So that whenever two parts on the timeline are sequential frames, it automatically optimizes by making them into 1 item. So if you are cutting, dragging, editing, or whatever and somehow frame # 40 ends up right next to frame # 41, it optimizes them together. This optimization affects many areas throughout the program code. When you do a blade cut/split, all armed tracks will be included in the cut and green-colored triangles will show on the bottom of the track on both the left and the right side of the cut. This is a hard edge marker toggle, as opposed to the soft edge designation for an ordinary edit. The hard edge marker can be toggled off/on if so desired. In order to not interfere with the usual drag handles, only a few pixels are used for the toggle so you have to be sure you have the cursor right over the hard edge triangle – when in position, it will be obvious because you can see an arrow pointing to the corner. Use Shift-left mouse button 1 to toggle off/on the hard edge marker on all tracks simultaneously.


Hard Edges do not allow trim operations. For more details see: Trimming.

The CINELERRA-GG Community, 2021