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Rolling, Slide, and Slip Edits

You'll tap this set of editing tools when you want to preserve the overall length of your program. They come in handy for precisely timed projects such as 30-second advertisements.

In many cases it may simply be easier to make individual edits and forgo these special tools, but it's good for any professional editor to know how to do slips, slides, and rolling edits.

Table 9.1 provides a basic overview of these three specialized edits:

Table 9.1 Rolling, Slide, and Slip Edits



Clip Length(s)

Clip(s) In/Out

Rolling edit

Changes the duration and in/out-points of two adjacent clips.



Slide edit

The selected clip remains unchanged, but in/out-points and lengths of both adjacent clips are changed.



Slip edit

Changes only the selected clip's in/out-points.



Making a Rolling Edit

This is the easiest of the three. It lets you change the in/out-points of adjacent clips. Remember, all three of these special edit types will preserve the length of your piece.

Task: Make a Rolling Edit

To begin, place three clips side by side on the timeline's Video 1 track. Make sure all of them have plenty of head and tail frames to allow for the edits. The easiest way is to shorten each clip by dragging in the beginning and end (the in- and out-points). Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Select the Rolling Edit tool from the Edit Tool pop-up menu on the timeline's toolbox. I've highlighted it in Figure 9.6.

  2. Position the edit line at or slightly ahead of the edit point.

  3. What makes this edit different from any you've done to this point is that you'll use the monitor screens to make the edit. Click the Trim Mode button (perhaps Adobe should have called it the Rolling Edit Mode button) above the monitors. I've highlighted it in Figure 9.7. That automatically moves the edit line to the next edit or keeps it on the current edit (that's why I asked you to place the edit line a little in front of the edit point).

  4. Place your cursor between the Source and Program Monitors, and it turns into the Rolling Edit tool. Nifty. Now drag it right or left. Note three things: The edit line in the timeline moves, the in- and out-points in the monitor screens shift, and the video clips shift accordingly.

Dragging the cursor left shortens the A clip and lengthens the B clip. Dragging it right lengthens the A clip and shortens the B clip. In both cases, the story length remains unchanged.

Figure 9.6 The Rolling Edit tool.

Figure 9.7 Click the Trim Mode button in the Monitor window to switch to Rolling Edit (or Trim) mode.

Using the Slide Edit Tool

The Slide Edit tool lets you slide a clip forward or backward between two other clips without changing the selected clip. Rather, you shift the in- and out-points of the adjacent clips to accommodate your clip's new position in the project. Once again, the overall length of your production does not change.

Task: Slide a Clip Between Two Other Clips

To slide a clip forward or backward between two other clips without changing the selected clip, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Slide Edit tool. I've highlighted it in Figure 9.8.

  2. Place it over the clip you want to move; then click and hold down the mouse button. As I've illustrated in Figure 9.9, four screens appear in the Monitor window.

  3. Move the Slide Edit tool left or right and notice that the clip on the timeline slides left or right and the two outside monitor screens change. The left screen is the out-point of the previous clip. The right screen is the in-point of the next clip. The two middle screens are unchanging reference frames. They are the in- and out-points for the clip you're sliding back and forth.

  4. Use the changing screen images to select a new edit point and then release the mouse.

Figure 9.8 The Slide Edit tool.

Figure 9.9 Using the Slide Edit tool pops up four screens in the Monitor window. Use them to find the best in- and out-points for the two outside clips.

Making a Slip Edit

The Slip Edit affects only one clip. Think of this as slipping a clip right or left under the clips on either side. By slipping it right or left you change the in- and out-points of the selected clip while retaining that clip's length and not changing the two adjacent clips.

Task: Make a Slip Edit

To make a slip edit, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Slip Edit tool from the toolbox. I've highlighted it in Figure 9.10.

  2. Position it over the clip you want to edit. Note that you are not positioning it over an edit point. The Slip Edit tool changes the in- and out-points of only the selected clip.

  3. Click and hold down the mouse button. Notice that just as with the Slide Edit tool, four screens pop up in the Monitor window. The left and right screens are reference points and won't change during this edit. The left screen is the end of the previous clip and the right screen is the beginning of the next clip. The two middle screens are the in- and out-points of the clip you're going to change.

  4. Move the Slip Edit tool left and right and watch as the clip's in- and out-points change. Use the left and right screens to help find edit points that work best; then release the mouse button.

Figure 9.10 The Slip Edit tool.


Although the Slip Edit tool is intended to adjust the in- and out-points of a clip between two other clips, you can use it on the first or last clip of your piece. Give that a try to see how it works.

The Rolling, Slide, and Slip Edit tools work with both cuts-only edits and transitions. However, I recommend you remove any transitions before using these tools and then reapply those transitions to make sure they work the way you expected. One example: You may have created a transition with a move that starts at a specific point in clip A and moves to point in clip B. Those start- and endpoints will likely shift as you make adjustments using a rolling, slide, or slip edit.

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