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Markers in FCP - sharing a useful tool

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Jessica Gidal
Markers in FCP - sharing a useful tool
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:33:12 am

I was poring over post after post on the frustrations of working with markers in FCP, looking for some answers to my own marker troubles, until I finally figured out Spherico’s markerTool. It is saving me a ton of time, or, rather, not making my markers a total waste of time. It has allowed two key functionalities that I needed in order to work with hours and hours of of doc footage:

1. By automating the ability to “lift” my video track markers to the sequence level, I can now easily see my markers in the Canvas. Major improvement.
2. I can bring a sequence with multiple tracks (e.g. synced A & B cameras) into the Viewer and see all my markers since they are now at the sequence level. This makes it easy for me to navigate to and drag clips (holding the CMD key to bring down non-nested tracks) to a new sequence.

I am happy to share what I found in case it’s helpful to someone out there.

Download the program for free at:

Here’s the basic gist (that should be on Spherico’s site, but is not):
* Select a sequence with markers in the video track
* Export it as XML
* Open markerTool program
* Select "lift video markers to sequence level"
* Select the XML sequence you exported
* Select Save XML [only available if you are performing a Save As, which you can only do if you have unchecked “Auto-save XML (Lift & Drop)” in the markerTool preferences; otherwise it will just automatically overwrite your FCP-exported XML]
* In FCP, select import > XML (not “files” or anything other than XML) and re-import your XML file
* ...and voila! you have a duplicate sequence with the markers in the sequence level as well!

Notes about settings:

Check out the markerTool settings...most are self-explanatory.

Exporting from FCP:
I found it necessary to select “Include Master Clips Outside Selection” -- this way the master-clip relationship remains intact. I found out the hard way that when this is NOT selected, I could not match frame to the master clip to which I had painstakingly added markers; it would only match back to the original clip without markers. Not helpful.
The weird thing with this is that when you go to import your modified XML into FCP, it imports the related master clips as well. I have deleted these since they seem to just be copies of my master clips; I have been able to link back to the masters without a problem after deleting this extra set. (I have emailed Spherico to find out if there is any penalty for deleting these apparent dupes...will keep you posted.)

Let me know if you have any questions, or figure something else out about this program. I’m hoping there aren’t any hidden bugaboos with using far I’m just grateful it is here to do something FCP should have figured out long ago.

Happy Cutting,
Jessica Gidal (an editor who misses Avid ScriptSync!)

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David Roth Weiss
Re: Markers in FCP - sharing a useful tool
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:46:25 am

Nice tip... So Jessica, why don't you visit here more often and write more like this? We need more like you... There are far too few women who step up to the plate.

[Jessica Gidal] "Jessica Gidal (an editor who misses Avid ScriptSync!)"

Try GET from AV3 Software... There's a free demo, and you just might find it will fill the spot in your heart left vacant by ScriptSync.

David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.

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Michael Kammes
Re: Markers in FCP - sharing a useful tool
on Feb 3, 2011 at 7:12:58 am

I second the GET software. Saw an updated demo last week - awesome.

That being said, Avid *should* have some great script things at NAB. Uhhhh, so I hear ;)


.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .

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Diego Barraza
Re: Markers in FCP - sharing a useful tool
on Feb 15, 2012 at 12:50:09 pm

Hi jessica, I am trying to come to terms with this marker tool app. I have found your instructions quite useful to move the markers from clip to sequence timeline. Is there a way where I could export markers to tab delimited text without including the master clip markers but only the ones that are in the edited clips below? I need to create a structured list of the markers name, comments, position and colour but the export markers as list function gives me info on markers that are not in my edited clips! aggregates the info of other markers that are on the master clip themselves.

Many thaxs.


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Jessica Gidal
Re: Markers in FCP - sharing a useful tool
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:51:53 am

Hi Diego,
I'm so glad this was useful.
I haven't messed around much with the text export settings, so I don't have an answer for you. The developer, Andreas Kiel, is quite helpful, and you can email him at

Good luck and please share what you find out!


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Matt Faw
Re: markerTool for FCP
on Mar 16, 2013 at 12:37:17 am

This is a year-old thread, but it seemed like the best place to reply.

First, thank you to Jessica for pointing out this excellent app, markerTool. I have been using it to copy my sequence markers into the timeline clips (the reverse procedure from what Jessica wrote about), so that I don't lose all my annotations when I start to cut.

I have encountered one glitch that threw me off, that I wanted to share. Only one of the 25 interviews would not save from markerTool, and I tried many different variations at fixing it, until I realized that the problem was an apostrophe in the sequence name. Once I removed the apostrophe, it saved fine.

Matt Faw
Consciousness 3D

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