Ever wonder what the “az” icon was in Pro Tools? Well, it enables “keyboard focus” mode. Keyboard Focus mode is awesome, because it dramatically improves the speed and efficiency of your Pro Tools workflow. Think of keyboard focus mode as even quicker keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to execute commands in a single keystroke rather than having to use multiple keys.
There are three areas inside of Pro Tools in which you can enable keyboard focus. They are: the edit window, the regions window, and the groups window. To quickly switch between the three areas of keyboard focus, simply press Command+Option+1 to enable keyboard focus in the edit window, Command+Option+2 to enable it in the regions window, Command+Option+3 to enable it in the Groups window.
Here are some common one-key key commands available in edit mode:
T – Zoom in
R – Zoom out
C – Copy
V – Paste
L – Tab left
‘ – Tab Right
P – Tab up to next track
; - Tab down to next track
In Groups mode, keyboard focus works a bit differently. You can assign a key to a specific group and when you have keyboard focus enabled in groups mode, you can use that key to enable or disable that group. Pretty neato.
In the Regions list, keyboard focus acts as an alphabetical organizer, or address book. Just start typing in the name of the region you would like to find and there you go.
-by LC Tech Blog contributor Taylor Hatty