Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed Up Your Screencasting

One of the things I love about ScreenFlow is how powerful and quick it can be to create a great-looking screencasts. As you get more proficient with the interface, you’ll start learning how much keyboard shortcuts can dramatically speed up your workflow. These are a few of the handy shortcuts I find myself using all the time:

  • J and spacebar: Play and stop playing the presentation. This saves me from always having to click on the play button.
  • Left arrow and right arrow: Nudge the playhead left and right in the the timeline. This allows me to position the scrubber right where I want it, without having to use the mouse.
  • ; and ‘: Move the playhead to the next clip in my timeline. This is another way to easily jump from clip to clip within my timeline.

A typical edit session for me would start with my hitting the spacebar to start playing the presentation. When I see something I want to edit, I hit spacebar again to stop the playhead. I left arrow or ; back to my desired edit spot and use my mouse to select a clip to edit.

The other shortcuts I find myself using all the time are: T to split a clip, and Command-1, Command-2, … etc to bring up the various properties menus.

These are just a few of my favorites. What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts for ScreenFlow?

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15 Comments

    • HI Dave,
      Thanks for your input. Yes! The ^N snapping command is great too. And, did you also know you can disable snapping on the fly? Just hold the Command key down while you move or align your item, and Snapping will be temporarily disabled.

      • ^N or command-drag were very useful in Screenflow 2, but since Screenflow 3 now allows moving objects with cursor keys, we don’t use ^N or command-drag any longer. We just drag the object into the vicinity of where it needs to go, then use the cursor keys to put it exactly where it needs to end up. Much faster and more precise, IMHO…

  1. We use Ease-In and Ease-Out all the time and thus assigned hotkeys in System Preferences (Cmd-Ctrl-Option-Space I and O).

    I wish there was a way to reassign the hotkey for Play. While spacebar is universally used as Play in video players, it’s inconvenient for video editors. E.g., if you edit video properties and enter actual values for reflections and shadows (which we do all the time, to give all the elements on the screen the same look and depth), hitting space will overwrite the actual value rather than starting playback. No matter how hard we try to train ourselves to not hit the space bar, we do it all the time 🙁

    • Thanks Veit. Good info about the spacebar… “J” can also be used in place of the spacebar to play the video. Maybe that would work better for you. (That doesn’t stop you from hitting the spacebar though… :))

      • Nope – same issue. “j” gets entered as an actual value. Assigning a function key or a key combination such as CMD-CTRL-spacebar would help. Ideally, it should be added to Screenflow’s preferences, such as the record hotkey.

  2. The first pass, before any zooming and panning, my most used key sequence (after I click then shift-click to set a range), is command-delete to remove all the “umm” and “now what was I going to do here?” pauses. Command-Delete removes the highlighted section and closes the new gap in one step.

    • Nice! Command-Delete (or Ripple Delete) is indeed very handy. Press I for in point, O for out point, then Command-Delete for a ripple delete of the selected section.
      Thanks Ian.

  3. Hey everyone… I have searched this forum for an answer to this question but have not found it. Has Screenflow made a way to double or trips playback speed when editing and watching in the timeline to zip through the boring parts a bit quicker? In other editors I just hit the play button once or twice or three times and the playback speed increases? I posted this in the forum as well. Thnx guys!

    • HI Matthew,
      There is not currently an automatic way to speed up playback on the timeline. Of course you can adjust the speed of individual clips in the timeline, but if you just want to hit play (while editing) to preview your project so far, it will play back at normal speed. The only way to speed that up would be to grab the playhead and physically drag it through your project.
      If this is something you’d like to see, I’d encourage you to log that as a feature request (see the tab “Feature Request” on this blog), and that way people can vote on it.
      Thanks!

    • HI Rune,
      Can you clarify what you’re trying to do for me? I’m not sure if you’re trying to add a keyboard shortcut for ScreenFlow, or if you’re trying to display your keyboard shortcuts for PHotoshop within ScreenFlow (which can be done with in the Screen Recording Properties panel by clicking “Show Keystrokes”)

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