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QuickTime J-K-L Keyboard Shortcuts

By: Todd Stabley

While testing transcription software tools, I ran across a handy list of keyboard shortcuts for controlling video playback speed using the J, K and L keys. These controls work within QuickTime Player as well as any other editors (such as Final Cut) that use the QuickTime playback engine. In a transcription workflow they’re useful for rewinding and fast-forwarding so that you can hone in on problem words. In a video editing workflow, they make scrubbing infinitely easier than using the mouse and spacebar. If you didn’t know about these before and have a chance to give them a try, please let us know how you used them and if they helped. And specifically around transcriptions, please keep us posted about what you are up to as we’ve been working quite a bit with all things captioning lately. In case you haven’t heard, we recently partnered with 3Play Media to offer a transcription/ captioning service for Duke. More information about this service can be found here:

L – Play forward

LL – Play forward at double speed

LLL – Play forward faster

K – Pause

J – Play backwards

JJ – Play backwards at double speed

JJJ – Play backwards faster

K and L – Step foward one frame

K and J – Step backward one frame

Categories: DDMC Info


  1. Those are invaluable shortcuts! I use them every day.

    Just FYI, these work in Adobe Premiere too. Just launch Premiere, click “Premiere Pro” in the top left menu bar, then “Keyboard Shortcuts…”

    Next to “Keyboard Layout Preset” select “Final Cut Pro 7.0” from the drop down menu. This will preserve most of the FCP shortcuts that you’ve learned over the last 15 years.

    This little trick made moving my workflow to Premiere relatively seamless, and now I no longer have to transcode my Canon 5D footage.

  2. Thanks! Very useful.
    Is there any way to get the x1.1 (etc.) playback speed from only keyboard, rather than option clicking forward wind button?

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