Final Cut Pro: Modify on Mac, open on iPad

Final Cut Pro for iPad version 1.0 doesn’t open Final Cut Pro for Mac libraries. However, Chris Hocking of LateNite films discovered, you can export a Final Cut for iPad project over to the Mac, make changes on the Mac, and then export back to iPad and continue your work.

  1. On Final Cut Pro for iPad, use the Share button to export a Final Cut Pro for iPad Project.
  2. AirDrop it to a Mac.
  3. Don’t double-click it – the document with the .fcpproj suffix
  4. Control- or right-click the document and choose Show Package Contents from the context menu.
    Screenshot showing a context menu showing the Show Package Contents command highlighted
  5. In the new window that appears, double-click the .fcpbundle document.
    Screenshot showing a window that shows the contents of package with the Final Cut Pro library selected.
  6. Final Cut Pro for the Mac will open it without converting it to a Final Cut Mac library.
  7. Make changes.
  8. Final Cut on the Mac will make changes to the Final Cut library within the Final Cut Pro for iPad project package.
  9. AirDrop the .fcpproj document back to iPad. It will open in the Project Browser.

This method isn’t officially supported by Apple. It is a workaround so we can discover how Final Cut Pro for iPad may develop.

Some changes will confuse Final Cut Pro for iPad, so will not work. For example, Chris has discovered

– Your library should only contain a single event

– All your projects must start at 00:00:00:00

Third-party Final Cut plugins

If you want to see how third-party titles, effects and other templates made on the Mac work on iPad, change the Library Storage Locations

so that Motion Content is stored In Library.

Then add templates made in Apple Motion – such as my free Alex4D Adjustment Layer (!) – to the timeline, to see which will work in the current version of Final Cut Pro for iPad.

22nd May 2023

Soon: Build Final Cut Pro for iPad plugins in Apple Motion 5. What about distribution?

8th July 2023

Final Cut Pro for iPad: How to create secondary storylines