Lightworks Glossary

To help those coming from other software packages, this page provides definitions for terms used in Lightworks.

Lightworks has its own terminology (the slang word is "lingo") and some unique concepts and features. Below is a guide to some of them for new users. They are a snap shot of my own understanding of Lightworks—others are more knowledgeable. Corrections, simpler alternative formulations, clarifications of any misconceptions on my part and additions are welcome. As I was writing, it evolved into a mini Howto. I will add more terms as they occur to me and eventually put them in alphabetical order. I will add some screen grabs to illustrate it.

Project Browser. When Lightworks launches, you are presented with the Project Browser which lists existing projects. Here you can select and double click on an existing project or create a new one. To create a new project, select the frame rate from the drop down menu and type in a project name. Then click the "Create" button at the bottom left of the Project Browser. Note, if you are not sure of the frame rate of your footage, use the free Mediainfo tool to analyse your file(s). See this post for more details,

Project Card - When you create a new project, the Project Card appears on the screen so that you can select project settings. It can also be accessed at any time at the top left of the screen.

Toolbar - the vertical strip on the left of the screen containing the main tools used in Lightworks. It can be made to disappear while not using it by "unpinning" it. Click on the "pin" icon at the top of the Toolbar which toggles between pin and unpin. When the Toolbar is unpinned, it only appears when the mouse moves over the space it normally occupies. This can create more space on the screen.

Pin/Unpin - To fix the location of an item (Toolbar, bin, viewer etc.) or unfix it so that it can be moved to a new location. The pin icon is at the top right of the item.

Console - The paid for version of Lightworks has a hardware control surface called the Console that speeds up editing considerably. The term is also used for the software controls at the bottom of the free Lightworks screen. The software console can be made to disappear to create more space on the screen in the Fingerprint Preferences at the bottom of the Toolbar.

Controller - This is the new name for the latest hardware control surface unveiled at NAB 2011.

Fingerprint icon - 'User preferences'. Located at the bottom of the Toolbar. When clicked reveals some Lightworks tools and settings such as switching off the Lightworks software console. This creates more space on the screen for those that prefer to use keyboard shortcuts. It also has a Keys section where keyboard assignments can be created or modified for a wide range of tasks and operations. Avid and FCP keyboard shortcuts can also be imported.

Record - Lightworks' term for capture from tape.

Tile - Lightworks' traditional name for a thumbnail image view of a clip.

Edit - A Lightworks term for a timeline sequence and its corresponding record viewer. To create a new Edit, click on the "Create a new edit" icon in the Toolbar.

Source Viewer - The viewer which pops up when the viewer icon is clicked in a source clip tile. Its borders are blue.

Record Viewer - The viewer which appears when a new Edit is created. Its borders are red.

Record Button - The purpose of the Record button is to allow you to write to a clip or Edit. If you click the Record button on a source viewer, then there is a new Edit created if you record/insert anything to it. A source cannot become an Edit until you click on the Record Button. So if you have a source clip, turn Record on, and start to insert new footage into it and you have created a new Edit. It's a quick way to start to work. If you minimise an Edit's viewer, then that will take it out of Record mode so you can use it as a source. Everything in Lightworks can be used as a source, but only Record enabled source clips and Edits can be written to.

Stripview - Originally known simply as the "Strip" but later changed to "Stripview", this was the Lightworks' name for the timeline until very recently. It is now officially known as the "timeline" but the 2010 Lightworks Guide still uses the older term "stripview". It will be changed in future versions.

Mark and Park - This is the core of Lightworks editing and is best described with an example. Move the playhead to the desired "in" or "out" point location. Click the "In" or "Out" button on the Lightworks hardware or software Console. The playhead turns blue.
Now place the playhead where you want the other end of your edit to be and do nothing—it is not necessary to click on either mark button on the Console. Lightworks assumes that the place where you leave (park) the playhead is where you want the "out" point to be if you are after the mark. If you are before it, Lightworks assumes that it's where you want the "in" point to be. The playhead will now be red and the space between the red and blue marks changes from grey to white.

Bins - Originally termed "galleries" in earlier versions of Lightworks, bins are for storing collections of clips. To create a new bin, click on the "Create new bin" icon in the Toolbar. Drag clips into it. A unique feature of Lightworks bins is that they can be either "transient" or "permanent". Transient bins are deleted from the project when they are closed, when Lightworks shuts down or if they are fed to the shark. Import bins are transient by default. So, to keep import bins indefinitely, make them permanent before closing Lightworks. Click on the cogs icon (top right of bin) and in the "Permanence" drop down menu change "transient" to "permanent". The bin title changes from blue (transient) to green (permanent).

Racks - Groups of bins can be stored in racks to reduce the amount of space they occupy on the screen. They can be created from the "create a new rack" button on the Toolbar. Minimise bins and drag them into a rack to store them together.

Rooms - All Lightworks projects can have as many different editing "rooms" as required to avoid clutter on the screen. Go to the Rooms drop down menu at the top left of the screen and click on "create room". One room can be used for importing, another for cutting and trimming, another for audio editing etc. To access and open project bins in a new room, enter the new room, right click on the Bins icon in the Toolbar and select "List permanent bin(s)". Alternatively, click on the Search tool in the Toolbar, select bins, and leave the search box empty which will will display them all. Drag the required bins into the new room. Likewise, existing and previous project Edits can be accessed from the Projects card at the top left of the screen. Click on "Show bin of project contents menu" (top right of card) which reveals every Edit made in your project. Drag the required Edits into the new room.

Cogs Menu - Each source viewer, record viewer and timeline has a menu icon that looks like the cogs on a bicycle at the top right. Clicking on it bring up a menu of options. Right clicking on the timeline also brings up the cogs menu.

Shark - A fun tool for removing unwanted items (viewers, bins, or timelines) from the screen. It "eats" them then "swims" back to its start location! Right click and drag the shark to an item on the screen and, while holding the right mouse button, left click on it to see what happens. The item (e.g. an unwanted Edit timeline/record viewer) disappears from the screen. You can get the Edit back on screen by going to the Project card at the top left of the screen and clicking on the "Show bin of project contents menu" (top right of card) which reveals every Edit made in your project. Drag the required edit out of the bin to an empty space. Permanent (but not transient) bins can also be restored by right clicking on the Bins icon in the Toolbar and selecting "List permanent bin(s)". Or use the Search tool in the Toolbar, select bins, and leave the search box empty which will display them all. Drag the required bin out to an empty space. You can put the shark wherever you want - simply right click and drag it to a new location then (quickly!) click 'set default tool position' on the Fingerprint preferences panel before the shark "swims" back to its previous location. It is best to have this panel open first before doing this!

Save - Lightworks automatically saves every operation and keystroke in the background. So there is no need to save manually.

Export Tool - This is the third icon from the bottom of the Toolbar. It is where the export settings are located. The default "Content" setting in the Lightworks export panel is "Export whole project". If you only want to export an Edit, make sure to select it in the Content drop down menu.

Cancel Import/Export - To cancel an import or export, hit Escape on your keyboard.

Undo - Go to the Fingerprint icon at the bottom of the Toolbar, click on "Change/view key assignments". Scroll down the list of operations and find "Undo". Double click on it and assign a keyboard shortcut to it (e.g. Control + u).

Import tool - Second icon from the top of the Toolbar. Click on it and navigate to the file you want to import. Double click on the file and it will appear in the import panel. In the "Content" column you can select "audio", "video" or "all". In the "Video Encoding" column, you can select "create link", "copy local" or "transcode". "Create link" means that Lightworks uses the file in its existing location. If the file is subsequent moved from that location, Lightworks will display a "media offline" notice. "Copy local" makes a copy of the file on import and stores it in the MATERIAL and AUDIO folders. If transcode is selected, the type of compression must also be selected in the "Compression" drop down menu. If your files are not visible, it could be because you don't have the Matrox or QuickTime codecs installed (see the Lightworks Install Guide) or because the file container is not yet supported in Lightworks.

MATERIAL and AUDIO folders. Lightworks creates these folders and stores the large media files there—video in the MATERIAL folder and audio in the AUDIO folder. Users can decide on which drive to have them located. Use the Media Tool in the Toolbar to move the location of large project media files from one drive to another.

Lightworks folder. Lightworks creates this folder on the C drive. On Windows 7, its location is C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lightworks. On Windows XP it is at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Lightworks. In this folder are stored project folders, archive folders, error logs, effects templates, preference files (including the Avid, FCP and Lightworks keyboard preference files) and much else.

Project folders. These are located in the Lightworks folder. The project folder can be opened from within Lightworks: Project Card (top left of Lightworks screen) > Details tab > Location > Click on location path to open the project folder.

Thanks to shaunthesheep, jwrl and Greg_E