The unofficial graphic enhanced manual for FCPX

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***Updated with link to hard copy version***

What a brilliant idea from Edgar Rothermich, build a manual for Final Cut Pro X that is light on text and heavy on the graphics. We like this a lot because as Edgar correctly states with the phrase 'A picture is worth a thousand words.'

Now available on Amazon in hard copy for $14.99

Such a simple idea but a great concept. There is nothing more we hate than sitting down with a huge instruction book and wading through it. Edgar has put together this 'graphically enhanced manual' for FCPX to make the swotting up on software less of a chore. It looks like he has done a rather good job of it too.

Maybe the most amazing thing is that the 62 page manual Final Cut Pro X- How it Works is available to download for just $1.99, a printed version from Amazon is coming out at the end of August for $14.99. A second advanced manual will be available soon.

We think this is a bit of a no-brainer purchase for anybody who wants to learn FCPX or indeed editors like us who always look for new tips and tricks from other sources.

I'm sure Edgar won't mind us reprinting the story behind the manual with a few screenshots.

"During my senior year at the University of Arts I was teaching technical courses as a tutor at the sound engineering department and after graduation I continued my courses as a faculty member. I found out that I could teach my students the technical concepts much better if I used illustrations and gave them visual representations of some difficult topics.

When I started to work for Christopher Franke I was confronted with his arsenal of synthesizers and computer programs and a large stack of manuals I had to work through. It became even more clear how important it was to have a good manual that explains the basic concepts before delving into the fine details. The poorly written manuals always started with “go to that menu, press that button and then do ...”

Often an application or an electronic device has features that are not even explained in the manual. You have to figure out the functionality by trial and  error. The biggest shortcoming of most manuals is that they’re too text-heavy. "A picture’s worth a thousand  words" is my motto. Based on my experiences and sometimes frustrations I always create my own personal manuals for programs and devices that I use the most. Sometimes they’re just notes of important information or summaries to quickly review at a later time and sometimes more elaborate papers.

In 2004 I was confronted with the same situation: Learning a new program with its big manual. After nearly 20 years of using Cubase to compose and record my music, I decided to finally switch to Logic. In the process of learning that new app I once again created my personal manuals. But when I realized how many other Logic users faced the same struggle to understand the app I decided to start making those manuals available on my website as Graphically Enhanced Manuals (GEM)."


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Many thanks to Jon Chappell for the tip from LAFCPUG