I find I do this sort of cut - fade in/out quite often. Is there anyway to automate this to save me from having to do it manually ?
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Yes - you can set keyboard shortcuts for Fade In Normal and Fade Out Normal. If you search for Fade in the keyboard shortcuts search box, it will take you to the correct place to make the assignation.
Unfortunately that seem's to create a fade in/out from the start to the end of the individual clip.
I tried creating a macro via "Favorites" that would Ripple Delete->Small Fade in and Small Fade out on each side of the cut, but that does not seem to be possible.
The problem appears to be not that it covers the entire clip, but that it's of a fixed duration. And if that duration covers an entire clip then yes, it looks as though it's from start to finish. If you try it on a longer clip, that doesn't happen, although... I'd argue that the fade you get from this is pretty much useless because it's way too long. What appears to be missing is any means of setting the duration of the fades.
The closest I can get to anything that might help you is to point out that if you're happy with the default rate 19 fade, you can lock the fade icon rates at the start and finish by holding the Shift key down when you move them across the clip. This certainly makes it quicker and easier to apply them.