3.4 Timecode Fields

Some dialogs, such as the Go to Time dialog and the Select Media Source dialog, include fields for timecode entry. These fields are designed to simplify timecode input and provide a number of shortcuts that are described here.

3.4.1 Timecode Validation

In many ways, the field behaves like a standard text field. The primary difference is that once you've finished entering a timecode, InqScribe will parse what you've entered and reformat the result. In this context "finish entering a timecode" means that you tab away from the field. You can also type "`" to force InqScribe to parse and reformat immediately.

If InqScribe doesn't think it can convert what you're typing to a valid timecode, the background of the field will turn light red. If you ask InqScribe to try to convert an invalid timecode, it will revert to the last valid timecode that was shown.

3.4.2 SMPTE Timecode Entry

Normally when you enter a timecode you'll type something like "00:10.15". Here are the rules the field uses for what we call SMPTE timecode entry.

You can use any of the following characters (or delimiters) to separate fields in the timecode:

  • period (.)
  • colon (:)
  • semi-colon (;)
  • comma (,)
  • ampersand (&)
  • plus sign (+)

Any characters that are not numbers or one of the delimiters described above will be filtered out of the final result.

Timecode entry always includes frames, regardless of what you may have set for the Omit Frames transcript setting. Omit Frames is only meant to apply to how InqScribe formats timecodes, not how timecodes are entered. If you prefer to enter timecodes without frame values, just be sure to enter something like "01:30." or "130." (note the trailing period). Or use abbreviated timecode entry and enter something like "1m 30s".

Here are some examples to illustrate SMPTE entry behavior. All examples are of the form:

"what you type" → "what you get after InqScribe formats your input"

You can enter timecodes using whatever delimiters you want. Mixing and matching is OK.

“4:3;2,1” → “04:03:02.01”.

Note that while InqScribe is flexible in what delimiters you use to enter the timecode, formatted timecodes only use ":", ";", and "." as delimiters. It's also important to note that these rules only apply within timecode fields. If you try to use arbitrary delimiters within your main transcript field, InqScribe may not be able to recognize what you type as a valid timecode.

You can omit numbers between delimiters as a shortcut for 0.

“3…” → “3:00:00.00”.

You can omit left-hand fields entirely if you don’t need them.

“1:30.” → “00:01:30.00”.

You can enter times with no delimiters at all, and InqScribe will count on each field being two characters wide to format the result.

“1221” → “00:00:12.21”
“123405” → “00:12:34.05”

If you enter an odd number of characters, InqScribe can handle it.

"130" → "00:00:01.30"

Knowing fields are two characters wide also comes into play if you use delimiters, but it only applies to the left-most chunk.

“123456.” → “12:34:56.00”
“1122.11” → “00:11:22.11”

Recall that InqScribe will filter out anything that's not a number or a delimiter.

“fred” → invalid timecode
“[00:01:02.03]” → “00:01:02.03”

Finally, note in general that your entry will be converted to a real timecode that respects the natural limit of each field.

“190.” → “1 min 90 sec” → “00:02:30.00”

3.4.3 Relative Timecodes

A nice feature of timecode fields is that they remember their last value. That means that when you enter an invalid timecode, the field can revert to its prior value instead of defaulting to 0:00:00.00.

It also means that it's possible to perform math with timecodes.

To do this, simply preface the timecode you enter with a "+" or "-" sign. If you do this, the timecode you enter will be added (or subtracted) from the prior value.

“1..” → “00:01:00.00” (normal entry)
”+1…” → “01:01:00.00” (adds 1 hour to prior value)
”-15” → “01:00:59.15” (subtracts 15 frames from prior value)

Note that the "+" character can be either a regular delimiter or an indication of a relative timecode, depending on where in the timecode it appears.

“1+2” → “00:00:01.02” (+ is a delimiter, same result as "1:2")

In contrast, the "-" character is not a valid delimiter and may only be used at the start of a timecode.

“1-2” → invalid timecode

3.4.4 Abbreviated Timecode Entry

In addition to SMPTE timecode entry, you can also enter timecodes using one-letter abbreviations for hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. Here are some examples.

“1h” → “01:00:00.00”
“1h 30m15s” → “01:30:15.00”
"5f" → "00:00:00.05"
”+5m” → “01:35:15.00”

With this approach, you follow a number with one of four letters (hmsf) that correspond to the appropriate time unit. Anything in the field that is not a number followed by one of hmsf will be ignored.

Note that you cannot combine SMPTE entry with the use of hmsf.

"1h 00:15" → "01:00:00.00" ("00:15" is ignored since neither number ends with one of hmsf)

Since this approach explicitly identifies what each number means, you can enter fields in any order you want.

“30m 1h” → “01:30:00.00”

Finally, note that relative timecode behavior applies to timecodes entered using hmsf abbreviations.