Using Window Configurations in Pro Tools

Most people believe Pro Tools only has 2 windows! There's actually 14 possibly windows, and with so many to switch between Window Configurations becomes very useful.  

ProTools has only two windows, right? Mix and Edit, toggle between the two with Command - =. Easy. Actually, Pro Tools has 14 windows, accessible from the Window menu, so a way of organizing them is required. This is where Window Configurations come in.

Basic Window Management

The Window Configurations List is accessed from the Window menu (Window > Configurations > Window Configurations List or Option-Command-C). In the same place you will find the option to create a new configuration, and if you choose the default options in the New Window Configuration window that appears you will store the windows you can currently see, but not their display settings.

The Window Configuration List

The Window Configuration List.

You can quickly build up a list of Window Configurations which you can access by clicking their names in the Window Configurations List. Note that the Window Configurations List itself is not stored as part of any Window Configurations! There is also a keyboard shortcut for choosing Window Configurations. On the numeric keypad, type period (.) followed by the number of the Configuration, then followed by the asterisk key.

The New Window Configuration dialog, showing default options

The New Window Configuration dialog, showing default options.

Adding Settings to Window Configurations

If you wish to also store the display settings as part of the Window Configuration, tick the box that says 'Include edit, Mix, Targeted MIDI Editor, Score Editor, and Transport Display Settings'. For example you may wish to have two views of the mixer, one with inserts and sends hidden, the other with them visible. This is a great option for instant recall of those settings.

Storing display settings as part of the Window Configuration

Storing display settings as part of the Window Configuration.

Settings Only 

The second radio button on the New Window Configuration window is used to apply settings to a specific window. For example, set the mix window to show the Tracks and Groups lists and have Narrow Mix enabled. Now you can restore the stored settings to the current view of that window by choosing this Window Configuration. If the window in question is not open (and resizable), then when you choose this type of Window Configuration it will re-open the window at the size it was when it was closed, but with the stored settings.

This functionality can be used with the Mix, Edit, MIDI Editor, Score Editor and Transport windows, and is especially useful with the last of these, as you can store several different views of the Transport as Window Configurations.

Storing settings for the Mix Window

Storing settings for the Mix Window.

Further Options

From the drop-down menu at the top of the Window Configuration List you can create new configurations, update the current window configuration, or set Window Configurations to auto-update (that is, all changes are automatically stored). Also found here (and not available in the Window menu), are the options to edit the current selection or delete it (by clearing).

The Window Configuration List drop-down menu

The Window Configuration List drop-down menu.

Those who have experienced Screensets in Logic Pro will enjoy the extra flexibility afforded by Window Configurations, but may wonder where the equivalent to locking Screensets is to be found. Window Configurations in Pro Tools are locked by default, and are only changed by updating, editing or deleting them, from either of the menus.

Mike has been obsessed with music software since he first saw Fairlight's Page-R, and has tracked its development through his work as a performer, composer and producer. As a writer he has contributed articles to Sound On Sound since 1999, and currently writes their Apple Notes column. As well as being a certified Logic Pro and Pro Too... Read More


is this good tool 2 by

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