Using the correct edit mode in Pro Tools can greatly help improve your speed and accuracy during editing. The four edit modes in Pro Tools assist in the arrangement and manipulation of clips in the edit view. Switching between modes is common when working on a session to facilitate the current edit task at hand.
Shuffle Mode (F1)
In shuffle mode, changing the placement of the clips will affect other clips in the same track. Shuffle mode will cause the clips to snap to the beginning or end of another clip, preventing gaps between two audio clips. When the clips are snapped together, you cannot separate them but you can change or shuffle the order of the clips. A yellow indicator line will appear while dragging a clip to show where the clip will be snapped or inserted to. This is useful when you are editing content such as speech or other audio that does not need to be synced to a musical grid or does not require gaps between clips.
Slip Mode (F2)
Slip mode is the freeform editing mode. There are no grids or snapping of clips. You are able to move clips to any position on your timeline, even if you overlap clips. When clips are overlapped, the underlying portion of the clip does not play. Slip mode allows you to edit at the sample level and allows for fine resolution editing.
Spot Mode (F3)
Spot mode allows you to place a clip at an exact point on the timeline. When dragging a clip, a Spot dialog appears which allows you to enter the exact placement of the clip using any of the Time Scales.
Grid Mode, Absolute Grid and Relative Grid (F4)
Grid mode is the mode to use for bars and beats. Making it great for beat-based music production. Grid mode is not restricted to bars and beats as any of the other Time Scales can be used as well. Absolute grid mode snaps clips to the current user-defined grid. Relative Grid maintains the offset relationship of the clip to the grid as it is moved. If a clip begins slight behind the beat, this offset is maintained as it is snapped to another point on the grid.