How can I make my clip/layer smaller without having the layer time change so I have more timeline space to add more clips.
If you suggest a specific hotkey, please keep in mind I am a mac user.
If you want to see more or less of your timeline then you can zoom in and out of the Timeline by using the control at the bottom left of the timeline panel. There's a small mountain at one end and a big mountain at the other with a slider in the middle. It's the standard Adobe Scale View icon and there should be a tool tip pop up if you hover over it.
Follow Mylenium's suggestions and read the getting started materials.
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