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The "fast-forward"approach by Masuda and Nakamura generates driving potentials to accelerate slow quantum adiabatic dynamics. First we present a streamlined version of the formalism that produces the main results in a few steps. Then we show the connection between this approach and inverse engineering based on Lewis-Riesenfeld invariants. We identify in this manner applications in which the engineered potential does not depend on the initial state. Finally we discuss more general applications exemplified by wave splitting processes.