June 11, 2013

Premiere Pro Tutorial: Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Supercharge Your Timeline Trimming

Screen shot 2013-06-09 at 11.26.12 PMUsing a mouse to trim might be one of the most counterintuitive and time-wasting things that we as editors do on a day-to-day basis. Since that's how many of us learned to edit -- by clicking through the buttons and dragging things around in our favorite NLEs -- editing with the mouse has become one of those unfortunate behaviors inherent in our processes. However, if speed and precision are something for which you strive for with your editing, the mouse is your arch nemesis. By learning a few simple keystrokes and committing them to memory, you can take your timeline trimming to another level.

Here's a quick excerpt video from Lynda.com's excellent Premiere Pro CS6 New Features series that should get you up to speed with the quickest ways to trim in Premiere:

First and foremost, and I can't stress this enough, editing with the keyboard is only as effective as the shortcuts that you use. If the preprogrammed Adobe shortcuts aren't easy for you to remember, you probably won't save time by using them, so you should absolutely map your own. I've personally been using a strange combination of Avid and Final Cut 7 keyboard shortcuts for the past few years, and it's become second nature to edit with those keys. As an added bonus, now that your keyboard presets will be stored in the cloud with Premiere Pro CC, you'll never have to worry about rebuilding your keyboard profile from scratch ever again!

Another significant note from this video is the tip towards the end in which Harrington uses the "Ripple Trim Next/Previous Edit to Playhead" commands to accomplish in one step what would usually take two or three steps with conventional three-point editing techniques. Of course, getting this functionality to boost your trimming speed is once again a matter mapping these commands to something that makes sense to you.

What do you guys think? Do you do most of your editing and trimming with the keyboard? If so, do you have any tips or additional suggestions that aren't covered in the video? Let us know in the comments.

Link: Using shortcuts for a fluid, high performance workflow -- AdobeTV

Your Comment

32 Comments

As a new Avid user I have to say Avid feels like a retarded Premiere, but when it comes to trimming, Avid is Godly. This tutorial proves it.

June 11, 2013 at 11:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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moebius22

nofilmschool is killing it these days. fav productive distraction right now:)

June 12, 2013 at 12:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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alex

Not sure why those keyboard shortcuts are not default set to those keys...

June 12, 2013 at 12:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John

Couldn't agree more, I use these shortcuts all the time and they should be defaults. We'll see how the trimming is improved in CC...

June 12, 2013 at 1:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks for posting this! Who knows how much time this will save me in the long run....

June 12, 2013 at 1:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Right?! Just those ripple trim commands alone have saved me a couple of hours in the past month haha.

June 12, 2013 at 1:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Robert Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker's Process
4188

I just happened to be taking a break from editing interviews as I read this. All the while I've been thinking "There's GOT to be a better way!!!" . Turns out there was! Thanks for the timely info.

June 12, 2013 at 3:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Premiere CC isn't released for another week is it? Or are people on CC getting it now? Really looking forward to it.

June 12, 2013 at 3:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Stu Mannion

I've been using those for a while and believe me it shaves days of edits. I actually remapped the JKL keys(does anyone still edit like that?) - J and L are ripple trim previous and next but for K I've assigned it to add edit - which razors or cuts the clip at the playhead. This is useful as sometimes you need to break one clip up into two (or more) and ripple trim the top and tail of the new sections.

Also with extend edit - the more useful are the two below that - extend previous / next edit to playhead. I've remapped those to I and O respectively. Those allow you to tinker with clip in and outs without ripple editing which moves the whole timeline.

June 12, 2013 at 9:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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So what do you use for J,K.L?

June 12, 2013 at 10:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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moebius22

So what did you remap J, K & L to? What are you using for playback control if not those keys? An external jog/shuttle?

June 12, 2013 at 10:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

Do NOT touch JKL mapping, the Patron Saint of Editing will come and club you on the head and put you through re-orientation.

Unless of course you have a jogwheel, which of course is ok...

June 12, 2013 at 10:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The Patron Saint of Editing. I bet it's Walter Murch. Maybe Dede Allen.

June 12, 2013 at 11:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Robert Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker's Process
4188

Don't know what to tell you guys, I dont use JKL at all anymore as I find scrubbing with the mouse WAAAAY faster and I can just use the left and right arrow keys to get the exact in/out points if needed. I have remapped the set in and out points of course.

End of the day it works for me but its always great hearing other peoples shortcuts based on their workflow.

June 13, 2013 at 6:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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A good little trick (MAC) for transferring your keyboard shortcuts between machines (before CC comes) is:

Save your preset in Premiere.

Access the library folder through finder: type ~/library into go to box (shift+command+G). Then navigate through Application Support/Adobe/Premier Pro and copy the required preset (.kys file) into the same folder on the other machines you're using.

Sweet!

PS
Obviously have to update across the machines if you decide to tweak the shortcuts, but infinitely easier than building from scratch as this seems to suggest!

June 12, 2013 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

Hey Dan, I've actually had that backfire on me just about every time I've tried it. I always get the .kys file and put it where it needs to be, but I can never get Premiere to recognize the pre-existing shortcuts, even after system restarts. For me it's always been one of those things that should work in theory, but I've never been able to make it work for me.

Hence one of the reasons I'm so excited for Premiere CC!

June 12, 2013 at 12:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Robert Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker's Process
4188

Strange. Not sure what to suggest there Robert! It works for me OK, got shortcuts across a couple of suites at work and at home.

June 13, 2013 at 7:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

Thanks Ryan! Useful! Wish Avid also has the same shortcut.....or maybe it does??? Anyone?

June 12, 2013 at 1:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Darren Wolff

In Avid/FCPX, this sort of edit is called "Top and Tail" editing

June 12, 2013 at 3:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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manfesto

It makes me sad every time I hear Premiere mentioned now...I had just settled into it after years of waffling about FCP X or Avid and all of a sudden it's become a complete dead end to me. I will never, ever, EVER under any circumstances be purchasing Creative Cloud or any other forced-ongoing-subscription software. I'm an amateur working solo or on small teams and I couldn't care less what "works" for a .com or .edu IT department.

Does anyone else here feel the same?

June 12, 2013 at 4:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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trackofalljades

Not really, I had already made the switch before they made the announcement because it's cheaper for me to stay up to date. It's also way easier to budget it out over time without having to use a credit card or similar.

June 12, 2013 at 8:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

I feel for you. I hope the backlash against the software "renting" scheme Adobe is forcing on us will be strong enough to make them reconsider. Now it's a battle between corporate greed and customer outrage. Unfortunately, outage usually turns to apathy, while the greed remains constant... so I'm somewhat pessimistic.

June 15, 2013 at 8:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Matt

Not use if this is minor or major point...

Yes, you can do all manner of edits using keystrokes, but you don't get the same realtime previews of changing in and outpoint frames as you do when using the mouse.

I know that a real manly editor isn't supposed to need this kind of handholding, but I find it very useful.

I'm not sure I see the speed advantage - pressing several keys at once and multiple times vs one key (to select a tool), then click and drag...

June 13, 2013 at 9:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Graham Kay

For me, it's more a matter of accuracy. I'm not particularly accurate with the mouse, so mouse editing always takes me much longer than keyboard. Once I make an edit like that, I can just jump back 10 frames from the keyboard and play it down. I use the cycle around edit playback function in FCP7 all the time--would be interested to know if there is similar in Premiere (now that I'm finally switching!).

June 17, 2013 at 10:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Wow, What a pain! I forgot how dreadful editing this old fashioned way is.
FCPx is MUCH more intuitive. I've used many edit tools in my career. even media100!!
So funny how there are still people arguing that FCP is sub par. My god man... seriously?

June 13, 2013 at 10:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Pippin Rush

It's funny you mention media 100, that's what I got my start on... And FCPX's video track reminded me of media 100's A/B editing track, and not in a good way. Different strokes for different folks...

June 13, 2013 at 11:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Ahhhh Ryan, glad to see another with fond memories of a media 100 upbringing. I loved that program back in the day. If I had a mac I would be tempted to install a trial and give it a whirl, just for the sake of nostalgia.

June 13, 2013 at 7:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Learning shortcuts is what I stress to my students daily!! They're the only way to be productive!!

June 14, 2013 at 9:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kris

It really is doable to sit as shut any time you prefer to your monitor. The limit is your capability to close to focus and regardless of whether you prefer to turn your head to consider throughout the whole show. For editing and workplace do the work it's greater to restrict the area of see to about 45 degrees or so. For movement photographs you might require a far more immersive expertise.

June 15, 2013 at 5:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Chrietopferywh

"I just lasoo these clips" - but thats with a mouse, no? Does anyone have a completely mouse free workflow? Ive re-mapped keys to focus windows - move source to timeline etc etc - but the only thing I cant do is select/deleselect in the timeline - which requires me to touch the mouse - anyone help?

August 20, 2013 at 4:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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elin

Oh and/or a simple list/graphic which would be more helpful than a video IMHO 0:)

August 20, 2013 at 4:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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elin

Sorry I already posted this as a (accidental) reply to Chrietopferywh - whose post seemed to be written by 100 monkeys - please excuse me for re-posting:

“I just lasso these clips” – but thats with a mouse, no? Does anyone have a completely mouse free workflow? Ive re-mapped keys to focus windows – move source to timeline etc etc – but the only thing I cant do is select/deleselect in the timeline – which requires me to touch the mouse – anyone help?

August 20, 2013 at 4:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Elin