Speed Up Your Editing With These 22 Premiere Pro Tips

Master Adobe Premiere Pro with these shortcuts.

It doesn't matter whether you’re a novice or a seasoned video editor, you’re sure to learn something new from this collection of Premiere Pro tips. These tricks and tips focus on navigating the interface, trimming, customizing the workspace, and a handful of other helpful topics. Let’s have a closer look.

1. Zoom to Sequence (\)

It’s easy to get lost in a timeline during the editing process. Perhaps you’re too zoomed in on a clip, or the opposite. A quick way to get your bearings and have a bird’s eye view of your project is to Zoom to Sequence with the backslash (\) key.

2. Maximize Frame (~)

With all of the panels and tools available, Premiere Pro’s interface can quickly become cluttered. Use the tilde key (~) to quickly bring a panel to fullscreen. Premiere will maximize whatever panel your mouse is hovering over.

3. Full Screen (Ctrl+~)

If you would like to fullscreen your image sans panel, hold control while you press the tilde key. This works on both the source and program monitors. However, unlike Maximize Frame, you need to have the panel selected to bring it to fullscreen.

4. Go to Previous/Next Edit (up+down arrows)

A powerful tip, use the up and down arrow keys to quickly jump between edit points on the timeline. Pressing the up key will take you to the previous edit, while down will go to the next edit. The shortcut will only work on targeted tracks.

5. Target All Tracks (Shift)

Track targeting works in conjunction with copy/paste commands, match framing, and go to previous/next edit shortcuts. To turn on track targeting for all tracks, simply hold the shift key as you target a track.

6. Resize Tracks (Shift)

Quickly resize all video or audio tracks by holding the shift key while scrolling your mouse wheel/touchpad.

7. Delete Empty Tracks

Oftentimes you’ll have multiple tracks on your timeline that aren’t being used. To delete these empty tracks, Ctrl or right-click on the track header and select Delete Tracks. Once the dialogue box is open, you can delete individual tracks or just the empty ones.

8. Rename Clip on Timeline

To rename a clip on the timeline, simply select a clip and go to Clip > Rename. The clip name will only change in the timeline, not in the Project Panel.

9. Customize Metadata Display

The Project Panel allows you a plethora of options for categorization via metadata. To customize the metadata you would like to display, Ctrl-click on a column and select Metadata Display. You even have the option to create your own properties.

10. Timecode Display

Premiere gives you a few different timecode display options. Cmd-click on the timecode readout to change the display units. Options include Non-Drop Frame Timecode, Feet+Frames 16mm, Feet+Frames 35mm, and Frames.

11. Quickly Jump to a Time

You can quickly jump to a specific time by manually typing a time in the timecode display. This is a great tool when making precise time-specific edits.

12. Show Keyframes

Working with keyframes in Premiere Pro can take place in the Effect Controls panel or straight in the timeline. To view keyframes of different attributes in the timeline, Ctrl-click the FX badge of a clip and select the attribute.

13. Scale to Frame Size

When working with photographs in Premiere, you can choose to have the photo perfectly fill the frame of your sequence. To do this go to Clip > Video Options > Scale to Frame Size.

14. Ripple Trim (Q and W)

Another powerful shortcut, the Q and W keys allow you to perform ripple trims. These trims allow you to perform quick edits without having to move clips to close gaps. Gaps are automatically closed via the ripple.

15. Isolate Selection (Alt-click)

Use the Alt/Option key to select just audio or video in a linked clip.

16. Duplicate (Alt-drag)

In addition to isolating a clip with the Alt key, you can also duplicate by holding the Alt key while dragging a clip on the timeline.

17. Open in Source Monitor (Ctrl-click)

To open a sequence in the source monitor hold the command key and double click from within the Project Panel. You can also open dynamically linked AE comps in the source monitor. Once in the source monitor, you can add markers and edit points, just as with any clip.

18. Insert Edit (Cmd)

When moving a clip in the timeline, hold the command key to perform an insert edit with your clip. Notice the symbol change as you press the command key while dragging.

19. Rearrange Edit (Cmd+Alt)

If you want to perform a rearrange edit, simply press the Alt key while performing an Insert edit. The edit will simply rearrange the two clips without shifting all of the clips further on down the timeline.

20. Replace (Alt)

Sometimes you want to swap out a clip for something that’s better. You can do this in one easy step without having to delete or change in and out points. Simply hold the Alt key as you drag the new clip into the timeline over another clip.

21. Edit While Exporting

When you export a video from Premiere Pro, you are unable to use the program until the export is complete. Queue up your exports in Adobe Media Encoder, which will take care of the exporting and allow you to keep editing in Premiere Pro at the same time.

22. Reset Preferences (Alt)

To restore your default preference settings, hold the Alt key down when Premiere is launching, and then release when the splash screen appears. Be careful as this can undo most of your customization, however it can solve problems if the program is unresponsive.

What are your favorite Premiere Pro tips and tricks? Share them with us in the comment section!     

Your Comment

17 Comments

Thanks Jason. I've watched a bunch of your Premium Beat tutorials already and they've been very helpful. I'm prepping to take the ACE Exam. Any quick suggestions?

October 10, 2017 at 10:27AM

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Hey Joe! Thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad you're enjoying the videos. Regarding the ACE Exam, I'm pretty sure they have a study guide on Adobe's website. At least they did a few years ago.

October 10, 2017 at 12:12PM

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Jason Boone
Writer
Video Producer

No special "pro tips".
Those are just keyboard short cuts. RTFM and use an external controller to assign the useful features to single buttons. Done.

October 10, 2017 at 10:47AM, Edited October 10, 10:46AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
2182

But but ... then you wouldn't be able to create and video and blog post if you just RTFM. How else would we get clicks?

October 11, 2017 at 12:52PM, Edited October 11, 12:52PM

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Scott Simmons
Editor
183

My fav unsung hero is "E" - extend selected edit to playhead. Changed my world!

October 10, 2017 at 12:29PM

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Steve-O
Director of Photography
210

BTW, holding shift while using the up and down arrows will allow you to jumps to edits based on ALL tracks instead of the selected ones.

October 10, 2017 at 12:31PM, Edited October 10, 12:31PM

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Steve-O
Director of Photography
210

It took me 30 minutes to export a 5 minute video :(
http://geometrydashfree.com/

October 11, 2017 at 9:49PM

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Thank you for sharing this information. This is going to help a lot while editing!
http://thejigsawseo.in

October 13, 2017 at 3:05AM

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krutika Palav
intern
81

8. To rename a clip on the timeline, simply select a clip and go to Clip > Rename. The clip name will only change in the timeline, not in the Project Panel.

This is not always true. It depends on the "Display the project item name and label color for all instances" setting in Project Settings.

9. Customize Metadata Display: You even have the option to create your own properties.

I'd like to add that the Metadata Display is saved with the Workspace. So, you can save workspaces with different Metadata Views.

More tips like this in "The Cool Stuff in Premier Pro".
http://premierepro.net/coolstuff/

October 14, 2017 at 12:51PM

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Jarle Leirpoll
Film Maker, Editor and Director of Photography
163

These are helpful tips. I'd like to add one thought, though: some of the shortcuts that help you when dragging a clip to the timeline are still not as fast as just using pure keyboard shortcuts. Dragging a clip onto the timeline while holding down Command for an Insert Edit isn't as fast as hitting the comma key (or in my case, V, because I have Premiere set up Avid-style).

October 18, 2017 at 6:14PM

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Benjamin Reichman
Post Supervisor/AE/Editor
354

Is there a tool to delete empty spaces between clips without select the space and delete/ripple delete.
My way of editing is often: look over the footage, the parts of the clip I need, I cut and place in the line above. Then I select all these in line 2 and place them in an empty timeline. So I've all the footage I need for the movie, but with lot of empty space between them. Select and ripple delete is time consuming
Attachment example:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/y4t5745thvxpua9/Knipsel%20%282%29.JPG?dl=0

October 25, 2017 at 2:05AM

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What you're doing is culling footage. You're putting "selects" on track 2.

To remove the space, create a black video (or use a color matte or anything can be stretched infinitely) on the track above your selects. Stretch it out past the start and end of your selects, select all your selects, slide them up into the black video so it cuts the black video to fill in the gaps between your selects. While the selects are still selected, move them back down to their original track. No you have all your selects on track 1 and a bunch of clips of black video on track 2. Select all the black video clips, hold shift (or alt or something) and press delete, and it will delete all the space between the clips on track 1 (as long as you moved the selects straight down without shifting time code).

If it doesn't make sense, visit this link: https://youtu.be/wyjhDjMdElY

March 13, 2019 at 5:39AM

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one day changed my life. It was 2 years ago. My boss shows me this:
map your keys:
zoom in [1]
zoom out [2]
zoom to sequence [3]
zoom to frame [4]
try this ;)

March 13, 2018 at 9:05AM

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pioszub
producer
98

There is a huge caveat with Using Clip > Video Options > Scale to Frame Size -- because it resamples the image to the sequence frame size, so any moves on that still image that zoom in will not be sampling from the original pixels and the result is softness and (at worst) pixellation. If you use the "set to frame size" option you avoid this problem. This video explains in detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU9S2gjFyG8

March 14, 2018 at 6:07AM, Edited March 14, 6:08AM

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Jamie LeJeune
Director of Photography
290

Jason - thanks for such a great and succinct (!) tutorial. I'm finally transitioning from FCP to PP and am finding it shockingly hard to find good tutorials (where the person doesn't start with a 30 second branded intro, spend 10 minutes talking about their day etc.). Plus, your voice is really easy on the ears. : )

One thing I am specifically looking for is a setup/workflow tutorial(s). I had my own process for organizing assets and bringing them in to a new project - but PP is giving me some confusion. I know this is a bit of a personal thing - everyone seems to have their own way that works for them - but that is what I'm looking for. I'd like to look at a bunch and take what makes sense and feels right to me. Do you have any tutorials that address basic workflow and setup? Or can you point me in the direction of some you have liked.

Thanks so much! I've subscribed to your channel and look forward to new videos.
-karen

March 8, 2019 at 10:54AM

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karen cummings
Video Editor
74

Some great tips. One of my favorites is using ALT to drag copy a clip. I must state that the tip to queue exports so that you can continue editing has some major caveats. If you're exporting 5k projects in AME, you can forget about editing a 5k project in Premiere...even if you have top end gear, your editing experience will become very painful and sluggish. And there are so many GPU bugs in Premiere right now that editing may crash AME. It's happened so many times in the past weeks for me that I even close Premiere when AME is exporting.

March 12, 2019 at 2:06AM, Edited March 12, 2:07AM

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Michael Gyori
Editor, Camera Op
169

Please don't use scale to frame size. Use Set to Frame Size.

Your colorist will thank you.

(Can't remember which to use? Just SET down and think about it).

March 13, 2019 at 5:29AM

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