In today’s post, we are going to explain you 10 highly requested tips that will solve many doubts about how to use Adobe Premiere Pro, making the most of the resources of this editing software. Buckle up, do what you have to do to get your coffee and open the program on your computer.
These tricks range from some simple tips to some “wow, how did you figure this out?” ones. You will read tips that are old, concepts that have already been passed down and you can easily find them on the internet, yet they are all still useful today and will help you cut down on your video editing time. This article is aimed at both people who have never opened the program and professionals who use it every day.
Tips to speed up editing in Premiere Pro
1. Drag and drop
We’re fans of organization and when you’re organizing your media, even before you start editing a project, that’s key. You want to get all your ducks in a row before you start building your timeline, so you can work more efficiently, usually to do that, you create different garbage cans. Now, containers are just folders inside your project window. The way we used to do this was to click on the new bin, open the project window, name it what you want, select all the clips and drag it into the bin we created earlier, but there’s a much faster method of doing it, which is to just drag the whole folder in.
Whatever folder you need, drag it directly into the project window and all its files will come with it. Taking this organization one step further, use the colored tags to mark your clips. This way, you’re color-coding the timeline, so that when you look down at a glance, you can see everything from a bird’s eye view, and know exactly where the interview clips, drones, B-roll, etc. are.
2. Master clips effects
Sometimes, when we are working on the sequence and from a single clip we make numerous cuts, it happens that we have put an effect only on the first piece of clip while the rest remains untouched. What do we do? Well, we select the first clip and then we go to copy and paste the attributes… and paste and paste and paste and paste over each cut you made, to try to get the same effects but no, no, no, no, and no. Don’t worry about that.
Instead of applying the color to the clip in the timeline, apply it to the clip in the project window. Once you drag that effect to the clip in the project window, you’ll notice that all the clips are now colored the same way on the timeline. However, I know what you’re thinking, “What if I want to change the opacity of those cuts, or maybe I just want 50% of that color?” Zoom in to where it says Sequence and you’ll notice that on the left, it says Master/Original. Go ahead and click on that tab that says Original. This is where you can control all the effects for this master clip. You can manually change all the attributes and you will notice the changes applied to each clip on our timeline.
3. Adjustment Layers
You can apply and adjustment layer over all clips and apply effects to this layer. This way, everything below that adjustment layer has the effects that the adjustment layer has. So you just apply all your effects and color grading, and that will affect what’s underneath. Down at the bottom, you’ll see the little icon on the page, select Adjustment Layer. Simply click OK when the dialog box appears. A new adjustment layer will be created to the project window, so view the project window, click and drag it to the timeline. Drag it to the end to match the length of the video you are editing.
4. Premiere Pro crashes?
We all know, (attention Mac users) that the spinning colored ball of death is no fun at all. That nasty beach ball that only appears when you’re editing in Premiere Pro and it seems to say, “No, you’re not editing anymore. We’ve decided you’re done with your work for the day.” All kidding aside, if your software freezes when you’re editing, there’s a way to kill that spinning ball of death inside the terminal so you can get back into Premiere and save your project without everything crashing. It’s a little complicated, but it totally works. So let’s say you just got the little color wheel.
You’re going to open your search, you’re going to type in “Activity Monitor” and then you’ll find Adobe Premiere Pro. You’ll notice there’s a little tab that says PID, which is the PID number. Make a note of that PID number for Adobe Premiere Pro. Once you’ve memorized that, or typed it in, you’ll go back to search and type Terminal. When Terminal opens, type: kill -SEGV -2034, the PID number. Press Enter and you will get a message that says “Sorry, an error has occurred”. You can hit OK and you can save your project and exit that lock screen. Use it at your own risk, but that’s one way to get out of the lock without sending everything to hell and get a backup.
5. Quick Copy
This is a super quick one. This is a very basic one, but many people who don’t know anything about video editing or are just starting to edit in Premiere, don’t know it. It’s possible that whenever you’re selecting a clip, you do command C to copy, command V to paste. But if you just want to duplicate a clip, hold down the Option key, click, drag that clip, and release, and you’ve duplicated that clip super fast.
6. Select the entire timeline
Sometimes, you have a huge timeline, and you just want to move everything to the right or everything to the left, so you can insert a new clip there, but if your timeline is that long, you have to zoom out to the maximum, select everything and carefully drag it to the right. There’s a much easier way to do that. Press A on your keyboard, you’ll notice two arrows appear. If you simply click on the clip you want, you can drag it out of the way. If you want to go to the left, hold down the Shift key and press A again, which moves all the arrows to the left. And we can click on everything to the left to select it, drag it that way. If you want to move it back to the right, just press A and the arrows rotate again. So it’s a very quick way to just spread out the “Red Sea” a little bit, place a couple of clips and you’re ready to keep editing.
7. Drop shift
Tip number seven, let’s call it Drop Shift. A lot of these little shortcuts and hotkeys will help you edit faster than we’ve been talking about. Because sometimes, if you want to drop a clip on the timeline, but you want to place it in the middle of the edit that you’re already creating, you have to zoom out, highlight, scroll, drop that clip, highlight, move it back, and so on. The whole process could be eliminated by simply pressing a key and dragging a clip in, without replacing any clips you already have on the timeline. Hold down Command/Ctrl and drag that clip into the timeline, little arrows will appear and your entire timeline will automatically shift to the right.
8. Lock layers
Very easy to do, very useful when working with music tracks and adjustment layers, this way, all the cuts you might be making in a project or an edit don’t affect these layers above and below, because that can be super annoying. For example, let’s say you’re doing an edit and you start making cuts because you have your hotkeys set up and you’re like, “cut here, here, cut here, here, here, and you’ll notice that you’re cutting layers that you didn’t want to. So you just lock those layers with the little lock and you can use the cutter as much as you want.
Okay, we’ve all gotten to this point. We’ve flown a drone, we’ve got some amazing footage, maybe you’re shooting with a RED, or in RAW, whatever, you’ve got some pretty hardcore footage at 4K or more. Once you drag these clips into your timeline questions come up like, why isn’t this playing, why is this jumping, why is this computer going to blow up. I have to watch this in 20% quality to be able to play the video smoothly, or even edit, so the answer lies in proxies. What is a proxy? It’s something like creating duplicate images, at a lower resolution, to make it easier to edit and easier for your computer to manage while you work on your project.
The 4K files and your high resolution footage are still there, so when you go to export, those proxies that you made that have a lower resolution, they “call back” to the original high resolution footage that you have and you can export your project in high quality, with the same cuts, effects and everything that you did. So let’s drag in some drone footage and you can see it’s super choppy. So you’re going to go down to the toolbar that’s right below the preview window. Hit the “more” button and then drag this little “recycle” icon into the toolbar. Go to the clip in the project window, right click, click on Proxy, then select Create Proxies.
(Warning: you must have Adobe Media Encoder installed)- This opens a little dialog box and this is where you’re going to change the resolution to be a little lower, like 720p, so that your computer can actually handle it.And you can do this by clicking where it says Preset, selecting 1280×720 and then OK. Once you’ve done that, Premiere does its black magic. Let’s go to that little icon that we put on our toolbar. We’re going to toggle the proxies that activate it, which switches the high-resolution video to proxy quality, so we can work on editing smoothly.
10. Edit with Premiere while exporting
This is the easiest and most practical tip because many times we export raw edits so we can send it to a client or send it to a friend. And while that’s being exported, you’re sitting there looking at the screen while the render is being done. You sit there, look around and waste time instead of continuing to edit in the background and continue working on your project while it’s being exported. And it’s super easy to do. So open your export window as you normally would and instead of hitting Export, hit Queue. That will queue it up, logically, and you can go up to the top right corner where the little green play button is, hit Play, and then you can continue editing freely while it’s exporting. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
… And so much for our 10 tips! We hope that this post has solved many doubts about how to use Adobe Premiere Pro and that our tips will be very useful to you.