Five hidden features of Premiere Pro that will make your editing lives easier

Tips & Techniques

Premiere Pro is one of the most popular video editing applications out there, largely due to the fact that it’s very easy to set it up in a way that lets you work quite quickly, especially if you’re only doing basic edits. But it is a very powerful tool if you delve a little deeper. In this video, Jordy from Cinecom walks us through five not so well known features in Premiere Pro that we can use to help make our lives a little easier.

“The Photoshop Tools”

Jordy calls these “The Photoshop Tools” and they exist under the preview monitor windows where you can see your source footage or your watch your final edit. There is a set of tools running along the bottom of them, but there’s also a “+” button which lets you add a bunch of other potentially useful features. Amongst them are four particularly useful tools that you might be used to from working in Photoshop.

  • Safe Margins
  • Show Ruler
  • Show Guides
  • Snap in Program Monitor

While they might be a little more specific to video editing, they’re all tools which either exist within Photoshop (in the case of rulers and guides) or they have similar implementations (margins and snapping). They’ll help you to more quickly work through layout and get things aligned in your frame.

Full-Screen keyboard shortcut

You can blow up your program monitor to fill the screen by clicking on various things on the screen, but it’s so much easier to just setup a shortcut key. For me, I’ve got two keys set up. “#” maximises the program monitor to the size of the application itself, and “~” (Shift + #) sends it into full screen mode. It’s one I use all the time when I’ve put a few clips together and want to watch them unhindered by Premiere Pro’s UI.

Easy label colours for your timeline

Labels let us more easily organise our footage by seeing it on the timeline in different colours. We can have our main camera as one colour and our b-roll from various sources or for different sections in other colours to help keep things organised and easy to edit. We can manually change each clip one at a time, but Jordy shows a very cool trick to let us apply it to a file and have all clips on the timeline from those files automatically update.

Timeline height presets

Jordy does something here that I often do, too. When I’m editing to audio, I want those audio tracks expanded so I can easily see the waveforms and catch those peaks where different takes of a clip end so that I can cut and pull out the bad ones. It happens in almost every project. Well, it turns out you can actually save track height presets which will automatically adjust all your video and audio track heights to a specific predefined size at will. You can even assign keyboard shortcuts to them.

Cutting footage with a keyboard shortcut

This was one I didn’t know you could actually assign. I usually hit C for the cut tool and click on my footage, but it turns out ctrl+k will just chop your clip up at the current position of the playhead. And, as with all shortcut keys, you can reassign it to something a little easier to remember – or a little easier to press.

What are your favourite lesser-known features in Premiere Pro that help your workflow?

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