10 Features in Adobe Premiere Pro That Every Video Editor Should Know

Adobe Premiere Pro allows you an incredible amount of control when it comes to editing your projects. As an instructor and educator, I often find some of the prime features within the application often get overlooked.

Here is a list of 10 features I believe every Premiere editor should know and have ready at their fingertips.

1. Shift+2 to Cycle Recent Clips in the Source Monitor.

In Premiere Pro, you can load multiple clips into the Source monitor for editing. Rather than click on the menu to select the next clip, why not use a shortcut key instead. Shift+2 allows you to cycle through each of the clips so that you can make in and out decisions on them a lot easier.

Click Shift+2 to cycle through all the clips loaded in the Source monitor.

Click Shift+2 to cycle through all the clips loaded in the Source monitor.

2. Automate Titles to Sequence.

So you’ve got 100 titles you need to lay down in a sequence. Why not create a series of markers on the timeline where you want your titles to land.

Before you get started, lock any tracks you don’t want to be affected and create a blank track for your titles if necessary. Now, select all of your titles in the Project panel, make sure your playhead is before the first marker and click the Automate to sequence button on the lower right corner (to the left of the search icon)

Automate to Sequence button

Automate to Sequence button

In the dialogue box, under ordering choose Selection Order and choose At Unnumbered Markers as the placement option. Make sure the Still clip duration is set to Use In/Out Range (this can be controlled under preferences). Finally, choose OK. You’ll have all your titles at the markers you created and the length you specified for stills under preferences.

3. Get Another Instance of a Title by Option/Alt+Clicking to Make a Copy in the Timeline.

Continuing on the topic of titles, if you've ever tried to copy a title clip in a sequence and paste it, you may have noticed when you modify it, it will also change the original title.

While you can duplicate the title in the Project panel, you can also opt/alt+click and drag a new title instance in the timeline. Make sure not to release the option key until you’ve released the copied title or you’ll end up performing an insert edit instead. Once you’re done, you can update your title without having to worry.

4. Use the Media Browser to Import Clips.

I usually see people import clips through the Project Panel by double-clicking. While there is nothing wrong with this method, the import dialogue box uses your OS to find files and your OS can’t see certain video file formats such as MXF and R3D. Enter the Media Browser. You can navigate your entire OS from Premiere and the best part is it displays the files your OS doesn’t.

Complicated folder structures like P2 media are simplified into just one movie icon. If media is parsed over 2 memory cards, the Media Browser will collapse the 2 clips into one. The Media Browser also allows you to see other Premiere projects where you can bring in not only sequences but any assets as well. By default, when you double-click a file from the Media Browser it opens it in the Source monitor to preview. If you want to bring it into the project simply right or ctrl+click the file and choose import. Here’s a link to a video I did showing some of the features mentioned above.


5. Move Insert Editing in the Timeline.

One of my favorite edits to rearrange clips in the timeline is the move-insert edit. It allows you to move a clip in a sequence without leaving any gaps. Simply hold down cmd+opt on a Mac or ctrl+alt on a PC after selecting a clip and position the clip wherever you want. Notice how the adjacent clip will ripple forward and the spot you removed the clip from closes up so no gap is left. Feel free to watch the short movie below showing the edit.

6. Audio Gain / Conform Audio Levels.

When I’m not teaching editing classes, I tend to cut together a lot of interview clips. When listening to the sound levels of the subjects recorded, typically some will be louder than others based on mic level differences or how we perceive it. Premiere has a great feature where we can select multiple audio clips and conform audio levels.

Select the audio clips in question within the timeline and go to the Clip menu and choose Audio Options – Audio Gain. If you choose Normalize All Peaks To, you can change the volume of each selected clip to max out at a certain level. This will raise the gain on the quieter clips and lower it on the louder ones so everything plays at the same level.

7. Proxy Workflow.

With the release of Premiere Pro CC 2015.3, you now have the ability to work with proxy video through a very intuitive workflow. Let’s say you have large 4K media files you want to edit but want to work faster. With the new ingest settings dialogue box, you can choose to create proxies of a lower resolution to edit with. By setting up your preferences to use proxies when available, you can perform the bulk of your editing tasks and then easily reconnect to the higher resolution files when it’s time to color correct and export. Check out a video describing the new feature here.

8. Top and Tail Editing.

There are 2 extremely handy shortcut keys that allow you to trim the ends of clips without having to select the edit point. Top and Tail editing allows you to trim the in or out point of a clip to the playhead along with rippling all adjacent clips in the timeline after the edit is performed.

In the example below, I want to trim the in point of the clip. By pressing Q, the clip is trimmed to the playhead and the rest of the sequence remains together. To perform the edit to the out point, press W.

Playhead is positioned where I want to trim the In point of the clip.

Playhead is positioned where I want to trim the In point of the clip.

Screenshot of timeline after Tail edit is performed.

Screenshot of timeline after Tail edit is performed.

9. Master Clip Effects.

If you’re cutting together a dialogue scene where you’ve got several parts of the same source clip in the timeline, then master clip effects are definitely for you. In the screenshot below, I’ve got three clips in my timeline that derive from one clip in the Project Panel. I’m going to select one of the clips in the timeline and press Shift+5 to reveal the Effect controls window. In Effect Controls, I’ll select the Master clips tab (you can also reveal this tab by selecting a clip in the timeline and pressing F for match frame). I’ll add a Lumetri Fuji Kodak filmlook (a Lumetri Color Preset). If I move the Playhead over the other 2 clips, I’ll see they also have the effect.

Screenshot of Master Effect applied in Effect Controls. 

Screenshot of Master Effect applied in Effect Controls. 

Master clip effects are identified by a red underline under the FX badge in the timeline.

Screenshot of FX badges with Master Clip Effects applied.

Screenshot of FX badges with Master Clip Effects applied.

If you use the Lumetri Color window, there is a Master Clip tab in it that’s extremely useful depending on your workflow.

10. Saving Presets.

Saving Presets is a great way to save time in your Premiere Pro projects. You can even bundle keyframed effects together so that you can apply them to the selected clips of your choice easily. To save a preset, reveal the Effect controls for the clip that contains the effects in question. Select each effect by its name and right or ctrl+click one of them and choose Save Preset.

Screenshot of 3 effects selected in Effect Controls. The save preset option becomes available by right or ctrl-clicking one of them.

Screenshot of 3 effects selected in Effect Controls. The save preset option becomes available by right or ctrl-clicking one of them.

In the save preset dialogue box, give the effect an appropriate name. If the effect has animation, you can make sure the effect doesn’t change timing by choosing Anchor to In or Out point under the type options.


Click OK. Head over to you Effects tab and under presets you should be able to see your new preset. If you right or ctrl+click the effect, you can export the effect to anywhere on your system so you can deliver it to another editor or colleague.