10 tips every Premiere Pro user should know

Whether you’ve just started using Premiere Pro or you’ve used it every day for years, you will surely learn a few new tricks in this tips video.

Peter McKinnon is known for his highly helpful video post-production tutorials on YouTube and he has laid out a list of 10 tips for Premiere Pro users. As he says in the video, it doesn’t matter if you’ve just started using Premiere Pro or you’ve used it for years. McKinnon has tailored this list to teach every Premiere Pro user something.

“ … these tips kind of range from some simple tips to some like “‘wow. How did you think of that’” tips to some old tips — things that’ve been passed around and floating around the internet,” McKinnon says.

So make sure to jot down some notes while watching McKinnon’s video:

Tip 1: Drag and Drop

Organization is key before starting any project. Before you start building your timeline, you create bins. Bins are just folders within your project window. McKinnon recommends dragging your entire footage folder into a bin. This saves you the time of having to go through folders and drag the footage separately.

Tip 2. Master Clip Effects

Instead of applying the color grade to clips in the timeline, apply it to the clip in the project window. This will color grade multiple clips with the same effect. So if you make a ton of jump cuts from one piece of footage and forget to color grade it, you can apply it to the clip in the project window and they’ll all be color graded.

Also, if you want to change the color grade of the opacity of the edits, you can go to the Master tab. There you will be able to master the color grading of the clips.

Tip 3. Adjustment Layers

Similar to the previous tip, you can apply an adjustment layer over the top of all your footage and apply effects to that layer. This way everything underneath the adjustment layer had the effects that the adjustment layer has.

Tip 4. Kill Switch

This isn’t really a new tip, but it’s still a good one to know. If your software freezes while you’re editing, you can get actually unfreeze your software within terminal and save your project. McKinnon goes over how you can do it on a Mac (he isn’t sure how to do it on a PC.) You go to your Activity Monitor and write down Premier Pro’s PID number. Once you have that down, you go to search and lookup terminal. Once there you type in “kill -SEGV -( Premier Pro’s PID number).” You hit enter after that, you will be able to go and save your project.

Use the Kill Switch to save your project when Premiere Pro crashes
Use the Kill Switch to save your project when Premiere Pro crashes

Tip 5. Quick Copy

This is a fairly basic tip, but many beginner Premier Pro users use command C for copy and command V for paste. If you want to duplicate a clip, hold down option, click and drag that clip over and let got. It’s a much faster way to duplicate clips.

Tip 6. Select All

Projects sometimes require massive timelines. If you have to select to the entire timeline and move the whole thing to the right or the left, hit A on your keyboard. You will see two arrows pop up. If you click on the clip you want, you will see that everything to the right of it will become selected and you’ll be able to move them. If you want to move everything from the left of the clip, hold shift and hit A again.

Tip 7. Drop Shift

If you want to put a clip right into the middle of your timeline, you can use drop shift to do that. Hold command and drag the clip over where you want to place that clip. The clip will be placed there and everything to the right of it will move over.

Tip 8. Locking Layers

You should be locking your layers. Why? Because if you are working with music or adjustments layers. All the cuts can be made to an edit without affecting the layers above or below.

Tip 9. Proxies

The answer to playing back large clips on Premiere Pro is using proxies. Proxies are essentially duplicate footage with a lower resolution. They make it so much easier to edit. And don’t worry, once you export your proxies, all the edits you made to it will be applied to the original footage.

Tip 10. Editing While Exporting

The last tip McKinnon has for you is to edit while you export. Don’t waste time waiting for things to export while you could be editing. To do this, instead of selecting Export, select Queue. This will allow you to edit while your project exports.

Many of these tips may seem like small tips, but it’s really the small tips that help you save time and to become a better editor. We hope some of them help you with your Premiere Pro projects.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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