10 Video Editing Techniques in Premiere Pro I Wish I Had Known Sooner

Abigail Calzada

Abigail Calzada

Workflow is everything. The smoother it is, the more efficient we are in producing quality results. Regardless of our skill level, there are always methods and ways that we can learn to improve our workflow. Here are 10 easy-to-learn video editing techniques in premiere pro that we can start using.

  1. Command + Drag
    Move clips as a whole around your timeline using this timesaver shortcut. This technique allows you to apply multiple audio and video transitions to the selected clips. Although currently, this only works with the cross dissolves, this is still a neat trick to keep in mind.
  2. The Option Key
    A quick move to duplicate clips is to simply hold the option key and drag a selected clip horizontally. This key can also be used to select individual layers of grouped media like videos with attached audio. This can be a very useful cleaning up trick.
  3. Control/Command + K
    Splitting a clip can sometimes feel like your head splitting in half. It’s a headache. With this shortcut, you are able to ease up and speed up the process as you can create a split directly on your timeline at your playhead.
  4. T + Alt/Option > Left or Right Arrow
    Want to avoid untimely and imprecise cuts? This combo will move a cut to the left or right and change its duration without affecting other clips.
  5. Ctrl + Alt + V
    If you want to copy the properties of a certain clip to the rest of your clips in your timeline, a power move can be using Ctrl/Cmd+C to copy, select the rest of the clip, and finish with Ctrl+Alt+V (for PC) or Cmd+Option+V for Mac. This allows you to paste over attributes from your copied clip.
  6. Just D…….rag it!
    When you’re trying to bring in a B-roll clip, just point to the tiny film strip icon and drag the video without the audio to your timeline. This move also applies when dragging the waveform icon next to the film strip.
  7. Customize your workspace
    Bring all the windows and tabs that you would normally use in your edits, sort them out in a way that makes everything you need easily accessible. Once you’re done, save this setting by going to Window > Workspace > Save as New Workspace. By doing this, you save yourself from the task of pulling in the usual tabs at the beginning of every project.
  8. Make things easy for you
    Keep things organized and neat right off the bat. Import folders directly into Premiere. Yes, you can do that. Drag the entire folder and it will automatically turn into a labeled bin. Knowing that you can do this, organize your assets when you put them in your hard drive so you can just drag the whole thing in and not worry about getting lost in the process. You can even organize further by color-coding your clips. This can greatly help you keep track of each type of asset. You are gonna wanna do this especially if you have many types of audio and video clips from different sources.
  9. Learn how to Nest
    Don’t settle with having a huge stack of graphics taking up way too much space on your timeline. Try nesting your clips. This consolidates layers on the timeline into a single layer. Highlight the clips, right-click, and select Nest.
  10. Masking and Tracking
    If you want to highlight a certain subject but not the background, create a new mask using the pen tool under Opacity. Duplicate the original clip and paste it under the masked clip. Now you can edit the two layers separately. If the subject is a moving one, don’t worry, Premiere’s got us covered. Just click the play button next to the mask in the Effect Controls, Premiere will then auto-track the moving subject.

And that’s that! We hope that these tricks along with this very useful Getting Started Guide help get you on your way to achieving your filmmaker goals.

Do you have tricks of your own that you find clever and useful? Share it with the community in the comments!

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