September 15, 2016

Time-Saving Shortcuts for Editing in Adobe Premiere

Trevor Holmes

Creative

Adobe Premiere comes with a bunch of built-in keyboard shortcuts that can increase your speed and efficiency while editing. Less clicking and dragging is always a good thing.

But a lot of these shortcuts aren’t very visible when you’re getting started with Premiere. Over the past several years, I’ve learned about a collection of useful keys that I depend on every day.

So let’s get to it! Below are nine game-changing shortcuts in Premiere that will help you fly through your next edit.

Command + S - save

First up, our favorite keyboard shortcut, and really the only one that matters... Command + S will save your project. Premiere will auto-save every so often, but it’s a good habit to get into pressing Command + S every few minutes!

Up and down arrows - move quickly across clips

Your project’s timeline can get cluttered, especially if your video is more than a few minutes long. On your timeline, scrolling from side to side is one way to navigate between clips, but using the up and down arrows is a much faster way to get from one clip to another. Up goes to the beginning of a clip, and down goes to the end of a clip.

Left and right arrows - move frame by frame

As another form of navigating between clips, you can use the left and right arrows to move one frame at a time. Or you can hold shift, and use the left and right arrows to move 5 frames at a time.

- + keys and \ key - zoom in and out

Zooming in and out on your timeline is important to fine tune your edit and make precise cuts. Instead of using your mouse, the + and - keys will quickly zoom you in or out on your timeline. And if you’re all the way zoomed in, try clicking the forward slash key \ to quickly zoom out your timeline to see everything at a glance.

L - speed up playback

With large projects, it can be time-consuming to review your footage. A quick way to play back your footage in fast-forward is to use the L key. Each time you click it, it will speed up playback faster and faster, so you can really cruise through that footage.

A or shift + A - selects all clips

While you’re moving clips around your timeline and getting your edit together, it can be cumbersome to select everything you want and move it around. Especially if you have a lot of clips to work with. An easy way to select exactly what you need is to use the A key. Hit it once, and you’ll be able to select everything to the right of your playhead. As an alternative, Shift + A selects everything to the left! To get back to your regular selection tool, just press the V key, and you’re good to go.

G - gain for audio tracks

This is a great little shortcut for getting to gain control for your audio tracks quickly. You can boost or lower the DB on an audio track by selecting the track, hitting G, and then punching in how many decibels you want to raise or lower it by.

C - razor

One of the most important shortcuts is the C key for cutting up clips on your timeline. Premiere maps C to the razor tool, which is great for quick access, but not so efficient because you still have to use your mouse to click and cut a clip.

With all of Premiere’s stock shortcuts, you have the ability to map each one to whatever you want it to be. We’ve mapped C to the Add Edit shortcut, which cuts a clip each time you click C.

Ripple delete

Normally, when you delete a clip in Premiere, it leaves a blank space in your timeline. If you want the surrounding clips to automatically collapse upon deleting a middle clip, this shortcut will do the trick. No more highlighting and moving clips all around your timeline!

When you use this shortcut to cut footage, any footage to the right will move over into the empty space. We have this shortcut mapped to R, but you can map it to whatever you’d like.

Honorable mentions

Super helpful for making L cuts or to just quickly unlink your audio and video tracks.

N - nest clips

Have a lot of clips that you want to group in a sub-sequence? Select all the clips, then hit N. Nest it!

Command + M - export media

Ready to export your video? Command + M that thing.

Command + shift + D - default audio transition

Cross fades? No problem. Select the audio clip you want, press these keys, and default transitions will magically appear at both ends!

Option + click and drag a clip

Duplicate a video clip.

~ (right above tab) - expand any window

This is great for quickly previewing your edit full screen. This also works great for getting a closer look at any other window on a laptop.

Command + R - speed settings

Wanna speed up / slow down footage? You got it!

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