Super quick guide to editing in Premiere

Adobe Premiere is available in many labs within the building, including the Scripps Lab, and across campus, including the Studio. Here is a super simple guide for using Premiere.


Premiere changed a few things since I wrote this guide. Most of the changes are little things you won’t use in everyday editing situations. The one thing they changed that you will encounter is how Premiere starts up. When you open Premiere, you will see the following screen:

Your recent projects will be in the list at the bottom center of the screen. If you are restarting a project you were working on, click its name from the list or click open in the top left corner of the screen. If you are starting a new project, click new project. If you are opening an old project, you will go to edit screen. If you are starting a new project, you’ll go to the following screen:

I don’t know why Premiere added this screen, instead of just taking you to a blank edit screen like it used to, but from this screen you can choose a name for your file (A), a location where you want to save the project (B), and create your file ( C).

Most of the rest of Premiere follows the original guides I created.

When you open Premiere, it will look something like above. If it looks drastically different your workspace might be set to one of the other defaults. To fix this go to: Window > Workspace > Editing.

The editing workspace is divided into four major areas (counterclockwise from top left): 1) source monitor, 2) program monitor, 3) asset browser and timeline. We will talk about each of these areas as we walk through the editing process. So let’s start editing.

Step 1: Import your assets. Before you can start editing your video, you need to tell Premiere what video you want to edit. Go to: File > Import. A finder window will pop up. Select all the files you want to include in your final piece.

The videos that you import will show up in the asset browser window in the project tab. I just imported one clip above. You will likely have two or three clips.

Step 2: Select the clips you need. To edit your final video, you are going to want to grab clips from each of the videos you imported. Start by double clicking on the first video.

It will now show up in the source monitor. In the source monitor you can play the video and select in and out points for your edits.

The in-point button, or how you tell Premiere where you want to start the edited clip, is the second button from the left. The out-point button is next to it.

So now go through your first video and find the first clip you want. At the beginning of that clip, mark an in point and at the end mark an out point. Once they are set, you can drag your clip down to the timeline. When you drag it down it should snap to the very beginning of the timeline.

Repeat the process until you bring all your clips down on to the timeline. As you put them on the timeline, you should notice that video appears in the program monitor. If you hit play in the program monitor window, you can see what your final project will look like.

Step 3: Export video. Once you bring all your clips down to the timeline and have them in the order you want, you can export the video. Go to: File > Export > Media. A popup window will appear. Most of the time you could just select “Match sequence settings,” but we want to compress the file a bit to make it smaller and more manageable. Specifically, we are going to make our file 720p HD and in a codex that works well with YouTube.

To do this, make sure that “H.264” is selected in the top box. Then in the second box, choose “YouTube 720p HD.” After that you should just have to hit “Export.”



Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of Land Grant Films (@LandGrantFilms) at the University of Tennessee.

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Nick Geidner

Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of Land Grant Films (@LandGrantFilms) at the University of Tennessee.