Most editors like to trim directly in the Timeline. Using tools and common techniques, it’s the easiest and one of the fastest ways to trim edits. This article shows you how to trim (ripple and roll edit) in the Timeline using keyboard shortcuts and other techniques in Premiere Pro CS6. Trimming clips without grabbing for the mouse repeatedly will definitely speed up your workflow.
For a detailed explanation of trimming in the Timeline using Premiere Pro CS6, including ripple and roll edits, see this Help article.
Timeline trimming is different in Premiere Pro CS6
Trimming in the Timeline in Premiere Pro CS6 is different than previous versions of Premiere Pro. In Premiere Pro CS6, edit points are selected and then trimmed using trim tools and keyboard shortcuts. In Premiere Pro CS5.5, and earlier, edit points did not need to be selected first, however, there were few keyboard shortcuts for trimming. Trimming was mouse-centric prior to Premiere Pro CS6.
Editors coming from other editing applications will find familiar techniques, but also more helpful keyboard shortcuts for Timeline trimming (like Ripple Trim to Playhead), that were formerly missing in programs, like Final Cut Pro.
Selecting edit points
You select edit points for clips in the Timeline prior to trimming using keyboard shortcuts. Though you can select edit points with the selection tool, or a trim tool using the mouse, you can also do so very quickly by using keyboard shortcuts. You know when an edit point is selected when the following occurs:
- A thin red cursor is visible on the In or Out Point, representing a Trim In or Trim out selection.
- A thin yellow cursor is visible on the In or Out Point, representing a Ripple Trim In or a Ripple Trim Out selection.
- A thick red cursor is visible on the In and Out Points, representing a Roll selection.
Keyboard shortcuts for edit point selection
- Use the following “Select Nearest Edit Point” keyboard shortcuts to select an edit point:
- Select Nearest Edit Point as Ripple In
- Select Nearest Edit Point as Ripple Out
- Select Nearest Edit Point as Roll
- Select Nearest Edit Point as Trim In
- Select Nearest Edit Point as Trim Out
- Go to Next Edit Point (with edit points remaining selected): Down key
- Go to Previous Edit Point (with edit points remaining selected): Up key
Note: You will need to create custom keyboard shortcuts to use most of these keyboard shortcuts.
When using these shortcuts, if the playhead is not already at an edit point, it is moved to the nearest edit point either forward or backward. Then the edit points at the playhead on all targeted tracks are added to the current edit point selection, using the type of trim for the particular shortcut. You can use the menu item (or shortcut) for Edit > Deselect All to deselect edit points before using these shortcuts to start a new selection.
Toggle Trim Type
If an edit point is selected with the wrong trim type, you can toggle between the types of trims in the current edit point selection with a keyboard shortcut. Press Shift+T (Windows), or Ctrl+T (Mac OS) to cycle. The cycling order is Ripple Out, Ripple In, Trim Out, Trim In, and Roll Edit.
Performing a Timeline trim using keyboard shortcuts or numeric keypad entry
Once edit points are selected, trims using keyboard shortcuts can be performed in the Timeline two ways:
- Keyboard shortcuts can be used to trim selected edit points to the right or the left by one or more frames.
- Type frame amounts the numeric keypad with “+” and “‐” and the Enter key to trim all the selected edit points forward, or backward. You do not need to type the “+” sign when entering positive numbers.
Trim with keyboard shortcuts
The following keyboard shortcuts perform a trim whenever and edit is selected. If the full amount of the trim cannot be performed, the allowable amount is used and a tool tip indicates that the trim is blocked or limited by media or minimum duration. As you use keyboard shortcuts to trim in the Timeline, the frame will update in the Program Monitor at the position of the playhead. The Timeline view updates, as well.
- Trim Backward and Trim Forward: Moves the edit points by one frame in the specified direction (left for backward, and right for forward). Press Ctrl + Left or Right (Windows), or Option + Left or Right (Mac OS).
- Trim Backward Many and Trim Forward Many: Moves the edit points by five frames, or some other number of frames which is settable in the large trim offset preference. Press Ctrl + Shift + Left or Right (Windows), or Option + Shift + Left or Right (Mac OS).
- Extend Selected Edit to Playhead: Moves the selected edit point which is nearest the playhead to the position of the playhead, much like a rolling edit. For an extend edit, press E.
- Ripple Trim Previous Edit to Playhead and Ripple Trim Next Edit to Playhead: Ripple trims the previous or next edit point to the Playhead. Sometimes called “Top and Tails.”
- Trim In Point to Playhead and Trim Out Point to Playhead: Trims the In or Out Point to the Playhead. This method of trimming leaves a gap behind and does not need edit points to be selected.
Trim with numeric keypad entry
You can specify a numeric offset using the numeric keypad whenever there is an active edit point selection. When the Timeline is active, the current timecode indicator on the left becomes a text box that shows the numbers that are typed on the numeric keypad. The “+” key moves the trim forward to the right, increasing in time. The “‐” key moves the trim backward to the left, decreasing in time. The numeric offset is typically a small number of frames, so any number from 1 to 99 is treated as frames. If you want to specify a timecode, then use the numeric period key “.” to separate the minute:second:frame parts for timecode entry. Press the numeric keypad Enter key to perform the trim using all of the currently selected edit points.
This video from reTooled.net shows trimming with numeric keypad entry (near the beginning of the video).
Slip and Slide edits in the Timeline using keyboard shortcuts
To many editors, a slip or slide edit is basically a trimming maneuver. Many editors create slip and slide edits by simply dragging with the slip and slide tools directly in the Timeline. That’s fine, but there are ways to make a slip or slide edit by using keyboard shortcuts. Just select the clip, and then press the following keyboard shortcuts:
- To slip an edit to the right by one frame, press Ctrl + Alt + Right (Windows) or press Option + Command + Right (Mac OS)
- To slip an edit to the right by five frames, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Right (Windows) or press Option + Shift + Command + Right (Mac OS)
- To slip an edit to the left by one frame, press Ctrl + Alt + Left (Windows) or press Option + Command + Left (Mac OS)
- To slip an edit to the left by five frames, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left (Windows) or press Option + Shift + Command + Left (Mac OS)
- To slide an edit to the right by one frame, press (Windows) or press Option + . (period) (Mac OS)
- To slide an edit to the right by five frames, press (Windows) or press Option + Shift + . (period) (Mac OS)
- To slide an edit to the left by one frame, press (Windows) or press Option + , (comma) (Mac OS)
- To slide an edit to the left by five frames, press (Windows) or press Option + Shift + , (comma) (Mac OS)
Though you will speed up trimming by using keyboard shortcuts alone, there are certain times you may want to use the mouse for edit point selection and trimming. Of course, dragging with the mouse using a Ripple Edit tool or the Rolling Edit tool will perform a trim based on those tools. Here are some tips for using the mouse while trimming in the Timeline.
- With the mouse, you can select any edit with a trim tool, and then trim by entering a frame offset with the numeric keypad, or by using keyboard shortcuts for trimming frame by frame or by large trim offset.
- With the mouse, you can Shift select multiple edit points, and then trim by entering a frame offset with the numeric keypad, or by using keyboard shortcuts for trimming frame by frame or by large trim offset.
- Right click (Windows) or Control click (Mac OS) any edit point with the mouse and you’ll have the following options:
- Ripple Trim In
- Ripple Trim Out
- Roll Edit
- Trim In
- Trim Out
- Apply Default Transitions
- With the mouse, press the Shift key to select
After making a trim in the Timeline, you can watch it play back before committing to the edit and moving on to the next task. Many editors simply click the Playhead and drag it back, then press Play to evaluate the edit. This is fine, but too slow and cumbersome, in my opinion. I was taught to call this technique, “loop before you leave!” I play while looping around the new edit point a few times to ensure the timing and rhythm feel right. When working in trim mode, the edit loops automatically. You really do want to have this capability in the Timeline, as well. Here are some tips to monitor your edits after you’ve made a trim.
- Set In and Out points around your edit so that you can use Play In to Out, or press Ctrl + Shift + Space (Windows), or press Option + K (Mac OS).
- If you don’t want to set In and Out points, park the Playhead on the edit and then use the Play Around command, or press Shift + K.
- Click the “Loop” button so you can see your edit play back a few times. You can find the command in the panel menu. You can also set a custom keyboard shortcut for Loop in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog.
Spend some time creating and experimenting with keyboard shortcuts for trimming. Also, try trimming without using the mouse at all. With enough practice and repetition, you’ll be speeding up your trimming workflow like nobody’s business!