Adobe Creative Cloud

An Intro to the Premiere Pro Workspace

So you sent your Premiere Clip video to Premiere Pro for further refining… now what?!

If you’re new to NLEs (non-linear editing systems), opening up a pro editing app for the first time has the potential to be overwhelming. Never fear – we’re here to help you get your feet wet and share how you can take advantage of the full power of Premiere Pro in your next editing project.

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First off, an intro to the workspace. In Premiere Pro, you can toggle between workspaces specifically designed for Assembly, Editing, Color, Effects, or Audio. Once you get more comfortable you can even design and save your own custom workspaces!  In the screen grab below, we’re looking at the Editing workspace as it is natively set up. You can also rearrange your windows in the way that makes the most sense for you.


Let’s start at the top left and go clockwise.

The Source Monitor is the monitor on the left-hand side of your screen. Reviewing footage is the first step of building a sequence, and the source monitor is where you can preview footage from the project panel before using it in your timeline, or refer back to the source media of a clip you have already incorporated into your sequence. In this same window, you can also tab over to the effect controls, and adjust the settings for any effect you have applied. Just make sure that you have the clip selected on the timeline, with the playhead positioned over it so you can preview your changes in the program monitor. Hit the F key to Match Frame where your playhead is on the timeline with the source monitor.


The Program Monitor is the monitor on the right-hand side of your screen. Think of it as your canvas — it shows the media you have on the timeline and what you are working on in your sequence. The program monitor is where you can preview and play back your sequence with all of your edits, effects, and soundtracks.


The timeline is where the magic happens. This is where you will assemble your clips to create your story. You have multiple layers of video and audio available to you. Whatever is on top is what will be visible. The playhead is the thin vertical line, sometimes called the CTI (Current Time Indicator) because it shows where you are in your sequence. You can press the spacebar to play through you sequence, click & drag the playhead to scrub through your timeline, or use the arrow keys on your keyboard to advance one frame at a time. You can also position the playhead as a way to make cuts or insert footage.


In this view, your tools are located just to the left of the timeline. You can use a razor tool to make a cut at a specific frame, the selection tool to move clips around, the pen tool to make keyframes and adjust the opacity of your video clip or the volume of the sound. You can choose to ripple, roll, slip, or slide your edits. Head over here for a list of hotkeys to toggle between tools & workspaces like a pro.


The window on the lower left houses the Project Panel, Media Browser, Effects and more. You can toggle between what you are working on by clicking the tab at the top of this window. The Project Panel shows you the list of media and sequences associated with the project you are currently working on, as well as some metadata about them (duration, format, etc.). A double click on an audio or video clip in the Project Panel will send it up to the Source Monitor on the upper left. The Media Browser is a way to import files to your project. NLEs don’t actually copy the files you’re working with into the project – they create a “map” of where to find the media on your hard drive. You can preview your clips in the Media Browser before importing them into your project. Effects, including color correction, warp stabilizer, video & audio transitions can be found in the effects tab. Simply choose the effect you want and drag & drop it on a clip on the timeline to apply it.

The great thing about editing software is that there are a lot of ways to do things – as you get more familiar with the workspace, you will find your favorite way to organize your project, use tools, and get to cutting.

Visit the Premiere Pro Learn & Support pages for tutorials, overviews, and help getting started.


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