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Editing Fundamentals in Premiere

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Dennis Chominsky helps you get a firm grasp of the simple topics in Premiere in order to advance yourself to exceptional mastering of the program. Follow his steps, and you will be on your way to becoming a top editor.

This chapter should be the quickest and simplest, yet one of the most important. Getting your footage into and out of Premiere is crucial, but knowing what to do with it and how to manipulate it after it is in Premiere is just as important. This chapter covers the theory behind nonlinear editing systems, even beyond Premiere. Streamlined nonlinear editing systems have an advantage. You can feel comfortable jumping onto any other nonlinear system and being able to figure out how it works within a reasonable amount of time (sure, you'll need to learn where it hides everything, but the overall concepts are still the same). In essence, Premiere, like its competitors, allows you to select the portions of the clips you have already digitized into the system and piece them together in the timeline to produce your final edited program. Although this chapter covers some fairly basic topics, not having your skills perfected can really hinder your editing style and limit the quality of your productions. Take a moment to make sure you are comfortable with all the topics covered in this chapter.

Working with the Workspace

Efficiency is the key to improving your technique. Premiere allows you to set up whichever windows and tools you want to be visible (or hidden), depending on the editing task you are performing. This configuration of windows is called the workspace. Creating these customizable workspaces allows you to quickly access the windows necessary for specific tasks while hiding windows that are unnecessary at the current time, thus saving you a tremendous amount of time. For tasks you perform regularly, such as digitizing, editing, audio mixing, and applying effects, creating an individual workspace for each of these tasks allows you to open all the necessary windows and tools you prefer to have open (and closing unnecessary windows to avoid cluttering up the screen), all with one click of the mouse. Now that's efficiency at its best! Utilizing these types of techniques is what separates the professional editor from the novice.

You can select one of Premiere's default workspaces:

  • Single-track editing
  • A/B editing
  • Effects
  • Audio

To create a custom workspace, do the following:

  1. Open or close the necessary windows, leaving only the ones you want displayed.

  2. Position the windows where you would like them to appear.

  3. Select Window > Workspace.

  4. Select Save Workspace from the pop-up menu. The Save Workspace window appears.

  5. Type the name of how you want to refer to the current window layout on your screen. Try to use descriptive names so that you can easily identify and distinguish between the various workspaces.

  6. Click OK.

You can switch between workspace settings. Simply select one of the workspace names that appears under Window > Workspace. As soon as you release the mouse button, you should see the windows rearrange themselves onscreen to the positions they were in when saved. Select Delete Workspace to remove any of the custom workspace environments you create.


To toggle between Premiere's default workspaces, Shift-click the F9 through F12 keys on your keyboard.

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