If you’re a video editor, the keyboard is your best friend. And, if it isn’t, it’s about to be.
Why? One word: Shortcuts (or hotkeys, for those in the know). These time-savers let you to navigate around Adobe Premiere Pro using only your keyboard, sending your editing workflow into light-speed.
In this article, we’re sharing the seven shortcuts the Vimeo video team uses day in and day out to get our work done. Let’s get started.
A good rule of thumb
First things first: If there’s a task you do manually more than three times a day, using the hotkey will save you time.
Learn the hotkeys on our list — or look up anything we haven’t covered in Premiere Preferences. Write them down, stick them on your desk, say them in the shower. Do what you need to do to commit them to memory.
Our favorite Premiere Pro shortcuts
We’ll be referring to the Adobe keyboard map in the shortcuts below. Also worth noting: Once you’ve opened Premiere Pro, all you have to do is tap the key. There’s no ⌘/ctrl needed, unless stated otherwise.
1. Rewind, pause, advance (J, K, L)
Rewind, pause, advance (J, K, L) make up your shuttle keys. Use J to reverse playback, K to pause, and L to play or fast-forward. (Pro tip: Tap J or L multiple times to adjust your speed.)
2. Match frame (F)
Match frame (F) takes you to the exact frame of the source clip your playhead is over. This is extremely handy if you want to quickly review the rest of a shot. Or if you deleted your audio for that shot and want to get it back within the same in and out points.
3. The track select forward tool (A)
The track select forward tool (A) selects every available clip on all tracks to the right of your arrow. When you’re working on long and complex timelines, this shortcut is vital for not having to zoom out and select the clips on either side of your edit. With the tap of the A key, you can make room for a new clip, or adjust the length of an existing one.
4. The slip tool (Y)
The slip tool (Y) hotkey is used for shifting footage within an in and out point. This shortcut is super helpful if you’re making adjustments to montages, music videos, and other quick-cut sequences where the imagery doesn’t need to match the action. If you want to leave an existing clip unmodified, press Y. Then, drag your new footage over and shift its start and end frame.
5. Snapping (S)
Snapping (S) is when you automatically snap clips together with no black space. You can find snapping in the magnet icon above your timeline. Pressing the S key turns it on or off. This is an especially good hotkey to know, since most people accidentally hit the snapping magnet while editing, but don’t know how to turn it back on.
6. Reverting your cursor (V)
Reverting your cursor (V) turns your cursor back to the standard arrow (a.k.a your selection tool). This is your “home base” in terms of cursors, making it a breeze to switch between tasks.
7. Saving your work (⌘S)
Saving your work (⌘S) should need no explanation, but it’s so essential that it bears repeating. The more you get into the rhythm of hitting ⌘S (Ctrl+S on a PC) after every adjustment, the less likely you are to lose hours of hard work. Save, save, save.