Premiere Pro is an advanced tool but also a very accessible tool. You can do all your edits using the Razor Tool. However, when things start to pile up or you have a deadline things can get very frustrating and daunting. Even if you are a complete beginner, don't skip this tutorial. See how easy it is to implement these tips into your workflow.
To have a smooth and easy editing process you need to spend more time using your keyboard and less time using your mouse. For that, you need to access the keyboard layout. Go Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts. To keep things simple we need to focus only on two sections. The first section is the search bar. There you can type the name of the command or tool you want to find. Let's see some of the functions that I think are essential and then I will tell you how to save your own Keyboard Layout Preset.
1) Add Edit (CTRL+K) or (Command+K)
This is the most important change you can make. You may know that the shortcut to the Razor tool is (C), however that way you only select the tool. You still need the mouse to do the cuts. What are looking for is Add Edit. The default version is a combination of two keys. I changed that to a single stroke, to be more specific to the letter X.
2) Select Clip at Playhead (D)
After I discovered the Add Edit command I was quicker but something was missing. What was missing was the Select Clip at Playhead. Rather than choosing clips with the mouse, you can use the shortcut on the keyboard. While being a single stroke shortcut I assigned to it the Z key.
3) Clear (Delete)
With you clip selected now you can delete it. How you do that? By pressing the Delete key. This keystroke makes sense to be the delete button, however, there is a downside to it. Especially on a desktop keyboard, Delete key is very far away for such an often used command and also you have to use your right hand. So I prefer to use the letter D for this function.
4) Ripple Delete (Command+Delete)
This is an essential change and important command to know. Ripple Delete is essential for your workflow. Instead of Clear command that leaves a gap when you delete a track, it eliminates the gap by snapping the tracks together. If you are a beginner this will save you time and frustration. I replaced the initial shortcut with a single keystroke with the later C.
5) Mark In/Out (I)/(O)
Another important command is Mark In/Out. Most of the time our video has many parts that are useless. If you drag them to your timeline to do the cuts you will make a mess eventually. Instead, choose the useful parts right from the Source Monitor. Pressing (I) inserts a starting point of the video and O an ending point. Now if you drag the video from the Source video to your timeline only the part that was marked will be imported.
6) Insert/Overwrite (,) (.)
A complimentary command from the Mark In/Out is the Insert/Overwrite command. Rather than using your mouse to drag your selection, you can use the keyboard again. These two keys are located next to M key on the keyboard. The selected track will be inserted where your playhead is on your timeline.
7)Shuttle Left/ Right Pause J, K, L
This is a real saver and you can use the shame shortcuts also on youtube. J rolls the footage back K pauses and L goes forward. The more times you hit the faster it goes. If you go forward and you press too many time the L (fast forward) you can lower the speed by pressing the opposite button in this case the J (fast backward). Great to view your footage quickly.
8) The \
A great shortcut that is useful to get a quick look of your whole timeline without the need to zoom out. A single stroke zooms again to the point you were.
9) Maximize or Restore Active Frame (`)
In this case, I kept the shortcut but I change the function slightly. The default function that this shortcut is assigned to is Maximize or Restore Frame Under Cursor. We don't want the mouse in our way so the function Maximize or Restore Active Frame is more suited towards our goal.
10)Step Back 1 frame
If you want to be more precise you can hit the left and right arrows to move your head one step at the time. Quite obvious, but I state it in case you don't know.
Adobe Premiere is windows sensitive with its shortcuts. That means that specific shortcuts work when you are in a specific window. Rather than again dragging your mouse, assigning to each window a shortcut. The default is shift+ a number. In my case, it was more convenient to omit any modifier in this case Shift and make it a single stroke. I assigned the numbers of my keyboard to each window. Very useful to jump back and forth between windows.
That's the most basic commands I use most of the time. I strongly recommend even if you are a beginner that as soon you use a certain command a lot to find the name of this command and change it to your preference. You can always switch back to the original layout if you want to. Don't forget to save your changes as a preset. More info for this will be cover in a future video.