Premiere Pro Basics for Absolute Beginners



 Premiere Pro is a professional application that appeals both to amateurs and professionals alike. Under the hood are hidden numerous capabilities, so to master it takes a lot of time and dedication. However, because it's so well designed the learning curve is very short. In this tutorial, we will cover the basics, from the scope of the user that wants to build a solid foundation as quickly as possible without neglecting the important parts for the sake of speed.

 Instead of trying to explain everything you see, we will simplify the whole process and build upon that. This is a more in-depth guide for the video above so before going further, I advise you to watch the embedded video.

Three steps...

 Editing is, in it's simplest form, a three-step process. You import your footage, you edit it and then you export your video and you are ready to upload it to YouTube or share it on Instagram. Let's see, a typical workflow, from start to finish. We will see how to create folders, what is a work space and why you should make your own right away. Also, we see some of the functions of each window we will use and how to make a simple edit. Finally, we will see how we export our video.

 The right way to archive your folders

  Without going into many details, I will make a short description of why and how you should organize your footage. When I want to transfer my footage from my DSLR to the computer I go, to my second hard drive where I keep my projects. This master folder is called Vault (yes, I am a Fallout fan). Then, I choose the year 2018 for example and inside that folder, I have all the projects of 2018.

 Then, I make a folder for my Project. The way I name it is writing first the year, then the month, the day and the name of the Project (yyyy-mm-dd Name of the Project). That way I name all my folders both in photography and video. If you ever, want to go back to an older Project, with that way you will be done in seconds.

 Inside each file, I have, some subfolders to further organize my project. One file is called Project, where I keep my files from Premiere or any other program I used to make the video, like After Effects, Audition etc.

Another folder named Captures is where I keep, my raw footage. Only the video files, I have separate folders for other types of files.

Finally, I have a file called Export where I save every version of my video. If I use music, or graphics file I make another folder called Assets.

 This is just an example and you can fit it into your needs. If you start this way, your workflow will be efficient, and you won't waste valuable time to search things.


 In the video, we created our own workspace right before even importing any footage. Usually, they don't teach something like that to a complete beginner who just wants to make an edit, however, this is essential not only for learning what is a workspace but to learn Premiere Pro much faster.

 So Workspace is an arrangement of windows and functions specifically organized to enhance your productivity. For example, a workspace more suitable for editing, another for color correction and so forth. Premiere Pro comes with some defaults workspaces that you can customize.

 We choose for this tutorial editing and we start from there. To choose a workspace you go Window>Workspace>Editing. In the first part of this tutorial, we removed everything and we left with a workspace suitable for our needs and our knowledge. We'll talk for each one later. To save a workspace you go Window>Workspace>Save as a New Workspace.

Import Window

 Import window is your library. Here, you gather all your files. To import you double-click inside and you browse through your explorer to find the files you need. On the bottom left of this window, we have the list view button, icon view button where you see your files as thumbnails and a zoom scroll. To the right, we have a very important button. It's the folder button which is called bin. A bin is a regular folder. When files start to pile up, it's good to have those folders and keep things organized.

Source Window

 We added Source to the second Part of our video. Source is an important window and is tied to Import window. Here we can preview every file that is inside Import. Most important however is the ability to use Mark In/Mark out. Another essential technique that should become second nature to you as fast as possible. Instead of dragging in your timeline lengthy videos that you only need a portion of them, you can make you rough cut in Source window.

Simply Press (I) to Mark In and (O) to Mark out. This way when you drag your video to the timeline only the video between those two points we be placed inside the Timeline.

Timeline Window

 The Timeline window is where all the work is done. The basics of the Timeline is that you have your Time Ruler on the top and a needle called Playhead that moves along the timeline.

 On the bottom you have some slots called tracks. These tracks are divided between Video and Audio. You can add and remove tracks based on the complexity of your Project.Each track has some functions. You can mute the track, you can turn off output and so on.

 There are also the Snap and Linked Selection buttons. Snap makes it easy to snap, one video next to each other without the fear of overlapping and losing footage and Linked Selection to lock or unlock a video track with it's audio track.

Program Window

 Program window is the monitor of the timeline. Here you see your editing process and all the changes you have made. If you have two screens you can transfer this window to the second screen and have extra space.


To edit your video you simply drag and drop your footage from the Import window inside the timeline. To make a cut select the Razor tool and cut where you need. With this simple tool you can do any edit.


To export your file you go to File>Export>Media. A window appears with many choices. You can choose the type of the file you want to export, the name, the location, quality and so on. Exporting times vary based on the footage you are working with and you compute.

That was the basics, of Premiere Pro, don't forget to check the blog for more useful tutorials.