Keyboard shortcuts

Most applications reserve keyboard shortcuts for the functions that use most often. It is really good to learn all of these as it will speed up your editing and additionally alert you to functions that the software developers and other users find important. (You can learn much about the software by looking at keyboard shortcuts).

Find the keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Premiere and note two or more functions that you’ve never used before that may be invaluable to editing.

I’m not going to include this in the “two or more functions” I’m supposed to note because I’ve used it before, but I just have to get it out of the way because it is the most crucial.

The number one, absolute most important shortcut ever is CMD+S. SAVE YOUR WORK. ALL THE TIME. EVERY MINUTE. EVERY SECOND. And if possible, save it onto your hard drive because RMIT’s server is packed and can lag sometimes. Two weeks ago I was working on a radio documentary in Premiere and just when I was finished, Premiere froze. I couldn’t retrieve a backup and the edits I slaved over for hours were gone. Trust me; abuse that CMD+S shortcut because it will save you a lot of time and a lot of tears.

Now, onto the “two or more functions” I’ve never used but are now essential to my shortcut arsenal. I use the following functions the most, so shortcuts really expedites the editing process (and makes me feel like a pro!):

  1. Mark In (I) and Mark Out (O)
    The (I) and (O) shortcuts are used for marking the first and last frames you want in a certain clip. When I first used Premiere during Broadcast Media, I didn’t know of marking. I did the editing in a—on hindsight—very menial way; dump an entire clip into the sequence and shave off the bits I didn’t want. Learning how to mark using the (I) and (O) shortcuts in the past few weeks has streamlined my workflow and enabled me to make fast and accurate edits.
  2. Zoom In (+ or Z) and Zoom Out (-)
    When you’re editing, every second in the clip seems to matter, so precision editing is very important. For that, you’ll need to zoom in quite often on the clip to make sure your edits hit the mark. Sometimes, when the sequence is zoomed out, it may be difficult to spot errors, e.g. a split second of black ‘gap’ between two clips which wasn’t meant to be there. Zooming in while editing helps minimise and correct these mistakes.
  3. Snap (S)
    I usually leave the ‘Snap’ function on, but sometimes when I accidentally turn it off, it’s useful to just click (S) to have it back on again. ‘Snap’ is so crucial to the editing process. Before Film-TV 1, I had no idea what ‘Snap’ was even though I was using Premiere and was aware of this strange, magnetic force that would align clips together. There were periods of time when I would be editing and the ‘Snap’ function would be disabled and I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. It frustrated me because that “strange, magnetic force” was so useful and I honestly couldn’t edit properly without it. Now that I know it’s called the ‘Snap’ function with the shortcut (S), I can turn it on and off as and when I like.
  4. Undo (CMD+Z)
    The CMD+Z shortcut isn’t new to me – I have used this because CMD+Z is the shortcut for ‘undo’ in many programs (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator) but I find this vital. You make tons of little mistakes during editing, like cutting a scene too short or adjusting the gain too high/low, so the CMD+Z shortcut takes the time out of scrolling to ‘Edit’ and clicking ‘Undo’ time and again.
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