Premiere Pro CC 101 Part 3: Keyboard Settings

By Kevin P. McAuliffe (doddleNEWS) In part two of our look at getting ready to edit in Premiere Pro CC, we covered the Memory Preference, as well as creating your first sequence. Part 1 was about standard preferences. Before we start editing, let’s take a look at setting up our Keyboard Settings.

After setting your preferences, the next place you need to head over to is, of course, your Keyboard Shortcuts. Your Preferences and Keyboard Shortcuts are essentially at the core of your workflow. They handle how your system will perform, and how you will handle the system once it IS performing properly. Finding your Keyboard Shortcuts is actually quite simple. If you remember from the last article, we found our Premiere Pro Preferences in the “Premiere Pro” drop down, on the top tool bar. Well, the Keyboard Shortcuts (KS), are right below the Preferences.

Your Keyboard Shortcuts

For anyone switching from another Non-Linear Editing application (NLE), you’ll notice that you have a dropdown right at the top of the window called Keyboard Layout Preset. Now, this dropdown is not just a way for you to save different keyboard presets to use on your current system, or another system you might be working on for freelance work, but it’s also a great way to quickly get access to an Avid Media Composer/Final Cut Pro 7, or a Premiere Pro CS6 keyboard layout. This way, you are in a comfortable editing environment, with keyboard shortcuts similar to what you had in your previous editing application.

Ideal Keyboard Shortcuts based on your former NLE

Now, finding a shortcut, and applying it to a keystroke is very simple. Some people will want to scroll through all the presets, and try to find the one they want. For me, that takes WAY too long. I prefer to simply use the search feature located below the preset drop down. Let’s use Match Frame as the shortcut that we want to find. We just simply enter it into the seach box, and, as you can see, Premiere has told us that “F” is the keyboard shortcut for Match Frame.

Searching for a Keyboard Shortcut

Now, if I wanted to change the shortcut to something else, let’s says “Shift+Option+F”, then all I need to do is to simply click on the current shorcut (which is “F”), and then simply punch in what I want the new shortcut to be.

Changing your Keyboard Shortcut

Now, that brings up an interesting question… Should you change the standard keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro CC? My answer to that is, in most cases, no, and here’s a simple reason why: If you’re working on Premiere Pro CC in the comfort of your own home, or home office, by all means, go crazy, and change your KS to whatever you want. If you’re a freelancer, the goal when you go to a gig is not to spend any time setting up your keyboard shortcuts. You should be able to just sit down, and start editing right away. Murphy’s Law says that the one time you forget your KS at home, or get locked out of your e-mail and can’t download them, an important client will be sitting next to you in the edit suite.  If you leave the keyboard shortcuts the same as the standard Premiere Pro CC shortcuts, no matter what happens, you’ll always be up and running lightning quick!

Kevin P. McAuliffe is one of the Senior Editors at Extreme Reach MIJO in Toronto, Canada. His current clients include Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and E1 Entertainment to name a few.  You can send him an e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter @kpmcauliffe.

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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