Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Trimming Edits

Even with clips in the Timeline, you can still adjust the In and Out points for purposes of pacing and rhythm. This sort of fine-tuning of the edits is known as Trimming. 

Trimming edits also depends on how much media you have in the clip. In the region outside of the In and Out points, the "handles" of a clip denote the available media. Changing the length of a clip means either stretching or compressing the In and Out points. The amount you can stretch a clip depends on how much available media there is in the handles. 

There are several options, or tools you can use for trimming edits. But first, learn how to see what you're doing better. 

To zoom in and out of the Timeline:
Control plus + (plus sign) > zooms in
Control plus - (minus sign) > zooms out

To expand video and audio clips use the following
Command plus + > expands the video
Option plus + > expands the audio

Below is an illustration of the clips as they might normally appear.

Expanding the video portion of the clips will also reveal thumbnail images of the clip

Finally, expanding the audio portion of the clips will reveal audio waveforms to help you "see" the audio that's in the clip (useful when you need to edit and fine-tune audio levels. 

To restore the clips to their normal size

Command plus - (minus sign) - restores the video
Option plus - (minus sign) - restores the audio

Now that you can control the size of clips in the Timeline, you can begin some finessing on your edits! In this section you will get to know the Tool Palette. Hover your pointer on any of these tools to identify what they are. This section won't go over all of them, but just the basics for now. 

Selection Tool
Most of the editing is done using the Selection tool. It's the arrow tool that you can use to grab clips, drag them to the Timeline, move them around, grab playheads, etc. If you select another tool from the palette and want the Selection tool back, use the shortcut key, V. Pressing V will always get you the Selection Tool.

  • To select just the video portion of a clip - Option + click on the video portion
  • To select just the audio portion of a clip - Option + click on the audio portion
  • To select multiple clips, hold down the Shift key while clicking the clips you desire. Shift-click a clip again to remove it from your selection
  • To select multiple adjacent clips, click and draw out a marquee to surround the clips, which will highlight them

Drag Tool
The Drag Tool is simply an extension of the Selection Tool - only when you move the selection tool on an edit point does it become a Drag Tool. If you want to simply make clips longer or shorter, place the Selection tool at the beginning or end of a clip - the arrow pointer becomes a red bracket with an arrow that faces towards the inside of a clip. Then drag the edge of the clip to extend or shorten it. Unfortunately, when you need to stretch a clip, the drag tool won't work on a clip that is connected to another - unless you can move the other clip out of the way first. Such a task is not only cumbersome, but it risks shifting other clips that you didn't want to touch. Fortunately, there's another option.

Razor Blade Tool
Change the Selection tool to a Razor Blade - go to the tool palette and click on the icon that looks like a razor blade. Then click on the clip to make a cut, highlight the part of the clip that you don't want and press Delete. The one hazard with this method is that it leaves gaps between clips. Either you drag and snap the clips back together or you can highlight the gap, then press Delete, which removes the gap and shifts the clips back in place. You can even right-click in the clip and press Delete - a method known as Ripple Delete. Unfortunately, this method may be terribly inefficient when you are faced with loads of trimming. Fortunately, there's an easier way.

Lift Edits
After using the razor blade tool you can highlight the clip you want to delete. But instead of just pressing delete, use Option + Delete (also known as a Ripple Delete). This method will remove the clip and also delete the gap at the same time. 

Ripple Tool
Perhaps the most useful of all your edit tools is the Ripple, or shortcut key B. It also looks like the Drag Tool, but is yellow. When you select the Ripple tool, place it on the inside edge at the beginning or end of a clip. To trim the In-Point of a clip, you're basically performing what is called a Ripple Incoming edit; to change the Out-point, the edit is known as a Ripple Outgoing. The benefit of a Ripple is that you can apply it and stretch or compress clips even if they are attached to others in the Timeline. If you compress a clip, the gap will be automatically filled. One thing to keep in mind - using the Ripple tool changes the length of a clip and, therefore, the length of the entire sequence. 

Roll Tool
This tool simply moves, or rolls, the entire edit point. On an edit point between two clips, changing the outgoing of one clip changes the incoming of the other. Both clips are changed by the same amount, so the net effect on the length of the sequence doesn't change. 

Split Edits - J- and L-cuts
This is a term applied when you split the video from the audio, resulting in what is known as either a J-cut or an L-cut. You've seen these cuts many times and probably didn't realise it. A J-cut occurs when the audio of the next clip precedes the video portion; in an L-cut, the video changes, but the audio remains the same. J-cuts are probably the most common because they tend to make edits that are seamless. To achieve a J-cut, you're performing basically a Roll edit. 
  • Select the Roll tool
  • Hold the Option key down and click on the edit point of the video portion between the two clips
  • Roll the edit point to the right a few frames, or even a second, so that the audio precedes its video