Home / Articles / Adobe Premiere Pro / Organizing Your Content in Adobe Premiere Elements 12

Organizing Your Content in Adobe Premiere Elements 12

Chapter Description

Fast and efficient movie production requires organization before and during the edit. When you’re working with content from multiple sources and dates, Adobe Organizer is a very powerful tool for categorizing content and quickly finding video, audio clips, and pictures to use in your projects.

Tagging in the Organizer

The Project Assets panel is great for quickly finding clips, but the Organizer is the best tool in Adobe Premiere Elements for serious organization and search-and-retrieval work. You can open the Organizer by clicking the Organizer icon (organizer.jpg) in Adobe Premiere Elements Action bar. In this exercise, you’ll learn how to perform manual tagging and Smart Tagging in the Organizer, and then how to search for clips using those tags in the Organizer.

Note that the contents of the Organizer will depend upon many circumstances, including which lessons you’ve performed, whether you’ve imported content into the Organizer from Photoshop Elements, and other factors. To make your Organizer look like the next figure, take the following steps:

  1. On the extreme lower left of the Organizer, click the Show icon (show.jpg), which reveals the folders on the upper left. (If Show is already selected, you’ll see the Hide icon in this location.) Click Folder 4, which opens just the contents from that folder in the Organizer. Make sure that you have the Media tab selected on the top to see what’s showing in the figure below.
  2. On the extreme lower right of the Organizer, click the Tags/Info icon (tagsinfo.jpg), which opens the Tags and Information panels on the right of the Organizer’s interface.
  3. Choose View > Media Types, and make sure Photos, Video, and Audio are all selected.
  4. Choose View > Details.
  5. Choose View > File Names.
  6. In the Sort By menu at the top of the Media browser, choose Name.

There are three ways that the Adobe Organizer helps you organize your clips: by categorizing them into People, Places, and Events; by giving them star ratings on a scale from 1 to 5; and by manually tagging them with keywords and via smart tags. We’ll give you a quick introduction to each technique, and then you’ll learn how to use them all.

In Adobe Premiere Elements 12, the Organizer’s interface has been optimized for three views, as shown on the top toolbar: People, Places, and Events. By associating your video clips with one or more of these categories, you can easily find all clips associated with a person, place, or event. We’ll demonstrate how to associate your clips with a place or an event, but not a person, primarily because face recognition—a great feature that the Organizer uses to automate the process of people tagging your still images—is not available for video.

The star ratings system allows you to review and rate all your clips on a scale from 1 to 5; you can later search for only those clips that you rated 4 or higher, for example—an easy way to find high-quality clips and/or eliminate poor-quality clips.

Keyword tagging allows you to tag a clip by person, location, event, or other classifications, and includes customizable categories.

When you run the Auto-Analyzer on a clip, Adobe Premiere Elements analyzes the video to detect scenes based on content, and rates the content qualitatively, a process known as Smart Tagging. This allows you to hunt for scenes that contain faces and identify scenes that are out of focus, shaky, underexposed, or overexposed. Using this qualitative data, Adobe Premiere Elements then categorizes all clips as high, medium, or low quality. This serves a valuable triage function that later helps you search for the best clips for your movie. This analysis is also used for features like Smart Trimming and Smart Fix, as discussed in Lesson 6.

For example, if you shot an hour of video on your last vacation, Smart Tagging allows you to identify medium-and-higher quality clips containing faces (presumably family members) and to produce a movie containing only these clips. What would literally take you hours to accomplish manually, Smart Tagging can produce in a few moments.

Using all these tags in any combination, you can hunt for clips to manually add to your projects, or you can create an InstantMovie, which is a professional-looking edited movie complete with titles, soundtrack, effects, and transitions. You’ll create an InstantMovie in the last exercise in this lesson.

Tagging clips to Places

The content we’re using in this book was shot in two different places: The still images are from New Orleans; the videos from Airboat Adventures in Lafitte, Louisiana.

You’ll use this content to create two Places in the Organizer—one for the videos, the other for the still images—and associate some content with each Place. Then, working from the Organizer’s Google Maps view, you can click a place and see all clips associated with that place.

  1. On the Organizer’s top toolbar, click Places (places.jpg).
  2. On the Organizer’s bottom toolbar, click Add Places (addplaces.jpg).
  3. In the Add Places Search field, type Lafitte Louisiana, and click Search. Note that if you were typing in a street address, you would type in the address as you would on an envelope. For example, if you shot video at the White House in Washington, DC, you could either type in The White House or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500.

  4. In the Organizer, click Lafitte, LA, USA.
  5. Hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac OS) and, in the media bar at the top of the Add Places dialog box, click all the videos associated with that location. This should total 17 videos: 16 Gator clips and Lesson4_Movie.mov.
  6. Release the Ctrl or Command key, and click the green checkmark. Adobe Premiere Elements will associate the selected content with that place.

  7. At the bottom right of the Add Places dialog box, click Done. The Organizer creates the place.

  8. Repeat the process for the images. Click Add Places again, type New Orleans in the Search field, and click the location that the Organizer finds. Hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac OS), select all the images, and then click the green checkmark. Click Done when you’re finished.

    You should now have at least two places identified and content associated with each. Let’s see how this will help you find your content for future projects.

    In the Organizer’s top toolbar, click Media (media.jpg) to exit Places view, and then click Places (places.jpg) to return to that view. If the map isn’t displayed on the right, click the Map icon (map.jpg) in the lower right corner of the Organizer window.

You may have to adjust the navigational and sizing controls on the upper left of the map, but you should be able to approximate the view shown above. Double-click either icon, and the Organizer will display the content from that location in the Media browser. Single-click the icon, and the Organizer will display all content, with the content from that location highlighted. If you hover your pointer over the blue icon in each video or still image, you’ll notice that it’s been tagged to the respective places.

Tagging clips to Events

The Organizer has a Smart Events feature that you can use to find content without any tagging on your part. To see this function in action, click Events (events.jpg), and then select Smart Events in the Events top toolbar. This shows all content grouped by date in the Media browser, which you can navigate through using the vertical scroll bar on the right. Or you can narrow your search by choosing a year, month, and/or day using the calendar.

Sometimes, however, you’ll want to manually organize clips into Events—perhaps because, like our trip to New Orleans, the event took place over multiple days. Or maybe you shot video and pictures at more than one event on a particular day and need to break them into multiple events, like a wedding ceremony and wedding reception. Here, we’ll manually create Events with the Adobe Organizer.

  1. Click Events (events.jpg) to enter Event view. Make sure Events is selected in the top toolbar, not Smart Events.
  2. On the Organizer’s bottom toolbar, click Add Event (addevent.jpg). The Add New Event dialog box appears on the right.
  3. Complete the information in the Add New Event dialog box:

    • In the Name field, type Trip to New Orleans.
    • Use the calendar controls to input a Start Date of 12/30/2012 and an End Date of 1/12/2013. It’s easiest if you choose the year first and then the date.
    • In the Description field, type New Year’s Celebration in New Orleans.
  4. Assuming that you still have Lesson04 selected in the panel on the left, all content in the Media Browser should relate to this trip. Click anywhere in the media window to select that window, and then press Ctrl+A (Windows) or Command+A (Mac OS) to select all the content in the Media browser, drag it into the window beneath the description, and release your pointer. The Organizer adds this content to the event.

  5. At the bottom right of the Add New Event dialog box, click Done. The Organizer creates the event.

    To find your content later on, in the Organizer’s top toolbar, click Media (media.jpg) to exit Events view, and then click Events (events.jpg) to return to that view. You should see the Trip to New Orleans event in the Media browser window. If you double-click it, the clips that you associated with the event will appear in the Media Browser. If you hover your pointer over the calendar icon for a particular clip in the Media browser, you’ll see the event with which it has been associated.

Working with star ratings

As mentioned earlier, star ratings allow you to manually rate your clips on a scale from 1 to 5 (left to right) and then search for clips based on those ratings.

  1. Click Media to return to Media view. If you don’t see the star ratings for your clips, choose View > Details from the Organizer main menu bar.
  2. Hover your pointer over the star ratings beneath any clip, and click the star that corresponds to the desired rating for that clip. Go ahead and rate a few clips. These are all five-star clips as far as I’m concerned, but go ahead and rate some across the board.
  3. To change a rating, use the same procedure, and choose a different rating.
  4. To delete the star rating, click the last selected star on the right (e.g., the fourth star in a clip rated four stars).
  5. To find clips based on their assigned ratings, click the number of target stars in the Ratings bar on the top right, and in the pull-down menu beneath the ratings, choose how to apply the rating. For example, in the figure below, we elected to show all clips with a four-star rating or higher.

  6. To stop sorting by star rating and show all clips in the Organizer, delete the star rating on the upper right by clicking the last selected star.

Working with keyword tags

Adobe Premiere Elements includes general categories of keyword tags that you can apply as is or customize with your own categories or subcategories. You can also supplement your entries in the People, Places, and Events tagging structure with manual keywords following this same procedure.

In this exercise, you’ll create and apply a custom keyword in the Organizer, and then search for clips based on that keyword. To ensure that you’re looking at the same content as appears in this book, make sure you’ve selected the Lesson04 folder in the My Folders section of the Albums And Folders panel on the left of the Organizer. See the first few steps of the earlier section “Tagging in the Organizer” to accomplish this.

  1. On the bottom right of the Organizer, click Tags/Info (tagsinfo.jpg) to open the Tags/Information panel.
  2. Below Keywords, click Other.

  3. Next to Keywords, click the Create New button (createnewbutton.jpg), and choose New Sub-Category.

  4. In the Create Sub-Category dialog box, type Boat Rides in the Sub-Category Name field. Then click OK.

    Adobe Premiere Elements creates the new subcategory.

  5. Click the blue tag next to Boat Rides, and drag it onto any of the videos in the Media browser. In this example, I’ve already applied the tag to Gator01.mp4 and Gator02.mp4 and am applying it to Gator03.mp4.

  6. To view the clips that you’ve just tagged, click the greater than icon (>) to the right of Boat Rides, which opens the Tagging Search window that shows Keywords on the upper left and the clips that you just tagged in the Media browser (you may have to click the Tags/Info toggle to expose those fields). This window shows all tags created via keywords as well as the People, Places, and Events that you’ve set up. You can select any options in any of these categories or combination of categories to include content from these sources in the Media Browser. You can even apply star ratings to further refine your search.

  7. In the upper left toolbar in the Tagging Search window, click the Back button (back.jpg) to close that search window.

About the Auto-Analyzer

As mentioned earlier, the Auto-Analyzer evaluates your video clips for content and quality, and is integral to a number of functions, including Smart Tagging, Smart Trimming, and creating InstantMovies (which you’ll learn to do later in this lesson). You can run the Auto-Analyzer manually or run it automatically as a background process. In fact, by default, any time your system is running and idle, the Auto-Analyzer will run on clips that you import, so when you’re ready to edit, you won’t have to wait for the Auto-Analyzer to run.

To control the Auto-Analyzer behavior, in the Organizer, choose Edit > Preferences > Media-Analysis (Windows) or Elements Organizer > Preferences > Media Analysis (Mac OS).

In most instances on most computers, background operation should work just fine. On older, less powerful computers, and those configured with the minimum RAM, background operation may cause a noticeable drag on foreground operations, particularly when you’re working with H.264-based, high-definition formats like AVCHD and video shot by DSLRs. If you notice any sluggishness in your foreground operations after importing footage or experience any system instability, try disabling the Auto-Analyzer as a background operation by deselecting Analyze Media For Smart Tags Automatically.

Running the Auto-Analyzer manually

We’ll manually run the Auto-Analyzer and apply Smart Tags to the project clips. Again, to ensure that you’re looking at the same content that appears in the book, make sure you’ve selected the Lesson04 folder in the My Folders section of the Albums And Folders panel on the left of the Organizer. See the first few steps of the earlier section “Tagging in the Organizer” to accomplish this.

  1. If the Organizer isn’t open, click the Organizer icon (organizer.jpg) on the Action bar. If it’s already open, press Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Tab to switch to the Organizer.
  2. Press Ctrl+A (Windows) or Command+A (Mac OS) to select all clips, and then right-click and choose Run Auto-Analyzer. This can take a while, so you might want to try one or two clips first.

  3. The Organizer starts analyzing the clips and displays a progress bar. The duration of the process will vary by clip length, clip format, and the speed of your computer. After completion, Adobe Premiere Elements will display a status message letting you know that the analysis is complete.

  4. In the Organizer, if necessary, press Ctrl+D (Windows) or Command+D (Mac OS) to display file details. A purple tag beneath the clip’s thumbnail indicates that Smart Tagging has been applied; hover your pointer over the tag to see which quality-related tags were applied.

  5. To remove a tag, right-click the tag in the Organizer, and choose Remove. Repeat as necessary for other tags.

Working with clips after Smart Tagging

Let’s take a moment to understand what happens to clips after Smart Tagging has occurred. To review, during Smart Tagging, Adobe Premiere Elements breaks the clip into different scenes based on content changes (as opposed to timecode, like DV files); finds different types of content, such as faces; and rates the quality of each clip based on factors like exposure, focus, and stability.

In the Organizer, you’ll know that the clip has been split into multiple scenes if there is a Step Forward icon (stepforward.jpg) to the right of the clip. Click that icon, and Adobe Premiere Elements displays all scenes separately in the Organizer, surrounded by a border that’s a different shade of gray from the rest of the Organizer. This lets you know that all the scenes are part of a single clip.

You should see separate scenes in the Gator12.mp4 clip, where the Organizer separated sections where the alligator was on land and then in the water. In the Organizer, you can treat each scene as a separate clip—for example, double-clicking it to play it in the preview window. You can consolidate all scenes back into a single frame by clicking the Step Backward icon to the right of the final scene (stepbackward.jpg).

5. From the Organizer to Adobe Premiere Elements | Next Section Previous Section

Adobe Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Adobe Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Adobe Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.adobepress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020