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Organizing Media in Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2014 release)

Chapter Description

In this lesson from Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book (2014 release), you’ll learn how to organize your clips using the Project panel, which is the heart of your project. You’ll create special folders, called bins, to divide your clips into categories. You’ll also learn about adding important metadata and labels to your clips.

The Project panel

Anything you import into your Adobe Premiere Pro CC project will appear in the Project panel. As well as giving you excellent tools for browsing your clips and working with their metadata, the Project panel has special folders, called bins, that you can use to organize everything.

Everything that appears in a sequence must be in the Project panel. If you delete a clip in the Project panel that is already used in a sequence, the clip will automatically be removed from the sequence. Premiere Pro will warn you if deleting a clip will affect an existing sequence.

As well as acting as the repository for all of your clips, the Project panel gives you important options for interpreting media. All of your footage will have a frame rate (frames per second, or fps) and a pixel aspect ratio (pixel shape), for example. You may want to change these settings for creative reasons.


You could, for example, interpret video recorded at 60fps video as 30fps to achieve a 50% slow-motion effect. You might also receive a video file that has the wrong pixel aspect ratio setting.

Premiere Pro uses metadata associated with footage to know how to play it back. If you want to change the clip metadata, you can do so in the Project panel.

Customizing the Project panel

It’s likely that you’ll want to resize the Project panel from time to time. You’ll alternate between looking at your clips as a list or as thumbnail icons. Sometimes it’s quicker to resize the panel than to scroll over to see more information.

The default Editing workspace is designed to keep the interface as clean as possible so you can focus on your creative work. Part of the Project panel that’s hidden from view, called the Preview Area, gives additional information about your clips.

Let’s take a look at it:

  1. Click the panel menu for the Project panel (at the top right).
  2. Choose Preview Area.


    The Preview Area shows you several kinds of useful information about a clip when you select it in the Project panel, including the frame size, pixel aspect ratio, and duration.

    If it is not already selected, click the List View button (view_button.jpg) at the bottom left of the Project panel. In this view you’ll find a lot of information about each clip in the Project panel, but you need to scroll horizontally to see it.

    The Preview Area gives you a mix of information about clips when you need it.

  3. Click the panel menu for the Project panel.
  4. Choose Preview Area to hide it.

Finding assets in the Project panel

Working with clips is a little like working with pieces of paper at your desk. If you have just one or two clips, it’s easy. But when you have one or two hundred, you need a system.

One way you can help make things smoother during the edit is to take a little time to organize your clips at the beginning. If you name your clips during capture or after importing them, it can help enormously. Even if you don’t give each clip its own name during capture from tape, you can give a name to each type of shot and let Premiere Pro add 01, 02, 03, and so on (see Lesson 3, “Importing Media”).

  1. Click the Name heading at the top of the Project panel. The items in the Project panel are displayed in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order each time you click the Name heading again.


    If you’re searching for several clips with particular features—such as a duration or a frame size—it can be helpful to change the order in which the headings are displayed.

  2. Scroll to the right until you can see the Media Duration heading in the Project panel. This shows the total duration of each clip’s media file.

  3. Click the Media Duration heading. Premiere Pro now displays the clips in order of media duration. Notice the direction arrow on the Media Duration heading. Each time you click the heading, the direction arrow toggles between showing clips in duration order or reverse duration order.

  4. Drag the Media Duration heading to the left until you see a blue divider between the Frame heading and the Name heading. When you release the mouse button, the Media Duration heading will be repositioned right next to the Name heading.

    The blue divider shows where you will drop the heading.

Find box

Premiere Pro has built-in search tools to help you find your media. Even if you’re using non-descriptive original clip names assigned in-camera, you can search for clips based on a number of factors, such as frame size or file type.


At the top of the Project panel, you can type in the Find box to display only clips with names or metadata that match the text you enter. This is a quick way of locating a clip if you remember its name (or even part of its name). Clips that don’t match the text you enter are hidden and clips that do match are revealed, even if they are inside a bin.

Try this now.

  1. Click in the Find box, and type the letters joh.

    Premiere Pro displays only clips with the letters “joh” in the name or in the metadata. Notice that the name of the project is displayed above the text entry box, along with “(filtered).”

  2. Click the X on the right of the Find box to clear your search.
  3. Type the letters psd in the box.

Premiere Pro displays only clips that have the letters “psd” in their name or metadata, along with all the project bins. In this case, it’s the Theft_Unexpected title you imported earlier as both a flattened image and a layered image—these are both Photoshop PSD files. Using the Find box in this way, you can search for particular types of files.


Searches can include clip dialogue if speech analysis has been performed (see “Organizing media with content analysis” later in this lesson).


Normally, it isn’t necessary to choose anything in this menu, because the filtering works well when using the All option if you type selections carefully.

Be sure to click the X on the right of the Find box to clear your filter when you have found the clip(s) you want.

Advanced Find

Premiere Pro also has an advanced Find option. To learn about it, you’ll import a couple more clips.

  1. Using any of the methods described in Lesson 3, import these items:

    • Seattle_Skyline.mov from the Assets/Video and Audio Files/General Views folder.
    • Under Basket.MOV from the Assets/Video and Audio Files/Basketball folder.
  2. At the bottom of the Project panel, click the Find button (find_button.jpg). Premiere Pro displays the Find panel, which has more advanced options for locating your clip.

    You can perform two searches at once with the advanced Find panel. You can choose to display clips that match both search criteria or either search criterion. For example, you could do either of the following:

    • Search for a clip with the words dog AND boat in its name.


    • Search for a clip with the word dog OR boat in its name.

      Then choose a few options:

    • Column: Selects from the available headings in the Project panel. When you click Find, Premiere Pro will search using only the heading you select.
    • Operator: Gives you a set of standard search options. Use this menu to choose whether you want to find a clip that contains, matches exactly, begins with, or ends with whatever you search for.
    • Match: Choose All to find a clip with both your first and second search text. Choose Any to find a clip with either your first or your second search text.
    • Case Sensitive: Tells Premiere Pro whether you want your search to exactly match the upper- and lowercase letters you enter.
    • Find What: Type your search text here. You can add up to two sets of search text.

When you click Find, Premiere Pro highlights a clip that matches your search criteria. Click Find again, and Premiere Pro highlights the next clip that matches your search criteria. Click Done to exit the Find dialog box.

3. Working with bins | Next Section Previous Section