How to Set Up & Use Adobe Premiere

How to Set Up & Use Adobe Premiere

Adobe Premiere is a powerful video editing tool that allows you to make professional looking edits with great ease once you start getting to know how the software works. This tutorial will help you get started with some basic elements of Premiere so you can start learning how to edit efficiently.

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What You Need:

  1. Adobe Premiere
    1. Can usually be purchased as a standalone product, or through Adobe CC. I will provide links below.
  2. OCD organizational skills
  3. (optional) an external hard drive

File Management

Before you even open premiere, you need to organize your file structure first. Premiere uses a file reference system rather than a destructive edit system. This means that any edits you make to the footage within the software will not be applied to the raw file, and are only saved in the project file (this is a very good thing). Most editor software works this way, but since we will be constantly referencing our raw footage, it’s a good idea for us to organize it prior to editing. Here are some good tips for file structure:

  • Create a new folder titled “Videos”, or something you’ll know to go to.
  • Within that folder, create separate folders for EACH video you make
  • (recommended) I like to create one more subfolder with all of my assets in each folder so I can easily find all of my recordings/etc. I don’t always have the time to go through and label my raw footage, so keeping raw files separate from project to project is very useful.

You’re ready to open up a project after you’ve set up your file system!

Starting Up Premiere

When you start up the software, you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen with your recent projects and a few buttons such as “New Project” and “Open Project”. We want to start from scratch so go ahead and click “New Project”. Now you’ll see a screen with some general pathing information. Once you set this, you won’t need to set it again. I’ll lay out which settings you need to look out for and provide an image link to what I’m referencing:


Video Rendering and Playback:

You’ll have two options here, one that uses CUDA (your hardware) or the option to render with software. Always use your hardware to render, so choose CUDA. If CUDA is unavailable, use whichever option specifies using your computer’s hardware to render.

Display format:

This is preference, but Timecode seems to be the easiest to read and understand from my experiences. Feel free to test this on your own to see what you prefer. For audio, use Audio Samples.

Capture Format:

You’ll never use this. It’s for capturing footage directly into premiere, which most of the time we do by recording with an SD card or through other virtual recording systems such as OBS. It doesn’t matter what you choose here, but if you end up using this feature for some reason, select “HDV” so you can have HD footage.

Scratch Disks:

This is where your file management comes in handy. Premiere creates these files to reference later when you start to edit your footage. It’s a very good idea to put your project file inside of a folder by itself, specifically for these scratch disks.

You can set these to any path you’d like, and if you’re neat enough, you won’t have a problem. I strongly recommend listing all of these as “Same as Project”. Once you create the project and start working, you’ll see a few other folders pop up in the file explorer. Don’t worry! They’re supposed to be there. All you need to do is open the premiere project file when you want to work on it!

Ingest Settings:

For what we’re doing on YouTube, you won’t need this. Uncheck the box and you’ll be fine.

After all of that, click “OK” at the bottom.

Importing and Assembly

Now that we’ve created our project file and we’re actually looking at the interface, we can start to edit. The first thing we need to do is import our files.

By default, the Media Browser is a tab within the project window on the bottom left side of the screen. You can rearrange this workspace however you’d like but the default layout works fairly well. Remember that file management? Now you find your files within the media browser and OH MY! LOOK HOW EASY IT IS TO FIND YOUR FILES! WHOA! “Good thing I took some time to organize myself!” you say, as you easily select all of the files you’d like to import.

Once you’ve selected everything, right click and select “Import”. You’ll now see all of those files in the project window. This means you’re ready to use them in your project.

NOTE: Once you’ve imported your files, do NOT move them from the folder they were in. This will force you to have to relocate the media and if you don’t remember where you put it, you won’t be able to use it, and premiere won’t know how to find it.

Assembly from this point is fairly simple. You can click & drag your files into the timeline on the bottom right to begin assembling your project. Everyone does this differently. Once you drag your footage to the timeline, a “Sequence” will be created with the same dimensions and frame rate as the raw file you drag first. Make sure that if you want something in 720p30fps, the first file you drag is of the same specifications. You can later change this in sequence settings but we won’t go too far into that with this tutorial.

The editing system is fairly simple, you can slice footage, shorten it, etc. with the functions provided to the left of the timeline, and pretty much assemble your whole video front to back with those tools.


Thanks for checking in to learn how to use the basics of Premiere. More in-depth guides are to follow this, so make sure you check back soon for more updates. Did you find this useful for learning the basics of the software? Let us know your thoughts on the subreddit or tweet us @NewTubers!