To edit efficiently in the Timeline window, you should be familiar with all of its features. You need to be able to navigate your way through the Timeline window and zoom in to see close-up views of frames. In this section, you tour the Timeline window and learn how to navigate and master it.
The best place to start touring the Timeline window is at the top, where the Work Area Band appears. This band simply shows you the entire working area of Premiere. The yellow bar within the Work Area Band is called the Work Area Bar. The Work Area Bar determines the area that is rendered by Premiere in a preview.
The Work Area Markers appear at either end of the Work Area Bar. By clicking and dragging the left and right markers, you can change the area onscreen that will be previewed or exported. Below the Work Area Bar is the Timeline Ruler for the project. Above the Timeline Ruler appears the Timeline Marker. You click and drag the Timeline Marker to view different parts of your project in the Monitor window.
To quickly jump to any point in the Timeline, click the mouse at that point in the Timeline Ruler. To the left of the Timeline is a toolbox with various editing tools that enable you to edit and rearrange clips. At the bottom of the Timeline window is the Time Zoom Level pop-up menu. Click in this pop-up menu to change the time or frame increments that appear in the Timeline.
For instance, if you choose 1 Frame, you can zoom in to view each frame in the clip as a separate entity. Because each frame appears in the Timeline, the Timeline grows as it must show you more information. If you change the time setting to 1 Second, the Timeline shrinks, as does the size of each clip.
When you choose a setting in the Time Zoom Level pop-up menu, the larger tick marks in the Timeline show you the time divisions. For instance, if you choose 2 Seconds, the larger tick marks indicate every two seconds of time. Clicking the first icon to the right of the Time Zoom Level pop-up menu, the Track Options Dialog, displays the Track Options dialog box. This dialog box enables you to add or delete tracks.
You can also display the Track Options dialog box by choosing Timeline»Track Options. Another way to add tracks is to choose Timeline»Add Video Track or Timeline»Add Audio Track. In the Timeline, an eye icon and an indented square icon appear next to the name of the track. You can click the square icon. After you click, a lock appears, indicating that the track is locked.
A locked clip can’t be edited. You can temporarily hide a clip by clicking the eye icon. You can expand and collapse either a video or an audio track by clicking the triangle next to the track name in the Timeline. When the track is expanded, you can see the Track Mode buttons. The buttons enable you to either display fade lines for fading video (changing opacity) or audio (changing volume).
In Single-Track Editing mode, you can also expand Video Track 1 by clicking the Track Mode icon (the rectangle to the right of the track name in the Timeline). This displays two instances of Video Track 1 and a Transition track. When you create a new project, Premiere automatically creates a Video Track 1 and a Video Track 2.
You can use Video Track 2 to superimpose clips over Video Track 1, and you can use Video Track 1 to create transitions. As mentioned earlier, you can choose the track view to be in either A/B Editing mode or in Single-Track Editing mode. If you expand Video Track 1 in A/B Editing mode, it converts to Video Track 1A and Video Track 1B with a transition track between them. Only a Video Track 2 and Video Track 1 exist in Single-Track Editing mode. No transition tracks exist.
You often move from one area to another when working in the Timeline. To move to different parts of the Timeline, you can use the Zoom and Hand tools, or you can use the Navigator palette. If the Time Zoom level pop-up menu is not set to 1 Frame, zooming in enables you to see more frames in your clip. Here’s how to use the Zoom and Hand tools (you should have a project onscreen with a clip in the Timeline window):
- Select the Zoom tool.
- To increase the number of frames that you see in the Timeline, move the Zoom tool toward a clip in the Timeline and click. Keep clicking to continue increasing the number of frames. Alternatively, with the Zoom tool selected, press and hold the Option/Alt key on your keyboard and click on the clip to increase the number of frames or seconds.
To move within the clip in the Timeline follow these steps:
Select the Hand tool.
With the Hand tool selected, click and drag to the place you want to see in the clip.
Here’s how to use the Navigator palette:
- Choose Window»Show Navigator to display the Navigator palette.
- Click either the Zoom In or Zoom Out buttons at the bottom of the Navigator palette to zoom in or out. You can also use the Zoom slider.
- To move to a particular place on the Timeline, type a number in the time field. Alternatively, you can click and drag on the green rectangle in the preview area of the Navigator palette to move back and forth through the Timeline.
In addition to hiding tracks, you can also shy tracks and exclude tracks. Marking a track as Shy enables you to hide it from the Timeline. After you hide the Shy track, it is removed from the Timeline, yet it is still previewed and exported. Using Shy tracks enables you to work more efficiently with less visual distractions onscreen.
If you exclude a track, it is removed from the Timeline as well as from previews and all exports. This may be useful, for instance, if you want to preview or export a version of the project without a musical audio track. To mark a track as Shy, press and hold the Command/Ctrl key as you click the Eye icon next to the name of the track that you want to mark as Shy.
When you make a track Shy, the Eye icon is outlined. To hide a Shy track, choose Timeline»Hide Shy Tracks. To exclude a track, press and hold the Option/Alt key as you click the Eye icon next to the name of the track that you want to exclude. The Eye icon disappears.
After you’ve placed clips in the Timeline, you often need to reposition them as part of the editing process. You can choose to move one clip at a time, or you can move several clips at the same time. (You can also move either the video or audio of a clip independently. To do this, you need to temporarily unlink the clip.)
The simplest way to move a single clip is to click it with the Selection tool and move it within the Timeline window. If you want the clip you move to snap to the edge of another clip, make sure the Snap to Edges command is selected. Choose either Timeline»Snap to Edges or press the Toggle Snap to Edges icon at the bottom of the Timeline window.
If you move a clip on the Timeline that is linked to another clip—such as a video clip that is linked to its audio clip—the linked clips move together. Here’s how to temporarily unlink a clip and move it:
- To unlink a clip, click the Toggle Sync Mode icon at the bottom of the Timeline window.
- When a clip is unlinked, you can select either the video or audio portion of the clip with the Select tool and move it.
- To relink the clip, again click the Toggle Sync Mode icon.
To move several clips simultaneously, you need to select all of the clips you plan to move. Click and hold the mouse button on the Range Select Tool in the Timeline’s toolbox. Point to the desired selection tool and release the mouse button. The selection tools available are as follows:
- Range Select tool — Selects only the clips that you click and drag over.
- Block Select tool — Selects only the specific portions of clips (rather than the entire clips) that you click and drag over.
- Track Select tool — Selects everything on a track from the point in the Timeline at which you click to the end of the track. If you move a clip that has been selected with the Track Select tool, only clips on the same track move. If the clip has an audio track associated with it, it won’t move.
- Multitrack Select tool — Selects everything on all the tracks from the point in the Timeline at which you click to the end of the track, including all clips to the right of your mouse click. If you click and drag with the Multitrack Select tool, all tracks to the right of the mouse click move.
Here’s how to select and move multiple clips (you should have a project onscreen that has various clips in the Timeline window):
- Click and hold the Range Select tool and choose the desired selection tool.
- If you are using the Track Select tool or Multitrack Select tool, click where you want to begin the selection. If you are using the Track Select tool only clips on the track you clicked are selected. Note that if you select a video track that is linked to an audio track, the tracks are temporarily unlinked. If you are using the Multitrack Select tool, all clips on the Timeline after the point at which you clicked are selected.
- If you are using the Range Select tool or Block Select tool, click and drag a box over the clips that you want to select. The Range Select tool selects all clips that fall within the range you select, whereas the Block Select tool only selects portions of the clip that actually fall within the box you draw.