Adobe Premiere Elements: Playing Clips in the Monitor Window

Video clips that you capture or import into Adobe Premiere Elements all wind up in the Media Window. When you select a clip in the Media window, a preview of it appears in the tiny preview window in the upper-left corner. If the clip is audio or video, you can play it by clicking the Play button just to the left of the preview window. You can move to specific parts of the clip by using the slider underneath the preview window.

The clip previews provided in the Media window are pretty small. If you get tired of squinting, you may want to load the clip into the Monitor window to preview it. Besides giving you a bigger window in which to preview the clip, the Monitor is also where you will pare the clip down to just the portion you want to use in your movie.

Follow these steps to play your clip in the Monitor window:

1. Switch to the Editing workspace mode by choosing Window --> Workspace --> Editing.

Alternatively, you can click the Edit button on the Premiere Elements toolbar.

The Monitor window appears, if it wasn't already open.

2. Click and drag a clip from the Media window and drop it in the Monitor window.

The clip appears in the Monitor window.

3. Use the playback controls at the bottom of the Monitor window (as in Figure 1) to preview the clip.


Figure 1: Control playback in the Monitor by using these controls.

The Monitor window offers buttons and tools for controlling playback and various other editing actions. Take a close look at the playback controls right now by loading a clip into the Monitor and clicking the Play button. Somewhere in the middle of the clip, click the Pause button (the Play button turns into the Pause button after you click Play). Now you can play with some controls that help you identify specific frames in a clip:

  • Click the Step Forward button. The clip moves forward by one frame. You can also press the right-arrow key on your keyboard to move forward one frame at a time.
  • Click the Step Back button. The clip moves back a frame. You can also control the Step Back function by pressing the left-arrow key.
  • If you want to remember a certain spot in the clip, move to the spot and click the Set Marker button. This places a marker at the current location in the clip. A marker is kind of like a virtual stick-on note.
  • Place the mouse pointer directly on the Shuttle control. Click and drag the control to the right. Notice that as you drag the Shuttle farther to the right, the clip advances forward at an increasing rate. Drag the Shuttle left to play the clip backward. Let go of the Shuttle by releasing the mouse button. The Shuttle snaps back to the middle and the clip stops playing. Shuttle controls have been common on professional video equipment for years because they provide quick yet precise control over playback.
  • As a clip plays, notice that a pointed indicator moves to show you your current location in a clip. This pointed indicator is often called the CTI, short for current time indicator. Another common name for the CTI is playhead.

In addition to the visible Monitor window controls, Adobe Premiere Elements allows you to rely heavily on keyboard buttons as well. Premiere Elements uses the industry-standard key combination of J-K-L to control shuttle operation in the Monitor window. Press J to shuttle back, L to shuttle forward, and K to stop. Notice that the J, K, and L keys are conveniently located right next to each other on your keyboard.

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