17 Managing Your Projects – Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book (2020 release)

17 Managing Your Projects

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Work in the Project Manager.

  • Import projects.

  • Manage collaboration.

  • Manage your hard drives.

This lesson will take about 60 minutes to complete. To get the lesson files used in this chapter, download them from the web page for this book at www.adobepress.com/PremiereCIB2020. For more information, see “Accessing the lesson files and Web Edition” in the Getting Started section at the beginning of this book.

Stay on top of your media and projects with a few simple steps.

Starting the lesson

When you start out creating projects with Premiere Pro, you may not feel the need to invest time in staying organized. Perhaps you’re working on your first project now, and if that’s the case, it’s going to be nice and easy to find it on your storage drive.

Once you start working on multiple projects, staying organized gets a little more complicated. You might use multiple media assets taken from multiple storage locations. You’ll have multiple sequences, each with its own particular structure, and you’ll be generating multiple graphics. You may also have multiple effect presets and Motion Graphics templates. All in all, you’ll need quite a filing system to keep all these project elements organized.

The solution is to create an organizational system for your projects and to have a plan in place for archiving those projects that you might want to work on again.

The thing about systems for organization is that they’re usually easier to use if they exist before you need them. Look at this idea from the other direction: If you don’t have an organizational system in the moment you need it—when you have a new video clip to put somewhere, for example—you might be too busy being creative to think about things such as names and file locations. Consequently, it’s common for projects to end up with similar names, stored in similar locations, with a mix of files that don’t go together.

The solution is simple: Make your organizational system in advance. Map it out with pen and paper if it helps and work out the journey you’ll take, starting with acquiring your source media files, moving through your edit, and finishing with output, archiving, and beyond.

In this lesson, you’ll learn about features in Premiere Pro that help you stay in control, without losing focus on what matters most—your creative work. Then you’ll learn about some positive approaches to teamwork.

  1. Open Lesson 17.prproj in the Lessons folder.

  2. Save the project as Lesson 17 Working.prproj.

  3. In the Workspaces panel, click Editing. Then reset the workspace.

Using the File menu

The File menu gives you access to the project settings and to the Project Manager. You can use the Project Manager in several ways to prepare a project for archiving or for collaborative editing workflows.

Using the File menu commands

There are some important File menu options for project and media management.

  • Link Media: If you have clips that have become unlinked, use this option to open the Link Media dialog and relink the media (see the next section).


    The commands Link Media and Make Offline are also available in the Project panel when you right-click selected clips.

  • Make Offline: You can deliberately break the connection between clips in the Project panel and their media files (see the next section).

  • Project Settings: These are the settings you chose when you created your project; see Lesson 2, “Setting Up a Project.” You can change any of the project settings at any time. You should save and close the current project before moving its .prproj file to a new location. Alternatively, choose File > Save As and create a separate project file.

  • Project Manager: This automates the process of backing up your project and associated media files and removing unused media files (described later in this lesson).

  • Export: You’ll use this menu to export to files, markers, and captions.

Making a clip offline

The benefit of making clips offline is that they can be reconnected with new media. If you’ve been working with low-resolution media, this means you can reimport alternative media files at a higher quality.

The words offline and online have different meanings in different post-production workflows, depending on the context. In the language of Premiere Pro, they refer to the relationship between master clips in the Project panel and the media files they link to.

  • Online: The clip is linked to a media file.

  • Offline: The clip is not linked to a media file.

When a clip is offline, you can still edit it into a sequence, and even apply effects to it, but you won’t be able to see any video. Instead, you’ll see a colorful, multilingual “Media offline” warning.

In almost all operations, Premiere Pro is nondestructive. This means that no matter what you do with the clips in your project, nothing will happen to the original media files. Making a clip offline presents a rare exception to this important rule.

If you right-click one or more selected clips in the Project panel and choose Make Offline, you’ll have two options:

  • Media Files Remain On Disk: This unlinks the clip from the media file and leaves the media file untouched. The clip goes offline.

  • Media Files Are Deleted: This deletes the media file. The clip goes offline and it cannot be relinked because there is now no media file to link to.


You can also select clips in the Project panel and choose File > Make Offline.

Working with low-resolution media is sometimes desirable if you have limited disk storage or a large number of clips. When your editing work is complete and you’re ready for fine finishing, you can replace your low-resolution, small-file-size media with the selected high-resolution, large-file-size media.

The proxy editing workflow handles this process well (see Lesson 3, “Importing Media”), but there will be occasions when you want to set one or more particular clips to be offline to link to new media files.

Be careful with the Make Offline option, though! If you choose the option to delete your media, it’s gone! As in… really gone!

Using the Project Manager

Let’s take a look at the Project Manager (choose File > Project Manager). The Project Manager provides several options that automate the process of consolidating your project. This means gathering together (collecting) any media files you’ve used in one or more sequences.

Managing your project in this way is useful if you intend to archive your project or if you want to share your work. By using the Project Manager to gather all your media files, you can be confident nothing will be missing—or offline—when you hand the project over to colleagues or move it into storage for archiving.

The result of using the Project Manager is a new, separate project file. Because the new project file is independent of your current project, you should double-check it before deleting your original media or project file. It’s ideal to check the new project on a different editing system, just to be certain you have all the files you need. Make sure all the clips you expect are in the Project panel and all media is online.

Start in the Sequence section, and select the sequences you want to include in the new project.

Next, choose one of the options in the Resulting Project section:

  • Collect Files And Copy To New Location: Duplicate the media files used in your selected sequences, and save them in a location you choose, as described in “Collecting files and copying them to a new location.”

  • Consolidate And Transcode: Create new versions of the media files based on just the parts of clips included in those sequences (the trimmed clips). When this option is selected, several menus become available. These menus, which will be described in “Consolidating and transcoding,” allow you to choose from a range of formats and codecs.


Not all media formats can be trimmed. If you create a trimmed project that has media of this kind, the Project Manager creates copies of the full original clips.

Depending on your selection, further options will become available or unavailable:

  • Exclude Unused Clips: With this option selected, the new project will include only clips that are used in the sequences you selected.

  • Include Handles: If you’re creating a trimmed project using the Consolidate And Transcode option, this includes additional frames. The extra frames give you the flexibility to trim and adjust the timing of your edits later.

  • Include Audio Conform Files: This includes the audio conform files that are already with your project, so Premiere Pro won’t need to conduct analysis of your audio again. Premiere Pro will re-create these files automatically as required, but choosing this option can save time waiting for the processing to complete, and the files are often required to play clip audio.

  • Convert Image Sequences To Clips: If you have imported one or more image sequences as clips, this option converts them to regular video files. This is often a useful option because it saves space and simplifies file management. It might also improve playback performance.

  • Include Preview Files: If you’ve already rendered your effects, you can include the preview files with your new project so you won’t need to render them again. These files aren’t necessary but can save a considerable amount of time waiting for complex effects to render.

  • Rename Media Files To Match Clip Names: As the name implies, this option renames the new copies of your media files to match the names of the clips in your project (useful if you have renamed clips to make them easier to find). Consider carefully if you want to use this option, because it can make identifying the original source media difficult.

  • Convert After Effects Compositions To Clips: Choose this option to replace dynamically linked After Effects compositions with rendered video files. This option can be helpful because the Project Manager is unable to collect dynamically linked After Effects compositions or the media files associated with them. This is a good reason to stay extra organized when working with After Effects and Premiere Pro together. See “Collecting files and copying them to a new location” for more information on collecting files.

  • Preserve Alpha: If you are transcoding your footage, you can choose to include alpha channel information so transparent areas will stay transparent. This will lead to larger media files but means retaining valuable picture information.

Then, in the Destination Path section of the dialog box, choose a location for your new project and media files.

Finally, click Calculate in the Disk Space section to see an estimate of the total storage space needed for your new project. If the calculated Resulting Project Size (Est.) value is smaller than the described Disk Space Available value, you can click OK to consolidate your project in a new location.

Collecting files and copying them to a new location

Perhaps your media files are in several locations in your storage system. Or perhaps you’re sharing your work with another editor. Perhaps you’re taking an edit on the road. You may not need every clip incorporated into your newly created project.

Selecting Collect Files And Copy To New Location creates perfect copies of your original, complete media files in a new single location. If you select the Exclude Unused Clips option, only clips used in the selected sequences will be included.

There’s no need for you to go right through the process with this example project, but let’s take a look at the options you’d select to collect all the files used in your selected sequences to a new, single location.

  1. If it’s not open already, choose File > Project Manager.

  2. Select the sequences you want to be included in your new project.

  3. Select Collect Files And Copy To New Location.

  4. Select Exclude Unused Clips.

    If you want to include every clip in your project, regardless of whether they are used in a sequence, deselect this option. Deselect this option if you are creating a new project to organize your media files a little better—perhaps because you imported them from lots of different locations.

    When the new project is created, every media file linked to the project will be copied to the new project location.

  5. Decide if you want to include Audio Conform Files to save Premiere Pro from having to analyze the audio files again for the new project.

  6. Decide whether you want to include existing preview files to save you from having to re-render effects in the new project.

  7. Decide whether you want to rename your media files to match their clip names. Generally, it’s better to leave your media files with their original names. However, if you’re producing a project to share with another editor, it might be helpful for them to identify the media files if they are renamed. If you know you will not need to reference your original source media, renaming your clips is a great idea.

  8. Click Browse, and choose a location for your new project file and associated media.

  9. Click Calculate to have Premiere Pro estimate the total new size of your project, based on your selections. Then click OK.

Premiere Pro will create copies of the original files in a single location. If you intend to create an archive of your entire original project, this is the way to do it.

Consolidating and transcoding

Premiere Pro can transcode (convert) all the media in your project to a new format and codec in a single step if you select Consolidate And Transcode in the Project Manager.

This is useful if you plan to use a so-called mezzanine codec (sometimes called a house codec). This means all media is converted to one codec (and usually one format) before being stored on a media server or edited. These codecs are usually easier for editing systems to play back than the original in-camera codecs, as well as being high quality, maintaining the quality of the original media. These codecs don’t add quality but do help maintain it.

To create copies of all your media, deselect Exclude Unused Clips. Otherwise, the options are similar to those you’d choose when creating a trimmed project.

Creating a trimmed project

To create a new trimmed project file with new media files, including only the parts of clips used in your selected sequences, do the following:

  1. Choose File > Project Manager.

  2. Select the sequence or sequences you want to include in the new project.

  3. Select Consolidate And Transcode.

  4. Use the Source menu to choose one of the following options:

    • Sequence: If clips in the selected sequence (or sequences) match the sequence settings (frame size, frame rate, and so on), the newly created media files will be formatted to match the sequence they are used in. If they don’t match, the media files are copied instead.

    • Individual Clips: The newly created clips will match their original frame size and format (though it is possible you will be changing the codec). It’s likely you will generally choose this option to maintain the maximum quality of your footage by minimizing conversion.

    • Preset: This allows you to specify a new format using the Preset menu; many choices are available.

  5. Use the Format menu to choose one of the following options:

    • DNxHR/DNxHD MXF OP1a: This is an MXF file type with DNxHR/DNxHD preselected as the codec. DNxHR and DNxHD are the preferred codecs for Avid Media Composer, but playback performance is also excellent in Premiere Pro.

    • MXF OP1a: This selects an MXF file type with a range of other codec options in the Preset menu.

    • QuickTime: This selects a QuickTime MOV file type, giving access to the GoPro CineForm codec and Apple ProRes (macOS only) codec in the Preset menu.


    Not every codec supports an alpha channel. The QuickTime format allows you to use a version of the GoPro CineForm codec that includes alpha.

  6. Choose the codec you prefer, or click to import a preset. You can create a transcoding preset in Adobe Media Encoder, export it as a file, and import it here. For more information about codecs and export options, see Lesson 16, “Exporting frames, clips, and sequences.”

  7. Select Exclude Unused Clips.

  8. Add some handles. The default is one second on each end of the clips used in your sequences. Consider adding more if you’d like to have more flexibility to trim and adjust your edits in the new project (the maximum number of frames is 999).


    Choosing to add five or ten seconds of media at each end of the clip will do no harm; your media files will be a little larger, but you’ll have even more flexibility to re-edit your sequence later.

  1. Decide whether you want to rename your media files. Generally, it’s better to leave your media files with the original names. However, if you’re producing a trimmed project to share with another editor, it might be helpful for that editor to identify the media files if they are renamed.

  2. Click Browse, and choose a location for your new project file.

  3. Click Calculate to have Premiere Pro estimate the new total size of your project, based on your selections. Then, click OK to close the dialog box.

The benefit of creating a newly transcoded, trimmed project is that you no longer have unwanted media files filling up your hard drive. It’s a convenient way to transfer your project to a new location using the minimum storage space, and it’s great for archiving.

The danger with this option is that once your unused media files are deleted, they’re gone! Be sure that you have a backup of your unused media or at least double-check that you definitely do not want the unused media before you create a trimmed project.

When you create your trimmed project, Premiere Pro will not delete your original files. Just in case you selected the wrong items, you can always go back and check before deleting the files manually.

Performing the final project management steps

Before archiving a project, there are some steps you may want to take to tidy up and re-organize your media and project contents. None of these steps is required, but they can make life easier if you need to work on a project at a later date.

Removing unused clips

In the Edit menu, the Remove Unused option will remove any clips not currently used in any sequences. This can result in empty bins because they are not affected by this workflow.

This option will not have any effect on your media files either, so if you intend to move your project to another editing system, you may find it more efficient to use the Project Manager to create a new project.

Removing unused clips is useful when working collaboratively with other editors using shared storage.

By saving a copy of the project file in which you have deleted all but the one sequence you’d like to share, you can remove the unused clips and then share the project file with another editor. This will make it easier for them to locate clips that are used in that sequence.

Consolidating duplicates

Another approach to reducing the number of unnecessary clips in a project is to merge clips that are an exact match into a single clip. This is helpful if you have imported multiple sequences from other projects, with duplicate media. You may have lots of copies of the same clips.

To automatically identify which clips are duplicates and merge them, choose Edit > Consolidate Duplicates.

If you have added information like log notes or a description to two copies of a clip, the information is merged into the new clip, unless it conflicts, in which case the clip is not merged.

This is a great way to clean up a project. Where multiple copies of the same clip appear in different sequences, those sequence instances are all automatically replaced with the single consolidated version of the clip.

Rendering and replacing

Earlier, while working with visual effects, you rendered effects applied to clips in sequences. There may be occasions that you will have a particular clip in a sequence that is hard for your system to play back without dropping frames. For example, if you have high-resolution raw media files, stop-motion photography, or a complex dynamically linked Adobe After Effects composition, you may find it necessary to render for playback at the full frame rate.

When you render, you’re not rendering individual clips. Instead, you are rendering a section of the sequence. If you make changes to that section of the sequence, there is a good chance you will need to render all over again.

There is another way: You can render the contents of an individual clip, temporarily replacing it with a high-quality media file. Then, you can continue to work on the project, moving, editing, and adjusting the clip, without having to re-render that part of the sequence.

When a clip is rendered in this way, you can’t edit the contents without restoring the original file. Thankfully, this is a right-click option away.

Right-click a clip in a sequence and choose Render And Replace to access the options.

You can work with the rendered and replaced clip as you would any other. You can move it to a different location, combine it in a composition with other clips, and add visual effects. You’ll probably experience markedly improved real-time performance.

You’ll notice the options in the Render And Replace dialog box are similar to those in the Project Manager.

When you render and replace a clip, the newly created media file is linked to a new clip in the Project panel, which is used to replace the original sequence clip.

There’s an interesting option in the Render And Replace dialog box: Include Video Effects.

One might imagine that the whole point of rendering and replacing a clip would be to incorporate any effects into the new file, saving you from rendering them again.

However, you may have combined a complex, dynamically linked After Effects composition with real-time, GPU-accelerated visual effects in Premiere Pro. The effects in Premiere Pro would play just fine, and remain editable, if the After Effects composition was easier to play.

In this example, you would deselect Include Video Effects. If you enable the option, the effects will temporarily disappear from the clip because they are now “baked in” and part of the newly created media file.

What if you want to modify those effects or make changes to the original After Effects composition?

If you have replaced a clip using Render And Replace, you can restore the link to the original item (including a dynamically linked After Effects composition) by right-clicking the clip and choosing Restore Unrendered.

Now you can make changes to the original item and have it update in Premiere Pro. You can always choose Render And Replace again if you need to, creating a new media file based on the new settings.

Using the Link Media dialog box and the Locate command

The Link Media dialog box gives you straightforward options for reconnecting the clips in your bin with the media files on your storage drive.


Link Media is different from Replace Footage. Use Replace Footage to link a single clip to an alternative media file. The result is the same, but the automated search options are bypassed, allowing you to link a clip to a completely different type of media file.

The dialog box appears automatically if you open a project with clips that have become unlinked from their media files, perhaps because the project file or media has moved.

The default options work well, but if you’re relinking to different file types or using a more complex system to organize your media files, you may want to enable or disable some of the options for file matching.

At the bottom of the Link Media dialog box, you’ll find a series of buttons.

  • Offline All: Premiere Pro will keep all the offline clips in the project and won’t prompt you to relink them.

  • Offline: Premiere Pro will keep the selected offline clip (highlighted in the list) in the project and won’t prompt you to relink it. The next clip on the list will be highlighted, ready for you to make a selection.

  • Cancel: Closes this dialog box. All the offline clips will remain offline, and the next time you open the project this dialog box will appear again.

  • Locate: If you would like to relink clips, choose options to define the search settings, including File Name or File Extension (or both), and click Locate. The Locate [filename] dialog box appears, and you can search for your missing media.

By default, Media Browser is used to locate and preview clips.


Premiere Pro also has an option for preserving your interpret footage settings. If you’ve modified the way Premiere Pro interprets media, select the Preserve Interpret Footage Settings check box to apply the same settings to the newly linked media files.

The Locate File dialog box gives you a quick, easy way to locate your missing media. The simplest way to find a file is as follows:

  1. Review the Last Path information as a guide to locating the file. Often the storage drive will have changed, but the path within the drive will be the same. You can use this information to manually browse and search for a containing folder. The Path information displayed below the Last Path field is the currently viewed storage location.

  2. In the folder browser on the left, select a folder that you think contains the media. Don’t worry about choosing the particular subfolder that contains the media. Premiere Pro can search subfolders.

  3. Click Search. Premiere Pro will locate a file that matches the selected missing clip.

  4. If you select the option Display Only Exact Name Matches, Premiere Pro will hide media files whose names do not match, making it easier to identify which file to select.

  5. Check the correct file is selected, and click OK.

When you click OK, Premiere Pro will automatically search for other missing media files in the same location. Other locations are searched, relative to the selected folder based on the last known locations for the other media files. This automation can dramatically speed up the process of relinking missing media files.

Importing projects

As well as importing many kinds of media files, Premiere Pro can import sequences and clips from other existing projects.

You can import a Premiere Pro project file just as you would import a media file, giving limited access to project contents. You can also browse in a project file using the Media Browser.

Let’s explore both options.

  1. Choose File > Close Project, and save changes if necessary. Open the project Lesson 17 Desert Sequence.prproj in the Lessons folder.

    When the project opens, existing imported clips will be updated, linking to the copy of the media on your computer. Check that the sequence plays without any offline media.

    This is a montage sequence, showing images of a desert. We’ll take clips from this project.

  2. Save and close the project. This updates the project file with links to the media you copied into your local storage in its current location.

  3. Click the Lesson 17 Working project in the Premiere Pro Home screen to open the project.

  4. Use any method you prefer to import a new media file to open the Import dialog box. File > Import will work.

  5. Select the file called Lesson 17 Desert Sequence.prproj in the Lessons folder, and click Import.

    The Import Project dialog box appears.

    • Import Entire Project: This imports every sequence and clip in the project you’re importing.

    • Import Selected Sequences: Choose the specific sequence, or multiple sequences, you’d like to import. Only clips used in selected sequences will be imported. Hold Command (macOS) or Ctrl (Windows) to select multiple sequences to import.

    • Import As Project Shortcut: This adds an alias (shortcut) linked to the imported project file to the current Project panel. This is a useful option if you intend to use multiple project files to store organized clips and sequences.

    • Create Folder For Imported Items: This creates a bin in the Project panel for the clips and sequences you import rather than adding them to the main Project panel, which is usually a good idea as it avoids potentially mixing them up with existing items.

    • Allow Importing Duplicate Media: If you import clips that link to media files you have already imported, by default Premiere Pro will consolidate the two clips into one. If you would prefer to have two copies of the clip, select this option.

    • Do The Same For All Projects: Select this option to apply the same rules to the import of multiple project files in a single step. This is particularly useful when importing projects as shared project aliases because the process is fast and gives access to the contents of those project files in the future.

  6. For now, click Cancel. Let’s try another method.

Importing from projects with the Media Browser

You can import whole projects or individual clips and sequences using the Media Browser. You can browse to a project file and open it as if it were a folder.

Using the Media Browser to access the contents of project files this way allows you to browse the entire contents of the project, not just select sequences.

You can browse inside bins, select clips to import, and even view the contents of sequences.

When you want to import an item (including a sequence), drag it into your current project file, or right-click it and choose Import.

The beauty of this method is that though you’re browsing a “live” current version of the other project file, the contents are locked while browsing. This prevents any accidental changes being made to the other project.

Let’s try this.

  1. In the Media Browser panel, browse to the Lessons folder and then double-click Lesson 17 Desert Sequence.prproj to browse inside the project.

  2. Double-click the Desert Montage sequence.

    The sequence opens in the Source Monitor, just as you would expect a clip to. The sequence also opens in a new read-only Timeline panel; you can view the sequence, but you can’t make changes to it.

    In the Timeline panel, the sequence name includes (Source Monitor), and the vertical line of the playhead turns red to remind you that this is not a current project sequence and that the contents of the project file you are browsing in are protected.

You can easily import a whole sequence from the Media Browser by right-clicking it and choosing Import. However, you can also drag a clip or multiple clips from this Source Monitor Timeline panel into your Project panel.

If you position the read-only Timeline panel next to your current sequence Timeline panel, you can drag clips directly from the read-only sequence to your current project sequence. You can even drag clips from the read-only Timeline panel into the current Project panel.

Opening multiple projects rather than browsing them

Earlier you opened two projects at once, allowing you to access the contents of both projects and copy clips and sequences between them.

Unlike browsing safely inside a project via the Media Browser where projects are locked, when you fully open multiple projects, they are all editable. This means you’ll want to be careful not to make unwanted changes, particularly if you’re opening someone else’s project using shared network-based storage to copy some contents from it. Changes made to open projects are saved in the project file.

Accepting that, opening multiple projects is fast and flexible, so provided you check the current project filename at the top of the Premiere Pro interface regularly, you’ll find you can quickly switch between the bins and Timeline panels of the various sequences you open.

Copying or moving sequences and clips between open projects is the same as working between different bins in the Project panel.

Managing collaboration

The option to import other projects, and to open multiple projects, presents novel workflows and opportunities for collaboration. You could, for example, share work on different parts of a program between different editors, all using the same media assets. Then, one editor could import all the other projects to combine them into a completed sequence.

Project files are small—often small enough to email. This means editors are able to share updated project files, provided that each editor has a copy of the same media files. You can use local-folder file-sharing services to update a shared project file that links to duplicated copies of local media files. The Creative Cloud Files folder is a good example.

You can add markers with comments to sequences. When updating a sequence, consider adding a marker to record changes for your collaborators.


Although it is beyond the scope of this book, check out Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams for more advanced collaborative project-sharing workflows.

By default, Premiere Pro does not lock project files when they are in use. This means two people sharing a project file via network-based storage can access the same project file at the same time. This could be creatively dangerous!

While working in a project file, you’re actually using a virtual copy. When you save, that copy replaces the original file. Now imagine a scenario where two people have opened the same original file.

As one person saves the project file, it updates, with their virtual copy overwriting the original. As the next person saves the file, it updates again, replaced with a different virtual copy. Every time the file is saved, a different virtual copy replaces changes made by the other editor. If you intend to collaborate, it’s usually best to work on separate project files or manage access to one project file carefully.

There are several dedicated media server systems made by third parties that help you to collaborate using shared media files. These allow you to store and manage your media in a way that is accessible by multiple editors at the same time.

Keep these questions in mind:

  • Who has the latest version of the edited sequence?

  • Where are the media files stored?

As long as you have clear answers to these questions, you should be able to collaborate and share creative work using Premiere Pro.

Project locking

At the bottom left of the Project panel, you’ll see a small green icon of an open padlock . Clicking the padlock closed locks the project. By default, project locking is not active, so closing the lock will have no effect.

You can enable support for project locking (preventing changes) in Premiere Pro > Preferences > Collaboration (macOS) or Edit > Preferences > Collaboration (Windows).

All editors that are collaborating must enable this option for project locking to work. If you ever need to ignore the locked status of a project, you can deselect Project Locking in the preferences.

Saving a selection as a project

Premiere Pro allows you to export a selection of clips and sequences as a new Premiere Pro project. This streamlined project file makes collaboration easier because it allows you to focus on precisely the content that matters.

To export a selection as a Premiere Pro project, select items in the Project panel, and choose File > Export > Selection As Premiere Project. Choose a name and location for the new project file and click Save.

This workflow is a little different than using the Project Manager to create a new project because the new project file will link to your existing media files.

Using the Libraries panel

The Libraries panel gives you direct access to stock assets, graphics, Motion Graphics Templates, and LUTS created elsewhere and shared via Creative Cloud, inside Premiere Pro.

You can also place media files in your Creative Cloud Files folder, which will automatically populate Creative Cloud Files folders on other computers if you are logged in to your Creative Cloud account on those systems.

It’s straightforward to share folders with other users too, so the Creative Cloud Files folder is a useful way to share project files.

Premiere Pro works well with other file sharing services too. Only the file path (location) and filename matter to Premiere Pro, so provided your file-sharing service stores files locally or at a regular network location, you should find Premiere Pro works as usual.

Network-based storage is sometimes too slow for media file playback, however, so check the sustained speed of your network before counting on it for video editing.

Managing your storage

Once you’ve used the Project Manager to create a new copy of your project or you have completed your project and finished with its media, you’ll want to clean up your drives. Video files are big. Even with large storage drives, you’ll quickly need to think about which files you want to keep and which ones you want to discard. You might also want to move your project media to slower, larger, more robust long-term archive storage to keep as much fast media storage available as possible for current projects.

To make it easier to remove unwanted media when you’ve finished a project, consider putting copies of all of your media into a single location before importing. This is important because when you import media, unless you enable the Ingest Copy option, Premiere Pro creates a link to the file wherever it is on your computer.

By organizing media files before you import them, you’ll find it much easier to remove unwanted content at the end of the creative process because everything will be conveniently located in one place.

Deleting clips from a project, or even deleting the project file, will not delete media files. You’ll have to account for proxy files if you have used them. It’s possible your proxy files will be stored in a different location to your full-resolution original media, depending on your Ingest settings.

Removing cache and preview files

The Premiere Pro media cache uses storage space when you import new media files to your projects and they are analyzed. Also, each time you render effects, Premiere Pro creates preview files.

To remove these files and reclaim extra space on your hard drive, there are several options.

  • Choose Premiere Pro > Preferences > Media Cache (macOS) or Edit > Preferences > Media Cache (Windows), and click Delete in the Media Cache Files section. This will remove cache files that are no longer referenced by a project.

    In the Delete Media Cache Files dialog box, the Delete All Media Cache Files From The System option is unavailable if a project is open. If you want to remove all media cache files, including those that are in use, restart Premiere Pro and choose this option before opening a project.

  • You can delete render files associated with your current sequence by choosing Sequence > Delete Render Files.

  • Locate your Preview Files folder by checking under File > Project Settings > Scratch Disks. Then, manually delete the folder and its contents using Finder (macOS) or Windows Explorer (Windows).

Consider carefully when choosing the location of the media cache and your project preview files. The total size of these files can be significant, and the speed of the drive will impact playback performance in Premiere Pro.

Review questions

1. Why would you choose to make a clip offline?

2. Why would you choose to include handles when creating a trimmed project with the Project Manager?

3. Why would you choose the Project Manager option called Collect Files And Copy To New Location?

4. What does the Remove Unused option in the Edit menu achieve?

5. How can you import a sequence from another Premiere Pro project?

6. Will the Project Manager collect dynamically linked assets, such as After Effects compositions, when creating a new project?

Review answers

1. If you’re working with low-resolution copies of your media files, you’ll want to make your clips offline so you can reimport them at full resolution.

2. Trimmed projects include only the parts of your clips used in sequences. To give yourself the flexibility to adjust your edit points later, add handles; 30-frame handles would actually add 60 frames to the total duration of each clip because one handle is added at the beginning and end.

3. If you have imported media files from lots of different locations on your computer, it can be difficult to find everything and stay organized. By using the Project Manager to collect all the media files into one location, you’ll make it easier to manage your project media files.

4. When you choose Remove Unused, Premiere Pro removes any clips from your project that are not used in a sequence. No media files are deleted.

5. Import the project file as you would import any media file. Premiere Pro will invite you to import the entire project or selected sequences. You can also browse inside project files with the Media Browser or even simply open the other project file to copy and paste between the two projects.

6. The Project Manager does not collect dynamically linked assets when creating a new project. For this reason, it’s a good idea to create any new dynamically linked projects in the same location as your project folder or in a dedicated folder for your project. That way, it’s easier to locate and copy the assets for the new project manually.