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Quick Tip: Nudge Clips in Premiere Pro

Caleb Ward

Need a quicker way to move clips around your timeline? Learn how to nudge clips in Premiere Pro – without a mouse!

When it comes to video editing, every frame matters. Sometimes the difference between an awesome scene and a lame scene is just a few keyframes. Don’t believe me? Check out Film Riot’s fight scene tutorial.

If you’re new to Premiere Pro, then you probably drag clips around your timeline by clicking and dragging your clips with your mouse. However, as you likely already know, keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save time. The less clicking and dragging you do, the more seconds you save here and there — which can translate to hours and days over the course of an entire project.

In the following tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to nudge clips in Premiere Pro without having to use your mouse. The trick is incredibly easy. Once you get it down, you won’t want to use your mouse ever again. It’s like Tetris, but in Premiere Pro!

1. Nudging Up and Down

Nudge Clips in Premiere Pro: Up and Down

Keyboard Shortcut: Option + (Up Arrow or Down Arrow)

Simply select your clip (audio or video), hold down option, and click up or down on your keyboard. As long as your audio and video is not linked, you should see your clip move up and down in the timeline. This is a great way to free up space for a transition, consolidate your timeline, and organize your tracks.

2. Nudging Left and Right: One Frame

Nudge Clips in Premiere Pro: Left and Right One Frame

Keyboard Shortcut: Command + (Left Arrow or Right Arrow)

To nudge your clip left or right by one frame, simply select your clip, hold down command, and press left or right on your keyboard. You don’t have to unlink your audio and video for this technique to work. It should be noted, however, that when you nudge a clip over and nudge back, there will be a gap in your timeline. Make sure to fill in the gaps before you move on.

3. Nudging Left and Right: Five Frames

Nudge Clips in Premiere Pro: Left and Right Five Frames

Keyboard Shortcut: Command + Shift + (Left Arrow or Right Arrow)

In the exact same way that holding down command moves your clip, you can nudge your clips left and right by five frames by simply holding down command, shift, and pressing the arrow keys left and right. Easy, right?

Want to see even more Premiere Pro quick tips? Well, today’s your lucky day. Check out a few of the following resources:

  1. Quick Tip: Exporting Multiple Timelines in Adobe Premiere Pro
  2. Premiere Pro Quick Tip: Copying Multiple Effects
  3. Premiere Pro Quick Tip: Custom Workspaces

How do you utilize nudging in your Premiere Pro workflow? Let us know in the comments below!