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Make precise edits using source patching and track targeting

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      1. Using the Source Monitor and Program Monitor
      2. Using the Reference Monitor
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      1. Working with offline clips
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Source patching and track targeting are great editing techniques to speed up your editing process and reduce errors.

Source patching is a method to specify exactly where you want your asset (image, video, or audio) to appear in the timeline when placing the asset. Use this process as you build your sequence in the timeline.

Once you have your sequence on the timeline, use track targeting when copying and pasting on the timeline to ensure that your edits are on the specific track you want to work on.

Before you start

  • Switch to the Editing workspace (Window > Workspaces > Editing).
  • Review this image to understand all the source patching and track targeting controls you need.
Source Patching and Track Targeting controls
Source Patching and Track Targeting

A. Source Monitor controls B. Program Monitor C. Source patching panel D. Track targeting panel 

Source patching

  1. Select the Mark In   and  Mark Out  points in the Source Monitor to select the clip you want to source patch. You can also use the I and O keyboard shortcuts.

  2. To insert the clip, do one of the following:

    • Drag the clip from the Source Monitor to the Program Monitor (as shown in the video) and select Insert in the Program Monitor.
    • Select Insert    from the Source Monitor and select the desired track to insert the source clip. 
    • Select the clip and use the comma (,) keyboard shortcut to insert a clip.

    When you add a clip to the sequence using an Insert edit, the clips later in time shift ahead to accommodate the new clip. You can also Press Ctrl (Win) or Command (macOS) to enter Insert mode while dragging a clip.

  3. Select Overwrite   from the Source Monitor and select the desired track to overwrite the clip. You can also use a period (.) to overwrite a clip.


    An Overwrite edit adds a clip by replacing existing frames in a sequence that extends from the edit point for the clip's duration. When adding clips to sequences or rearranging clips inside sequences, the Overwrite approach is the default.

Source patchers and Source track indicators

Source patchers have three states: OnOff, and Black/Silent. One patch is displayed for each video and audio track for the item in the Source Monitor.

On state

The associated track is part of an edit action while an item is in the On state.

Off state

When the track is in the Off state, edit changes are not reflected in the track.

Black/Silent state

A gap rather than the source panel is shown on the track while in the Black/Silent mode.

Track targeting

The timeline in Premiere Pro is organized in a hierarchy. This may impact how items are pasted when using specific keyboard shortcuts and how items are chosen. Track Targeting helps in Navigation, Copy/paste, and Match framing.

  1. Copy the sequence/clip.

  2. Select the track you want to target and choose Edit > Paste Insert.

  3. To select and target multiple sources or target tracks press Cmd or Ctrl as you drag and drop the cursor across multiple track buttons on the timeline.

    To invert the selection, press Cmd plus Shift or Ctrl plus Shift while dragging. 

Benefits of track targeting

Track targeting can be powerful when copying and pasting items on the timeline, matching frames, or navigating the timeline.


Track targeting gives you additional control over clips on the timeline when doing copy-and-paste operations. When you copy and paste an item on the timeline, it is pasted on the lowest track targeted based on the layer order. For example, if you have V1 and V4 targeted, your content will paste to track one.

Match Frame

Match framing allows you to find the source frame of any frame in a sequence clip on the timeline and brings it up in the source monitor. Premiere Pro will only match the frame of the clip when a track is targeted and will always match the frame in the highest targeted track. For example, if you have clips on video tracks V1, V2, and V4, and only V2 is targeted, Premiere Pro will match the frame of the clip on track two. 


Track targeting helps you navigate quickly through the timeline. Use the up and down arrow keys to snap your playhead to In and Out points of clips on targeted tracks. You can have multiple tracks targeted at any given time, allowing you to navigate any clip's In and Out points on the timeline.

Additional track targeting functions

Toggle Track Output

To disable a track, select the Toggle Track Output button in the track header.  It disappears from the Program Monitor.

Toggle Sync Lock

Sync locks will allow you to lock certain tracks together to keep them in sync.

Toggle Track Lock

Allows you to completely lock the track. You can no longer make any edits to this track.

Toggle Track Targeting

Helps in managing the clips that are accessible in the video and audio tracks. Each track on the timeline has a unique number. Select a track number to choose it.

Set and use keyboard shortcuts

There are various keyboard shortcuts that can be used to speed up your workflow. You can also set keyboard shortcuts for actions, such as Paste to Same Track, Paste Insert to Same Track, Paste to Target Track, and Paste Insert to Target Track.

  1. On Windows: Edit Keyboard Shortcuts. On macOS: Adobe Premiere Pro > Keyboard Shortcuts.

  2. In the Commands drop-down list, go to Timeline Panel.

  3. In the Paste to Same Track section, delete the shortcut assigned.

  4. Reassign the shortcut to Paste To Target Track.

  5. Select OK and close the dialog box

Learn more

Watch these videos for more source patching and track targeting techniques. 

How to add video and audio to the timeline in Premiere Pro.

Viewing time: 54 seconds

Shortcuts for the timeline in Premiere Pro – track targeting

Viewing time: 1 min

Related resources

Talk to us

If you have questions about source patching or track targeting, reach out to us in our Premiere Pro community. We would love to help.


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