Freely arrange clips in the Project panel, preview their contents, and store preset layouts for future use.


This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: Use Freeform view to organize and preview clips in the Project panel

Choose Freeform view

The Project panel has three views: List, Icon, and Freeform.

  • Click the Freeform button at the bottom of the Project panel.

Arrange clips in the Project panel

In Freeform view, clips appear as thumbnails. You can move them anywhere in the view and can even overlap them in a stack.

  1. Use the Hand tool, or two-finger drag on a trackpad, to navigate the view.
  2. Set different thumbnail sizes for selected clips by right-clicking and choosing a clip size.
  3. Preview the contents of multiple clips in a stack by moving the pointer over them.
  4. Bring clips to the front of a stack by positioning the pointer over the stack and holding down Command (macOS) or Control (Windows) while scrolling.
  5. Hold down Option (macOS) or Alt (Windows) to snap clip edges together while dragging.

Use zoom controls to get a better view

When you adjust the Project panel zoom, clips maintain their relative sizes and positions.

You can zoom in multiple ways:

  • Use the Project panel Zoom control. Double-click the slider to reset the zoom.
  • Press the plus sign (+) and minus sign (–) keys at the top of your keyboard.
  • Hold down Option (macOS) or Alt (Windows) while scrolling.
  • Pinch on a trackpad.

Tidy the view

  • To tidy selected clips, right-click one of them and choose Align To Grid.
  • To tidy all clips, right-click the background of the Project panel and choose Align To Grid.
  • Tidy all clips and sort them in one step by right-clicking the background of the Project panel and choosing Reset To Grid, followed by a sorting option.

Store and restore Freeform layouts

If you find an arrangement useful, you can store it as a preset.

  1. Arrange clips in a layout you would like to use again.
  2. Right-click the background of the Project panel, and choose Save As New Layout.
  3. Give the new preset layout a name, and click OK.

To apply a layout, right-click the background of the Project panel and choose Restore Layout, followed by the name of your stored layout.

You can delete stored layouts by right-clicking the background of the Project panel and choosing Manage Saved Layouts.

Choose Freeform view options

  • In the Project panel menu, chose Freeform View Options.

You can choose two types of metadata to appear on clip thumbnails, such as the clip name or video duration, and whether label colors and clip type badges are displayed.

Tip: If in doubt, store a new Freeform layout preset. Unwanted presets are easy to delete and can be helpful to temporarily store your clip arrangement as you get organized.


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