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Change the appearance of text and shapes

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The Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro provides a powerful workflow that allows you to change the appearance of text and shapes using fills, strokes, backgrounds, shadows, and masks.

Try it in-app

Practice and learn how to quickly create and customize titles in Premiere Pro.

Add fill

You can fill your text or shape with any desired color.

  1. Use the Pen, Rectangle, Ellipse, and Polygon tools to create shapes.
  2. In the Edit tab of the Essential Graphics panel, select Fill under Appearance.

  3. Choose the color from the Color Picker panel.

  4. Select OK.

Edit the appearance of your title or graphic
Edit the appearance of your title or graphic

You can also choose to

  • Specify the HSB, RGB, or hexadecimal values if you know the exact color values.
  • Adjust the color using the color field and color slider. When you do so, the numeric HSBA, RGB, and hexadecimal values are adjusted accordingly.
  • Use the Eyedropper tool to select a color from the screen.
  • Select Linear Gradient or Radial Gradient from the top of the Color Picker panel and apply gradient fills to the object. Learn more about how to apply gradients.

Add strokes

You can add Outer, Inner, or Center strokes to text and shapes in the Essential Graphics panel, or can add multiple strokes to build a unique look.

  1. Select a layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Set the color. Then choose if you want to use an Outer, Inner, or Center stroke.

    Outer Stroke

    An Outer stroke begins at the shape's edge and goes outward as the width is increased. The stroke is drawn behind the fill.

    Inner Stroke

    The Inner stroke starts at the shape's edge and goes inward as its width is expanded. It draws the stroke over the fill.

    Center Stroke

    With Center stroke, the stroke is over the fill for shapes, but under the fill for text.

  3. Select the + icon in the Appearance section if you want to create multiple strokes. Then, set the color and width properties of each stroke.

    Creating cool titles using multiple strokes
    Creating titles using multiple strokes

Change stroke styles

You can use different stroke styles to make the text or shape more attractive.

Create Stroke Styles

  1. Select a layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the wrench icon under Appearance. If you want to change stroke settings globally, select the hamburger icon next to the Essential Graphics panel.

  3. Select one of the following options to select the stroke style from the Graphics Properties dialog box. Then, select OK.

Graphic Properties
Graphic Properties

Line Join

Sets the lines to miter, round, or bevel.

Line Cap

Sets the caps of lines to butt, round, or square.


Miter limit defines the maximum length before a miter join turns into a bevel. The default miter limit is 2.5.


Miter is only enabled if the Line Join attribute is set to miter. It's the distance between the inner corner and the outer corner where two lines meet.

Add shadows

You can add shadows to text or a shape, or add multiple shadows to create numerous interesting effects. For example, create a second, narrower shadow on top of a wide shadow to give the text or shape more depth.

  1. Select your text or shape layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the Shadow checkbox.

  3. Adjust the opacity, angle, distance, size, and blur of the shadow.

  4. Select your shadow type from the Color Picker panel. You can choose Solid, Linear, Gradient, or Radial Gradient.

  5. Add multiple shadows by clicking the + icon in the Appearance section.

    Add shadows
    Add shadows


Shadows are a per-layer setting. It's not possible to add a shadow to individual characters of a text layer.

Add text backgrounds

Add a background to any text to enhance your design. You can add rounded edges to the background of your text or change the fill color, opacity, and size. Your preferences can also be saved for future edits.

  1. Select a text layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the Background checkbox in the Appearance section.

  3. Change the fill color, Opacity, Size, and Corner Radius as needed.

    Add text background
    Add text background

Create a background with rounded corners

  1. Select a text layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the Background checkbox in the Appearance section.

  3. Use the Corner Radius slider or hot text to round the corners as needed.


The slider has a corner radius range of 0-100. The hot text ranges from 0-500 for fully rounded ends on large text layers.

Change the Background Fill Mode

Use backgrounds with titles and captions to make your text more readable. You can choose between All Lines and Per-Line backgrounds to suit your needs.

  1. Select a text layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the Graphics Properties button in the Appearance section.

  3. In the Graphics Properties dialog, in Background Styles, set Fill Mode to Per-Line, and select OK.

Set the Fill Mode preference for future Text layers

  1. Select a text layer in the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the hamburger menu  of the Essential Graphics panel and choose Text Layer Preferences.

  3. Set Fill Mode to Per-Line or All Lines, and select OK. The setting will be applied as the default Text Layer.

Create mask layers

Use masks to create dynamic transitions, reveals, and wipe animations in Premiere Pro titles by converting text and shapes to mask layers. Masks hide portions of a layer and reveal other portions of the layers below the graphic in the Essential Graphic panel layer stack.

  1. Select a text or graphics layer in the Edit tab of the Essential Graphics panel.

  2. Select the Mask with Text or Mask with Shape checkbox in the Appearance section of the Essential Graphics panel. 

    Premiere Pro creates a mask of that layer and renders everything outside the layer transparently, revealing the layers below it. 

    If you have created layer groups, then when you select a layer to mask, the mask is applied only to the other layers in that group. The mask does not extend to layers outside the group.

    Mask with Text
    Mask with Text

    Mask with Shape
    Mask with Shape

    Example of the type of effect you can create using masked layers
    Example of the type of effect you can create using masked layers

  3. If you would like to ensure that any strokes or shadows in the layer are excluded from the mask, select Mask Only Fill.

  4. If you want everything outside the layer to be visible and everything inside the layer to be transparent, select Invert.

Masking Tutorial: Create reveal animations using masking techniques

Use the example below to learn how to create cool reveal animations using a shape layer and a text layer. 

  1. Create a shape layer and a text layer.

  2. To convert the shape layer to a mask, select the shape and click Mask with Shape

    Mask text with shape
    Mask text with shape

  3. In the Effect Controls panel, animate the position of the text. 

    Animating the position of the title using the Effect Controls panel
    Animating the position of the title using the Effect Controls panel

  4. To position the text outside the masking shape layer for frame 0, click the Keyframe tool  in the Effect Controls panel.

  5. Move the playhead in the Effect Controls panel to the right and change the Position value of the text until it is revealed in the shape mask. 

  6. Move the playhead back to frame 0 and press Play. Check and tweak the animation if necessary.

Related resources


If you have a question about working with text, shapes, or graphics, reach out to us in our Premiere Pro community. We would love to help.


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