Note:

The functionality and interface of Smart Trim feature has been enhanced in Adobe Premiere Elements 2018. The corresponding article for Smart Trim in Adobe Premiere Elements 2018 is available at this link.

About trimming and retrieving clips

When you build a movie, you rarely use an entire clip. To define the frames you want to use, set In and Out points. The In point is the first frame of the clip you want to use. The Out point is the last frame of the clip you want to use.

Setting In and Out points does not delete frames from the hard drive. Instead, it isolates the portion you want included in the movie. In and Out points act like a window over the clip, showing only the frames from the In point to the Out point. You can move In and Out points as needed to regain any frames you might have trimmed.

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In and Out points serve as a window over a clip

A. In point  B. Trimmed frames C. Out point 

You can trim frames from either end of a clip. To trim frames from the middle of a clip, first split the clip (which creates two parts of the original clip). Then, trim the unwanted frames from the end of the first new clip or the beginning of the second.

You can trim a clip in the Preview window, the Monitor panel, the Quick view timeline, or the Expert view timeline. You can retrieve frames from source clips (clips not yet placed in the Quick view timeline or the Expert view timeline) using the Preview window. You can retrieve frames from clips in the Quick view timeline or the Expert view timeline.

About Smart trimming

You can create a refined good-quality video file by removing unwanted sections. Adobe Premiere Elements enables you to efficiently handle blurred, shaky, and unwanted low-quality sections of your video file. You can easily and quickly edit and fine-tune the video files.

Smart trimming enables you to trim the low-quality sections of a video file. Smart trim can be done manually and automatically. You can trim clips from the Quick view timeline or the Expert view timeline.

Smart trimming is of two types, manual and automatic. Manual Smart trimming is the default mode. In this mode, you can specify the options that determine the trimmable sections. In the automatic Smart trim mode, Premiere Elements automatically determines the trimmable sections. You can choose to delete them or retain them.

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Smart Trim

Manual Smart Trim

  1. To enable Smart Trim, click Tools on the Action bar and then select Smart Trim from the Tools panel. By default, Manual Smart Trim Mode is enabled.

    Note:

    When you are in the manual Smart Trim mode, you see the message, Smart Trim Mode: Trim or Delete The Highlighted Sections, above the Monitor panel. You also see the Smart Trim Options button.

  2. (Optional) Click the Smart Trim Options button on top. In the Smart Trim Options dialog:

    • Use the Quality slider to specify the Quality level. The values set here determine the trimmable sections. If you do not set the options here, default settings are used.
    • Use the Interest slider to specify the Interest level. The value set here determine the focus on face data and audio.

    Premiere Elements analyzes the clip, and highlights the sections of the clip that need trimming. The highlighted sections depend on the values set for the Quality Level options. Striped patterns are used to highlight the trimmable sections. The combination of quality and interest sliders give you a much better output.

  3. (Optional) View the bad-quality tags that Adobe Premiere Elements applied on the trim sections by hovering the mouse over the Smart Trim section of the clip.

  4. To select trim sections in a clip, do one of the following:
    • Double-click the clip in the Expert view timeline to select all the trimmable sections in a single clip.

    • To select all the trimmable sections in multiple clips, drag a marquee around the selected clips in the Expert view timeline. Right-click/ctrl-click the trim sections, and choose Select All.

      • To select all the trimmable sections in multiple clips in the Quick view timeline or the Expert view timeline, select Ctrl-A. Right-click/ctrl-click a section > Select All.

    The selected trim sections are highlighted. When you select a trimmable section, all trimmable sections turn into blue-striped sections.

    Note: To choose selected trim sections from multiple clips, first select the clips, and select the trim sections.

     

  5. Right-click/ctrl-click a trimmable section (the blue-striped region). The following options are displayed:

    Trim

    Enables you to trim the selected trimmable section.

    Keep

    Enables you to retain the selected trimmable section.

    Select All

    Selects all the trimmable sections in the current selection.

    Smart Trim Options

    Displays the Smart Trim options.

  6. Select Trim to trim the trimmable region, or select Keep to retain the trimmable section. You can also trim clips using the Delete key on the keyboard.
  7. (Optional) To undo the previous trim action, right-click/ctrl-click the clip in the Expert view timeline, and select Undo Smart Trim.

    To exit the Smart Trim mode, click the Done button.

Automatic Smart Trim

  1. To enable automatic Smart Trim, click Tools on the Action bar and then select Smart Trim from the Tools panel.
  2. Click the Smart Trim Options button above the Monitor panel.
  3. In the Smart Trim Options dialog, select Automatic.
  4. (Optional) Click the Smart Trim Options button on top. In the Smart Trim Options dialog:

    • Use the Quality slider to specify the Quality level. The values set here determine the trimmable sections. If you do not set the options here, default settings are used.
    • Use the Interest slider to specify the Interest level. The value set here determine the focus on face data and audio.
  5. Click Save.

    Premiere Elements analyzes the clip and highlights the sections of the clip that need trimming. The Automatic Smart Trim confirmation dialog is displayed.

    Note:

    If a clip is not selected, striped patterns are used to highlight the Smart Trim sections of the clip.

Smart Trim options

Smart trimming uses quality factors such as brightness, blur, shaky, and contrast factors such as face, motion, and dialog as criteria to trim the clips. You can set the levels of quality and interest before trimming the clips.

Quality Level

Enables you to specify the levels of quality factors that Premiere Elements uses to determine the trimmable sections. The quality factors include blur, shaky, brightness, focus, and contrast. If you move the slider to the extreme right, all low-quality sections are highlighted as trimmable sections. As you move the slider toward the left, the trimmable sections reduce. If you move the slider to the extreme left, only low-quality sections are highlighted for trimming.

Interest Level

Enables you to specify the levels of interest factors that Premiere Elements uses. The interest factors include face data and audio. If you move the slider to the extreme right, more focus is there on face data and audio.

Access Smart Trim options

To access the Smart Trim options, enable Smart Trim and do one of the following:

  • Click the Smart Trim Options button on the top of the Monitor panel.
  • Right-click/ctrl-click a trimmable selection, and select Smart Trim Options.

Trim a clip from the Quick view timeline

You can directly trim clips in the Quick view timeline.

  1. Select the clip in the Quick view timeline.
  2. Position the pointer over the edge of the clip you want to trim until the correct icon appears:
    • Trim-In icon to trim the beginning of a clip.

    • Trim-Out icon to trim the end of a clip.

  3. Drag the trim handles to the desired frame. The Monitor panel displays the frames as you drag, also showing the frame from the adjacent clip (if any). Subsequent clips in the track shift in time to compensate for the edit, but their durations remain unchanged

Remove frames from the middle of a clip

You can retain material at the beginning and end of a clip for your movie, but remove material from its middle. Split the clip right before the unwanted section begins, to create two clips. Then, trim the unwanted material from the beginning of the second clip.

  1. In the Quick view timeline, select the clip containing unwanted material. The clip appears in the Monitor panel.
  2. Drag the current-time indicator on the Quick view timeline to the frame where the unwanted material begins.
  3. Click the Scissor button on the current-time indicator.

    The original clip is split into two clips in the Quick view timeline.

  4. Double-click the clip to the right of the split. This opens the clip in the Preview window.
  5. In the Preview window, drag the current-time indicator to the frame just after the last frame of unwanted material,
  6. Click the Set In Point button. This trims the unwanted material from the beginning of the second clip and shortens the clip in the Quick view timeline, leaving a gap between it and the clip before.

    The unwanted material is removed from the beginning of the second clip (or end of the first clip, if you chose to edit that clip). The gap created between the first and second clips is automatically closed.

  7. Right-click/ctrl-click in the gap in the Quick view timeline, and then click Delete And Close Gap.

Retrieve frames in the Monitor panel

  1. Double-click a clip in the Quick view timeline.

    The start and end points of the clip becomes visible in the Preview window of the Monitor panel.

  2. In the Preview window, do one of the following:
    • To retrieve frames at the beginning of the clip, drag the In point handle to the left.

    • To retrieve frames at the end of the clip, drag the Out point handle to the right.

Trim in the Expert view timeline

You can remove or regain trimmed frames from either end of a clip by dragging the clip’s edge in the Expert view timeline. To help you locate the desired frame, the Monitor panel displays it at the changing In or Out point of the clip as you drag. If another clip is adjacent to the edge you’re trimming, the Monitor panel displays the frames of both clips side by side.

The frame on the left (the Out point) is earlier in time, and the frame on the right (the In point) is later in time. Subsequent clips, as well as blocks of empty space, in the Expert view timeline shift as you drag the clip’s edge.

A tool tip displays the number of frames you are trimming as you trim them. This window displays a negative value if you drag the clip’s edge toward the beginning of the movie.

It displays a positive number if you drag toward the end of the movie. You can tell whether you have trimmed a clip by looking for a small gray triangle in the top corner at either end of the clip in the Expert view timeline. The triangle indicates you have not trimmed that edge.

For linked clips (video that includes a soundtrack), dragging the edge of one clip changes the In or Out points of both clips. Sometimes you want to trim linked clips independently to create split edits (also known as L‑cuts and J‑cuts). Pressing Alt when you trim allows you to set the In and Out points of the video and audio separately.

Trim clips in the Expert view timeline

  1. Position the pointer over the edge of the clip you want to trim until the correct icon appears:
    • Trim-In icon  to trim the beginning of a clip.

    • Trim-Out icon  to trim the end of a clip.

  2. Drag the edge to the desired frame. The Monitor panel displays the frames as you drag, also showing the frame from the adjacent clip (if any). Subsequent clips in the track shift in time to compensate for the edit, but their durations remain unchanged.

    Note:

    You cannot drag the In point of a clip to the left past the edge of an adjacent clip.

Remove frames from the middle of a clip in the Expert view timeline

You can retain content at the beginning and end of a clip for your movie and remove content from its middle. Split the clip before the unwanted section begins, and then trim the unwanted material from the beginning of the second clip resulting from the split.

  1. In the Expert view timeline, drag the current-time indicator to the frame where the unwanted section of a clip begins.

    The frame appears in the Monitor panel.

  2. Click the Split Clip button on the current-time indicator.

    This splits the clip at the point selected.

  3. Double-click the clip to the right of the split. This opens the clip in the Preview window.

    Note:

    You can also open the clip to the left and make the following edits by setting a new Out point.

  4. In the Preview window, drag the current-time indicator to the frame just after the last frame of unwanted material.
  5. Click the Set In Point button. This trims the unwanted material from the beginning of the second clip and shortens the clip in the Expert view timeline, leaving a gap between it and the clip before.
  6. Right-click/ctrl-click in the gap in the Expert view timeline, and then click Delete And Close Gap.

Retrieve frames in the Expert view timeline

  1. In the Expert view timeline, position the pointer over the edge of the clip you want to trim until the correct icon appears:
    • Trim-In icon  to retrieve frames from the beginning of a clip.

    • Trim-Out icon  to retrieve frames from the end of a clip.

  2. Drag the edge to the desired frame.

    Note:

    To change the In or Out point of only the video or only the audio of a linked clip, press Alt as you drag. You do not need to hold down the Alt key once you start to drag.

Extend audio before or after linked video

The audio can begin before the video or extend it after the video into the next clip (or vice versa). Trimming linked audio and video separately is called a split edit. Usually, when you create a split edit in one clip, you must create one in the adjacent clip so they don’t overlap each other.

You can create two kinds of split edits:

  • A J-cut, or audio lead, in which audio starts before linked video, or video continues after the audio.

  • An L-cut, or video lead, in which video starts before linked audio, or audio continues after the video.

  1. In the Expert view timeline, select the clip.
  2. If the clip is adjacent to another, Alt-drag the audio portion down to a separate track so there is empty space next to it.
  3. (Optional) Move the current‑time indicator to the video frame you want to trim, and make sure Snap is enabled with a check mark. (If it isn’t, choose Timeline > Snap.)
  4. Position the pointer over the edge of the video clip you want to trim, and do one of the following:
    • If trimming the beginning of the clip, when the Trim‑In icon  appears, press Alt and drag the edge to the desired frame. (You can release the Alt key after you begin dragging.) Notice that the video stays aligned with the previous clip.

    • If trimming the end of the clip, when the Trim‑Out icon  appears, press Alt and drag the edge to the desired frame. (You can release the Alt key after you begin dragging.) Notice that subsequent clips in the track shift left.

      Tip: Alt-dragging a clip temporarily unlinks the clips. When you want to move or edit them together, select them again.

  5. If you need to trim an adjacent clip so its audio doesn’t overlap with the linked clips you’ve just trimmed, repeat step 3 on the adjacent audio clip.

Trim in the Preview window

You can preview any clip and set new In and Out points for it before adding it to the Expert view timeline or the Quick view timeline. You might, for example, preview your clips to determine their quality and trim unusable parts before arranging them. You can preview and trim clips in the Preview window.

Trimming a clip in the Preview window sets its In and Out points for all subsequent instances in the Expert view timeline or the Quick view timeline. It does not change the In and Out points of clip instances that are already in the Expert view timeline or the Quick view timeline. To let all clip instances use the same In and Out points, set them before placing the clip in either timeline.

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Preview window

A. Zoom control B. Clip In point C. Current time D. Playback controls E. Current-time indicator F. Clip Out point G. Clip duration 

Preview a clip in the Preview window

  • In the Project Assets panel, double-click a clip and do any of the following in the Preview window:
    • To play the clip, click the Play button.

    • To step back or forward one frame, click the Step Back button or the Step Forward button.

    • Scrubbing the Timecode.

Trim a clip in the Preview window

You can trim a clip in the Preview window before placing it in the Expert view timeline. Trimming in the Preview window does not affect instances of the clip that are already in the Expert view timeline or the Quick view timeline.

Once a clip is in a movie, you can reopen it in the Preview window to change its In and Out points for subsequent instances. You can either regain frames previously trimmed or trim additional frames.

  1. In the Project Assets panel, double-click a clip. The Preview window appears.
  2. To trim the clip, do any of the following in the Preview window:
    • To set a new In point, either drag the In point handle or drag the current-time indicator to the desired location, and click the Set In button.

    • To set a new Out point, either drag the Out point handle or drag the current-time indicator to the desired location, and click the Set Out button.

  3. Click the Close button in the Preview window.

Subsequent clip instances you drag to the Expert view timeline assume the In and Out points of the trimmed clip.

Retrieve frames in the Preview window

  1. In the Project Assets panel, double-click a clip. The Preview window appears.
  2. In the Preview window, do one of the following:
    • Move the current-time indicator to the frame you want as the first frame of the clip, even if it’s to the left of the current In point. Click the Set In Point button.

    • Move the current-time indicator to the frame you want as the last frame of the clip, even if it’s to the right of the current Out point. Click the Set Out Point button.

    • Drag the In point or Out point handle to the frame you want.

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