Source Monitor and Program Monitor overview

The Source Monitor plays back individual clips. In the Source Monitor, you prepare clips that you want to add to a sequence. You set In points and Out points, and specify the clip’s source tracks (audio or video). You can also insert clip markers and add clips to a sequence in a Timeline panel.

The Program Monitor plays back the sequence of clips that you are assembling. It’s your view of the active sequence in a Timeline panel. You can set sequence markers and specify sequence In points and Out points. Sequence In points and Out points define where frames are added or removed from the sequence.

Each monitor contains both a time ruler and controls to play back and cue the current frame of a source clip or sequence. Set In and Out points, go to In and Out points, and set markers. Insert and Overwrite buttons are available in the Source Monitor, and Lift and Extract buttons are available in the Program Monitor, by default. Each monitor also contains an Export Frame button for creating a still from a single frame of video.

Source Monitor
The Source Monitor

A. Playhead B. TimeCode C. Scaling options D. Zoom scroll bar E. Drag video F. Drag audio G. Settings button H. In/Out Duration 
Program Monitor
The program monitor

A. Timecode B. Scaling options C. Playhead D. Zoom scroll bar E. Resolution F. Settings button G. Button editor 

Customizing the monitor panel button bar

By default, the most useful buttons are displayed along the bottom of the Source and Program Monitors. However, you can add more. Click "+" at the lower right of a monitor to open the button editor. Add buttons to the button bar by dragging them from the button editor. Up to two rows of buttons can be added. Spaces to separate groups of buttons can also be dragged to the button bar. To remove a button, drag it away from the button bar. To turn off all buttons, go to the panel menu and deselect "Show Transport Controls."


Roll over any button with the mouse to see its keyboard shortcut.

Setting display quality for the Source and Program Monitors

Some formats are difficult to display in full-motion playback, due to their high compression or high data rate. A lower resolution permits faster motion playback, but at the expense of display image quality. This tradeoff is most visible when viewing AVCHD and other H.264 -codec based media. Below full resolution, these formats have error correction turned off, and artifacts are common during playback. These artifacts, however, do not show up in exported media.

Providing separate playback and pause resolutions gives you more control over your monitoring experience. With high-resolution footage, you can set playback resolution to a lower value (for example, 1/4) for smooth playback, and set the pause resolution to Full. These settings allow you to check the quality of focus or edge details when playback is paused. Scrubbing puts the monitor in playback resolution, not pause resolution.

Not all resolutions are available for all sequence types. For Standard Definition sequences, such as DV, only Full and 1/2 are available. For many HD sequences up to 1080 frame size, Full, 1/2, and 1/4 are available. For sequences with frame sizes larger than 1080, such as RED, more fractional resolutions are available.


If your previews are rendered at a resolution below the sequence resolution, the playback resolution is actually a fraction of the preview resolution. For example, you can set your preview files to render at 1/2 the sequence frame size (1/2 resolution) and your playback resolution to 1/2 resolution. The rendered previews play back at 1/4 of original resolution (assuming that the resolution of the original media matched the sequence resolution).

Set the display quality for the Source Monitor and Program Monitor


You can assign keyboard shortcuts to play back resolutions.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Right click the image in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.
    • Click the Panel Menu icon in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.
    • Click the Settings button in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To set playback resolution, select Playback Resolution.
    • To set paused resolution, select Paused Resolution.
  3. From the menu, select the resolution desired.

Change magnification

The Source Monitor and Program Monitor scale video to fit into the available area. You can increase the magnification setting for each view to see the video in more detail. You can also decrease the magnification setting to see more of the pasteboard area around the image (to adjust motion effects more easily, for example).

  1. Choose a magnification setting from the Select Zoom Level menu (to the right of the current time display) in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.

    In the Source Monitor, percentage values refer to the size of the source media. In the Program Monitor, percentage values refer to the image size specified by the sequence settings. Fit scales the video to fit in the monitor’s available viewing area.

  2. To change the visible area of a monitor, use the monitor’s scroll bars to change the visible area of the video image. Scroll bars appear when the current size of the monitor can’t contain the entire image.

Dropped frame indicator

Both the Source and the Program Monitor can display an icon (resembling a "Stop Light") that indicates whether frames are being dropped during playback. The light starts at green and changes to yellow when dropped frames occur and resets on each playback. A tool tip indicates the dropped frame count.

To enable the dropped Frame indicator for the Source or Program Monitor, enable Show Dropped Frame Indicator in the panel menu, or the Settings menu.


Open or clear a clip in the Source Monitor

To view and edit source clips listed in the Project panel or individual clip instances in a sequence, open the clips in the Source Monitor. The Source menu, accessed from the Source Monitor tab, lists open clips.

  1. To open a clip, do any of the following:
    • Double-click the clip in the Project or Timeline panel, or drag a clip from the Project panel to the Source Monitor. The clip appears in the Source Monitor and its name is added to the Source menu.
    • Drag multiple clips or an entire bin from the Project panel into the Source Monitor, or select multiple clips in the Project panel and double-click them. Clips are added to the Source menu in the order in which they were selected, and the last clip selected appears in the Source Monitor.
    • Choose the name of the clip you want to see from the Source menu (click the triangle to the right of the current clip’s name on the Source tab to make the menu appear).
    Choosing a clip to view from the Source menu
    Choosing a clip to view from the Source menu

    • The Source menu lists master clips by name. Clips opened from a sequence are listed by their sequence name, clip name, and starting time in the sequence.
  2. To clear a clip from the Source Monitor, in the Source menu, choose Close to clear or Close All to clear all clips.


    You can also close all clips and the Source Monitor itself by clicking the Close button  in the Source Monitor tab.

You can set keyboard shortcuts for navigating multiple clips loaded into the Source Monitor. Keyboard shortcuts can speed toggling of clips, skipping to the first or last clip, or closing one or all the clips in the Source Monitor pop-up menu.

  1. Select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Keyboard Shortcuts (Mac OS).

    The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box opens.

  2. In the dialog box, click the triangle next to Panels, and then click the triangle next to Source Monitor Panel to reveal the keyboard shortcuts for that panel.

  3. Set keyboard shortcuts for any of the following commands:

    • Source Clip: Close
    • Source Clip: Close All
    • Source Clip: First
    • Source Clip: Last
    • Source Clip: Next
    • Source Clip: Previous
  4. Click OK.

Using the Source Monitor and Program Monitor time controls

The Source Monitor has several controls for moving through time (or frames) in a clip. The Program Monitor contains similar controls for moving through a sequence.

Source and Program Monitor time controls
A. Current time display B. Playhead C. Zoom scroll bar D. Time Ruler E. Duration display 

Time rulers

Display the duration of a clip in the Source Monitor and sequence in the Program Monitor. Tick marks measure time using the video display format specified in the Project Settings dialog box. You can toggle the time rulers to display timecode in other formats. Each ruler also displays icons for its corresponding monitor’s markers and In and Out points. You can adjust the playhead, markers, and the In and Out points by dragging their icons in a time ruler.


Time ruler numbers are off by default. You can turn on the time ruler numbers by selecting Time Ruler Numbers in the panel menu of the Source or Program Monitors.


Shows the location of the current frame in each monitor’s time ruler.


The playhead was formerly called the "current‑time indicator" (CTI).

Current time displays

Show the timecode for the current frame. The current time displays are at the lower left of each monitor’s video. The Source Monitor shows the current time for the open clip. The Program Monitor shows the sequence’s current time. To move to a different time. Alternatively, click in the display and enter a new time, or place the pointer over the time display and drag left or right. To toggle display between full timecode and a frame count, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) the current time in either monitor or a Timeline panel.

Duration display

Show the duration of the open clip or sequence. The duration is the time difference between the In point and the Out point for the clip or sequence. When no In point is set, the starting time of the clip or of the sequence is substituted. When no Out point is set, the Source Monitor uses the ending time of the clip to calculate duration. The Program Monitor uses the ending time of the last clip in the sequence to calculate duration.

Zoom scroll bars

Zoom scroll bars correspond with the visible area of the time ruler in each monitor. You can drag the handles to change the width of the bar and change the scale of the time ruler below. Expanding the bar to its maximum width reveals the entire duration of the time ruler. Contracting the bar zooms in for a more detailed view of the ruler. Expanding and contracting the bar is centered on the playhead. By positioning the the mouse over the bar, you can use the mouse wheel to contract and expand the bar. You can also scroll the mouse wheel in the areas outside the bars for the same expanding and contracting behavior. By dragging the center of the bar, you can scroll the visible part of a time ruler without changing its scale. When you drag bar, you are not moving the playhead, however, you can move the bar and then click in the time ruler to move the playhead to the same area as the bar. A zoom scroll bar is also available in the Timeline.


Changing the Program Monitor’s time ruler or zoom scroll bar does not affect the time ruler or viewing area in a Timeline panel.

Viewing Source and Program Monitor controls

You can show or hide controls from the panel menus of the Source and Program Monitors. For example, you can hide transport controls if you know the J-K-L keyboard shortcuts for playback to gain more space to view your media.

Select or deselect the option in the panel menu to show or hide the following:

  • Transport controls
  • Markers
  • Time ruler numbers
  • Dropped frames indicator

Access to many of the same commands for showing and hiding controls can also be found in the Settings button on each monitor.

View safe zones in the monitors

Action and Title Safe zones
A. Action safe zone B. Title safe zone 

Safe zone guides are for your reference and are not included in previews or export.

  • Click the Settings button below the Source Monitor or Program Monitor and choose Safe Margins. You can also choose Safe Margins from the panel menu of the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.


    The standard action- and title-safe margins are 10% and 20%, respectively. However, you can change the dimensions of the safe zones in the Project Settings dialog box. (See Project Settings dialog box.)

Choose fields in the Source and Program Monitors

You can set the Source Monitor and Program Monitor to display the first field, second field, or both fields for interlaced footage. The settings in the Source Monitor are disabled when a progressive clip is opened in it. The settings in the Program Monitor are disabled when the active sequence uses a progressive sequence preset.

  1. In the Source Monitor or Program Monitor, click the panel menu button .

  2. Select Display First Field, Display Second Field, or Display Both Fields according to your need.

Choose a display mode

You can display normal video, the video’s alpha channel, or one of several measurement tools.

  • In the Source Monitor or Program Monitor, click the Settings button, or click the panel menu and choose a display mode setting:

    Composite Video

    Displays the normal video.


    Displays transparency as a grayscale image.

    All Scopes

    Displays a waveform monitor, vectorscope, YCbCr Parade, and RGB Parade.


    Displays a vectorscope that measures the video’s chrominance, which includes hue and saturation.

    YC Waveform

    Displays a standard waveform monitor, which measures the video’s luminance in IRE.

    YCbCr Parade

    Displays a waveform monitor that measures the Y, Cb, and Cr components of the video separately, in IRE.

    RGB Parade

    Displays a waveform monitor that measures the R, G, and B components of the video separately, in IRE.

    Vect/YC Wave/YCbCr Parade

    Displays a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and YCbCr Parade.

    Vect/YC Wave/RGB Parade

    Displays a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and RGB Parade.

    Program Monitor set to Vect/YC Wave/YCbCr Parade/YC Waveform
    Program Monitor set to Vect/YC Wave/YCbCr Parade

    A. Waveform monitor B. YCbCr Parade C. Vectorscope D. YC Waveform 


To use the waveform monitor and vectorscope displays most effectively, view them with the Reference Monitor ganged to the Program Monitor. See Reference Monitor.

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