Learn how to use the various controls in the Source Monitor and the Program Monitor in Premiere Pro.

Play video


The Source Monitor and Program Monitor contain several controls that resemble the playback controls on a video deck. To play or cue a clip, use the Source Monitor controls. To play or view the active sequence, use the Program Monitor controls.

By default, the most useful buttons are displayed along the bottom of the Source and Program Monitors. However, the playback controls are customizable with the use of the Button Editor. To open the button editor, click the  icon at the lower right corner of the panel. The Button Editor launches. Drag the button of your choice into the button bar.

Button Editor
Button Editor

You can only add two rows of buttons. To remove a button, drag it away from the button bar. To hide the buttons bar, click the wrench icon  and select Show Transport Controls from the pop-up list.

To see its keyboard shortcut, hover over a button with the mouse. Most playback controls have keyboard equivalents. When you want to use keyboard shortcuts to control playback, make sure that the monitor you want is active. Click the monitor you want to activate it. A blue border appears around the monitor to show that it has been selected.

Keyboard shortcuts

Many commands have keyboard shortcut equivalents, so you can complete tasks with minimal use of the mouse. You can also create or edit keyboard shortcuts. For more information, see Keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro.

Result Icon Windows macOS
Play Space, L Space, L
Stop Space, K Space, K
Play in reverse   J J
Play Video In to Out Na Na
Loop Playback Na Na
Play Around  Shift + K Shift + K
Mark In  I I
Mark Out  O O
Clear In Ctrl + Shift + I Opt + I
Clear Out Ctrl + Shift + O Opt + O

Result Icon Windows macOS
Step forward one frame    Right, K + L  Right, K + L
Step forward five frames Shift +  Shift + Right  Shift + Right
Step back one frame  Left, K + J  Left, K + J
Step back five frames Shift +  Shift + Left  Shift + Left
Go to next marker Shift + M Shift + M
Go to previous marker Ctrl + Shift + M Cmd + Shift + M
Go To In  Shift + I Shift + I
Go To Out Shift + O Shift + O
Go To Next Edit Point Down  Down
Go To Previous Edit Point Up  Up


When using keyboard shortcuts to move in a time ruler, make sure the panel that you want is active. (Japanese-language keyboards only) To use these keyboard shortcuts on a Japanese-language keyboard, make sure that your keyboard is in direct input mode, rather than Japanese input mode. 

Continuous Playback


Playback continues unless the user specifically issues a Stop command. This feature supports real-time adjustment of editing actions. For example, you could adjust video effects while you are playing back in a loop.

To play back in a loop, do the following:

  1. Drag the playhead to the frame you want and set the In and Out point.

    To set the In point, Click Mark In, or press I. To set the Out point, click Mark Out, or press O.

  2. Once the In and Out points have been set, click the Loop icon.

    If the icon is not present in the button bar, drag-and-drop from the Button Editor. For more information, see Customizing the monitor panel button bar.

Here are some of the actions that do not stop continuous playback:

  • Keyframing of effects

  • Interface items

  • Timeline items

  • Metadata entry

  • Audio parameters

  • Titling

  • Zooming in and out of the timeline

  • Switching away from the application

Play with preroll and postroll


The Play Around icon  plays a fixed number of seconds before and after the position of the playhead. The default settings are 3-seconds preroll and 2-seconds postroll.

To change the duration of preroll and post roll, go to Edit > Preferences > Playback.

To preview a clip or sequence with preroll and postroll pauses, do one the following:



Shift + K – Plays a few seconds before the position of the playhead and a few seconds after the position of the playhead. 



Shift + space - Plays a few seconds before and after an In and Out selection.

Use the J, K, and L keys to shuttle video


Using the J, K, and L keys, you can move through frames in a sequence quickly and shuttle through icons.

Modifier Key

The K key is a modifier and stop playback key.

Play in reverse

  • To move the playhead in reverse at a normal speed, press J.
  • To move it backwards faster, press JJ
  • To move backward slowly, press J and K.
  • To move back one frame at a time, press K and tap the J key.
  • To play in reverse slightly faster, press Shift + J.

Play forward

  • To move the playhead forward, press L.
  • To move it forward faster, press LL.
  • To move forward slowly, press L and K.
  • To move forward one frame at a time, press K and tap the L key.
  • To play forward slightly faster, press Shift + L.


If you are playing back too quickly, press the opposite keyboard shortcut to slow playback. For example, if you were playing back too quickly forward, press Shift + J to slow playback down by one increment.

You can press Shift + L and Shift + J up to five times to fine-tune the speed of playback.

Match a frame with its source


The Source Monitor plays back individual clips. In the Source Monitor, you prepare clips that you want to add to a sequence. You can set In and Out point, insert markers and specify the source tracks of a clip.

The Program Monitor plays back the sequence of clips that you are assembling. It is your view of the active sequence in a Timeline panel. You can set sequence markers and specify sequence In and Out points. Sequence In points and Out points define where frames are added or removed from the sequence. For more information, see Using the Source Monitor and Program Monitor.

While editing in a Timeline panel, you can find the source frame for any sequence clip and display it in the Source Monitor.

To match a frame with its source, do the following:

  1. Find the clip in the timeline. Place the playhead over the desired frame in a clip.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Sequence > Match Frame.
    • Press the F key.
    • For a clip in a nested sequence, type the keyboard shortcut for Reveal Nested Sequence, Ctrl + Shift + T (Windows), or Shift + T (macOS) by default.


If the source clip for the frame in the sequence clip is already open in the Source Monitor or listed in the Source menu, the Source Monitor displays the last frame you viewed in the clip. To match the frame, close the clip in the Source Monitor before typing the Match Frame or Reveal Nested Sequence keyboard shortcut.