Learn how to use source patching and track targeting to take your editing skills to the next level.

Source patching improves versatility and allows you to make precise edits to your clips. The source material is available in the project panel. You can move it to the timeline by dragging it, or using keyboard shortcuts.

To make more precise edits, use the Source monitor. The source patching icon is available on the far left. For more information, see Source Patching.

Track targeting controls clips available in the video and audio tracks in Premiere Pro. Every track on the timeline has a number. To target a track, click its number. Targeted tracks are highlighted with a blue color. You can edit multiple tracks at once. For more information, Track targeting.

Source Patching and Track Targeting
Source Patching and Track Targeting

A. Source Patching  B. Track Targeting 

Source patching

Adobe® Premiere® Pro lets you use source patcher presets to control insert and overwrite operations on your clips. This feature simplifies the edit workflow, without taking away your ability to overwrite an empty gap.

Source patching affects where and on which track a clip is placed in the timeline from the Source Panel.

  • It controls the track location of Insert and Overwrite edits in the Timeline.
  • It is available on the video track and audio track.
  • The button is active only when a clip is open in the Source Monitor.
  • Source Patch indicators have three different modes; on, off, and silent.

Premiere Pro decouples source indicators from target tracks. Premiere Pro uses Source track indicators for the Insert and Overwrite operations. It uses track targets for Paste, Match Frame, Go To Next/Previous Edit, and other edit operations.

Using source patchers and source track indicators

Source patchers have three states: On, Off, Black/Silent. One patch is displayed for each video and audio track for the item in the Source monitor:

  • When an item is in the On state, the corresponding track is included in an edit operation.
  • When the track is in the Off state, edit changes are not reflected in the track.
  • When the track is in the Black/Silent state, a gap appears on the track instead of placing the source material.

Single-click a source indicator to toggle between the On and Off states. Press the Alt key to toggle to the Black/Silent state. Press Alt + Shift to apply the operation to all source indicators of the same media type.

You can drag an assigned source track indicator and assign it to another track:

  • If the source track indicator is disabled, dragging it enables the indicator.
  • If the source track indicator is enabled already, dragging the indicator doesn't change its state.
  • If the destination track has another source track indicator, the two indicators swap tracks.

You can drag source indicators of the same type (audio or video) simultaneously while maintaining the relative vertical spacing between the two. Press Shift while you click and then drag an assigned source track indicator:

  • If you click an empty source track indicator, the closest indicator above moves down to the track. If there is no indicator above, the closest indicator below moves up to the track.
  • If you press Alt/Opt while clicking an empty source track indicator, the closest indicator below moves up to the track. If there is no indicator below, the closest indicator above moves down to the track.

When there aren't enough tracks to display the source tracks, the last clip track contains a + icon in the source indicator column. If you click the icon, new tracks are added to match the source.

Track targeting

Track Targeting controls several things, including Copy/Paste, Match Frame, and Navigation commands. When you copy and paste  an asset on the Timeline, the asset is pasted on the lowest track targeted based on the layer order. For example, if you have video tracks one and four targeted, your content will paste to track one.

For the Match Frame command (keyboard shortcut F), Premiere Pro matches the frame of the clip on the highest track targeted. For example, if you have clips on video tracks one, two, and four, and only track two is targeted, Premiere Pro will Match Frame the clip on track two. You can also use the navigation shortcut keys with targeted tasks.