Adobe Premiere Shortcuts is amazing and they have done a great job in this arena. Most of the teachers at Adobe MAX this year showed us how to change the keyboard layout. This is great but for use beginners we should shy from changing the layout until we really understand our workflow.
If you are wondering where I got these keys from you can check your Premiere settings by going to
Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts…
This is where we can map our own shortcuts or as I like to use it as a reference tools. It might also be good to take a screen shot of the default layout and print it for reference. Or until your good enough to know every major feature you want to use and its shortcut key.
Sadly there are more features in Premiere then there are keys and combos on our keyboard so as you get more experienced you may want to create different keyboard layouts that are based on the type of work you’ll be doing. Now then for me the first keys I really got to know are the [J], [K], and [L]. These keys became my new best friend once I learned what they can do.
Controlling the Shuttle
[J] – Shuttle to the left. If you new like me this was confusing because why would I want to shuttle to the left when I don’t plan on going to space. Sorry for the bad pun but it was fun. No this command moves the time line to the left or reverse the play direction. I’m sure this term comes from the old cutting room techniques they used before computers were around to do non linear editing.
[K] – Shuttle stop. This is a no brainier, when you need the playback to stop just hit K and it stops on a frame which is faster than a dime.
[L] – Shuttle to the right. Same as the J key but instead if moves forward in the timeline.
One really cool thing I just learned was if you want to playback to be faster just press the J, or K key multiple times until the video is going at a speed you can withstand. Be careful because you can make the playback go so fast you’ll miss what your trying to find.
The really other cool thing I learned with these three keys is if you want to go frame by frame to get the exact point you want to cut on the video just hold down K and press either L or J to move the frame in the direction you want. This is how you can do precise video cuts. So as a work flow just rough out your cuts in one of the many preview windows and when your ready to work in the main time line you can then refine the cuts by frame using this nice technique.
In conclusion keep your keyboard layout standard until your ready to become an advanced user. If you keep digging into the menu for a feature this maybe a time to map it. You may also find a time where certain work requires different keyboard mappings.