How to Change Aspect Ratio in Premiere

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Video content is no longer exclusively horizontal, thanks to smartphones and social media. Marketers and creators now have to edit videos with different aspect ratios in mind for various social media platforms.

It means routinely changing the aspect ratio of video content from the commonly used 16:9 to 9:16 (vertical) or 1:1 (square).

This article will teach you how to change aspect ratio in Adobe Premiere and an alternative method if you want to try something different.

What is the Difference between Cropping and Aspect Ratio?

Considering both of them typically go hand in hand when you are retooling a video for multiple platforms, you should know the difference between Cropping and Aspect Ratio.

Aspect Ratio is the ratio between the width and length of the video. It is about the size and shape a viewer sees when they play your video. For optimal viewing experience, the ratio should always align with the likely viewing position of your audience.

Cropping, however, refers specifically to the act of fitting shots within the shape and size of the video. When you crop a video, it means removing parts of the shot in the clip. To avoid this, try to film or create a video in the intended output ratio format.

Also, you can use it stylistically to create a split-screen or combine a video with text. Creatively cropping a video can boost the production value of your video. 

How to Change Aspect Ratio in Premiere

Having established the difference, here is how to change the aspect ratio of a video in Premiere. The process involves, 

STEP 1 - Create a New Sequence

Presumably, you have imported and edited the clip in a sequence with the wrong aspect ratio settings. However, if it is a new project, you first have to import the clip by opening a new Project.

When you finish, right-click on the clip in the Project Panel and choose New Sequence from Clip.

STEP 2: Change the Sequence Settings

The aspect ratio setting is within the sequence settings. Since the goal here is to change the aspect ratio, you need to edit the sequence settings instead of going with a preset option.

To do this, right-click on the new sequence and select Sequence Settings. Then select Custom for Editing Mode to manually set each aspect.

You will see a list of settings that include Timebase, Frame Size, and Pixel Aspect Ratio. The main focus here is the Frame size. Set the frame size to the output ratio you want. 

If you want a 9:16 aspect ratio, set the size to 1080x1920. Set it to 1080x1080 for a 1:1 ratio.

Click Ok when you finish. Now you know how you change the aspect ratio in Premiere.

How to Change Frame Size in Premiere

After changing the aspect ratio, there is a good chance the video no longer fits into the new size. A smart way to resolve this issue is to resize the video. Here is how to change frame size in premiere to solve this problem in different ways.

Method 1 - Use Set to Frame Size

If you have multiple clips that don’t fit into the new sequence size, this is the best method to fix it all at once. 

To do this, 

  1. Identify the video you want to fix in the timeline
  2. Right-click on it and select ‘Set to Frame Size’

Method 2 - Use Scale to Frame Size

This method serves a similar function. The downside is it might decrease the quality of the video, i.e., lose pixel information. However, the processing time is faster.

To use it, 

  1. Identify the video you want to fix
  2. Right-click and choose ‘Scale to Frame Size’

Method 3 - Manual Scaling

If you are not satisfied with the result from the first two methods or want something other than matching the sequence settings, try using Premiere’s manual scale settings.

To access it, 

  1. Open the Effects Controls panel
  2. Scroll down and look under the Motion option for Scale

Assign a value in front of the Scale option. The default value is 100. You can make it bigger or smaller by assigning a lower or higher number.

For any mistake, use the arrow icon next to the value to go back to default.

While it can be complicated and has a learning curve, it is pretty easy to change the aspect ratio in Premiere once you are used to it. 

Suppose you want something more straightforward that requires little to zero background knowledge. In that case, there is an alternative way to perform this edit.

Adobe Premiere Alternative: How to Change Aspect Ratio of video with Keevi

Instead of the roundabout way of changing sequence settings, Keevi Video Editor has preset options that automatically alter the size of your video.

To launch the editor, click this link to open the Keevi website. Then click on ‘Upload Video’ and follow these steps.

STEP 1 - Import the Video

If it is a YouTube video, Keevi lets you import it directly onto the editor with a link. 

If it is on your device, you can also import it manually by dragging and dropping the video into the ‘Add Video’ interface or use the ‘Browse’ option.

STEP 2 - Choose the Aspect Ratio

Once the video upload to the editor is complete, move your mouse to the top of the editor’s panel and click Settings.

It will open a panel with options like project format, background color, and video output quality. Click the drop-down arrow below ‘Select format’ to open a list of preset aspect ratio options, as shown below.

The options are titled according to the dimensions of each social platform - 

  • Square (1:1) for Instagram
  • YouTube (16:9)
  • Twitter and Facebook Portrait (4:5)
  • Twitter and Facebook Landscape (5:4)
  • Stories (9:16)

Simply select the ratio that fits the destination social media platform, and that’s it. You have successfully changed the aspect ratio of the video.

STEP 3 - Resize the video (optional)

If you want the video to fit the entire screen and remove the black bars, you can resize the video using the crop handles.

To do this, select the video in the Video Preview window to open the video settings panel. It will also reveal the crop handles.

Then drag the crop handles as you would on a regular photo editing app, as shown below.

You can also make the video fit or fill the screen automatically by selecting the option under Video Transformation in the settings panel. Then manually edit each frame to ensure your subject is not out of focus.

STEP 4 - Export the Video

Remember to preview the video after each edit. Also, don’t forget to set the video output quality under the Settings tab.

When you are satisfied with the final look, go to the top right corner of the editor and click ‘Export. It will take you to the rendering page.

Once rendering is complete, share the video directly to any social platform you want. This includes YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

What is Keevi?

As you can see, compared to Premiere, it is pretty easy and straightforward to use Keevi to change the aspect ratio of a video. The tool also has multiple customization features to personalize the video for each medium and improve the production value.

The editor is a web-based video editing tool that requires zero installation. You can access it from any browser.

Keevi Video Editor also has an intuitive interface that makes it extremely easy to use, with little to zero background knowledge from the user.

Lastly, it supports multiple social media platforms. You can publish your video directly without downloading it to your device.

Standard Aspect Ratio Formats to Crop Video in Premiere 

Aspect Ratio is an important value to consider in video editing. Applying the proper ratio can be the difference between high and low-quality images and video, even when the shots are the same.

There are multiple aspect ratio formats for marketers, videographers, and hobbyists to consider. 

Here are the most common ones you should know.

  • 16:9

This is the international standard format for high-definition television. It is also known as the ‘widescreen format.’ Although there are other widescreen formats, such as 1:85:1 and 2:39:1, it is the only widescreen ratio natively supported by most digital video cameras.

There are multiple resolutions suitable for this aspect ratio. They range from the non-HD 640x360, to high definition resolutions like 1280x720 (HD), 1920x1080 (Full HD), 3840x2160 (4K UHD), and 7680x4320 (8K UHD).

While you can create a video in this format with any of them, the higher the resolution, the better the amount of detail you can pack inside.

  • 9:16

Commonly referred to as Portrait mode, it has been used in photography for decades but became popularized with the widespread use of smartphones, especially by Snapchat to optimize the viewing experience for mobile users.

The format has been proven to boost engagement since mobile phones are the primary device for watching mobile video content. It has since been adopted by all the major social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Besides optimizing for engagement, this format is also a great way to tell highly creative and memorable stories due to its restricted orientation.

  • 1:1

The 1:1 aspect ratio, also known as the Square format, is mainly meant for mobile video consumption and rarely used in other devices. Mobile social apps like Instagram popularized the ratio, and it has expanded to other platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Besides its popularity, the format can fill nearly twice as much screen space as the widescreen format when viewers watch vertically. Thus, it is an excellent option to use if you want widescreen benefits in portrait mode.

Although there are other applicable resolutions, online video publishers mainly publish in 600x600 resolution. There is also the 1080x1080 option if you want something sharper with extra detail.

Other common aspect ratio formats include the 4:3 format, commonly used by iPad tablets, 16:10, and 21:9 (anamorphic formats).

How to Crop Videos in Premiere: Best Aspect Ratio Formats for Social Media Platforms

Although there are overlaps, every social media platform has its unique aspect ratio to display videos on a screen. 

If you intend to film or repurpose a video for a social platform, you should know the correct aspect ratio for the medium. It will ensure you deliver the best experience for your users. As a marketer, it will also boost your engagement and conversions.

Here are the aspect ratio formats for different social media platforms.

  • YouTube Video

Aspect Ratio - 16:9. Pillarboxing if 4:3

Recommended Resolutions - 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p

  • YouTube Ad

Aspect Ratio - 16:9. Pillarboxing if 4:3

Recommended Resolution - 240p (minimum), 2160p (maximum)

  • LinkedIn

Aspect ratio - 1:2.4 or 2.4:1

Recommended Resolution - 144p to 2304p

  • LinkedIn Ad

Aspect Ratio - 16:9, 1:1, 9:16

Recommended Resolution - 360p to 1080p (landscape), 360p to 1920 (square), 640p to 1920p (vertical)

  • Instagram

Aspect Ratio - 16:9, 1:1, 4:5

Recommended Resolution - 1080p (minimum)

  • Instagram Stories and Reels

Aspect Ratio - 9:16

Recommended Resolution - 1080p

  • IGTV

Aspect Ratio - 9:16

Recommended Resolution - 720p

  • Facebook

Aspect Ratio - 9:16, 16:9

Recommended Resolution - 720p

  • Facebook Ads

In-feed - 9:16 to 16:9, 1080p

Carousel - 1:1, 1080p

Collection - 1:1, 1080p

Instant Experience - 9:16, 720p

Slideshow - 16:9, 4:5, 1:1, 720p

Stories - 1.91 to 9:16, 1080p

  • Twitter (Ads)

Aspect Ratio - 16:9, 1:1 (recommended)

Recommended Resolution - 720p and 1280p

  • SnapChat

Aspect Ratio - 9:16 (supports 16:9 for long form ads)

Recommended Resolution - 1080 x 1920

  • Tiktok

Aspect Ratio - 9:16, 1:1 (with letterboxing)

Recommended Resolution - 1080 x 1920


So far, this blog has covered how to change aspect ratio in Premiere Pro. Those familiar with the editing tool should find it easy to repurpose their videos for different social platforms.

However, if you are new to the software and want something simpler that requires a few clicks, try Keevi Video Editor. It is easy to use, and you can publish directly to any social media channel.

September 10, 2021