Video Editing

How to Crop Video in Premiere: A Simple and Straightforward Way

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  • hello text text
  • hello two

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

If you want to show only a section of the footage or create an effect, you would need to crop the video. 

However, unlike Adobe Photoshop, cropping is not straightforward and intuitive with Premiere Pro. For a beginner, it can be confusing and intimidating. 

The good news, though, is when you master the process, it is pretty simple to crop a video in Premiere.

Here, you will learn how to crop a video in Premiere in four short steps. You will also learn how to use an even simpler and equally effective alternative.

How to Crop Video in Premiere Pro

With Premiere Pro’s crop tool, you can rotate a video, trim edges, and remove black borders. Executing these actions start with taking the first step - importing your video files into the editor.

STEP 1 - Import the video files

Importing your video files (yes, you can crop more than one video simultaneously) can be done in two ways. You can locate them in your storage by clicking Control then Import (CTRL > Import in Windows). Or drag and drop them onto the timeline. 

We recommend you go with the latter. It keeps the workflow smoother.

STEP 2 - Access the Crop Effects Panel

Once the video(s) is in the timeline, the next thing is accessing Premiere Pro’s video effects panel. You will find it under the ‘Effects’ tab in the top panel.

You can search for the crop effects in the search bar under the Effects tab, as shown below. 

Alternatively, you can simply click the Effects tab and scroll down until you see a Transform folder. Click the folder to access the crop effect.

Now, drag and drop the crop tool onto the video. You can also double-click on the Crop effect to add it to the clip. This is necessary to apply the crop effect.

STEP 3 - Set Crop Settings

When you add the crop effect to the clip, a Crop function will appear in the Effects Controls panel. Here, you will be able to adjust the crop settings to your satisfaction.

Premiere Pro gives you the option of cropping the video in all directions - bottom, top, left, right. These adjustments can be made in three ways, via percentages, the slider, or crop handles.

If you use percentages, increasing the value will chop off the image from the specified direction. For instance, if you set the Left value to 50%, it will crop out half the image from the left side of the frame.

If you prefer using the slider, click the small drop-down arrow before each direction. It will reveal a slider. Drag it from left to right to increase the crop value from 0 to 100%.

Those who prefer good old-fashioned crop handles can also use this method. Once you select the crop effect in the Effects Control panel, the handles will appear on the clip in the Video Preview Window. Then crop as you please.

STEP 4 - Adjust the Position or Zoom the Video (Optional)

Once you complete step three, you have successfully finished the cropping of a video in Premiere Pro. But you can still do more to enhance the final look before you export the edited clip.

Since the cropped video is likely to be smaller, you can zoom in or set a new position for the frame.

You will find the Zoom control under the Crop Effect controls. To set a new position, go to Motion under the Effects Control panel, then adjust the location by setting the value.

Once you know the editing process for using the crop effect, you can apply it in different ways.

Adobe Premiere Crop Effects: Ways to Use Them

The best thing about learning how to crop a video in Premiere is the amount of flair you can add to your project. Here are some of the creative ways you can use Adobe Premiere crop effects.

  1. Create a cinematic look

A simple yet cool way to apply the crop effect is to add the renowned widescreen bars to the top and bottom of your video. It will create that letterbox look commonly associated with movies on the big screen.

To achieve this, add an adjustment layer to the clip. Then apply the crop effect to the layer and reduce the top and bottom parts.

  1. Combine with text

You can also use the crop effect to animate your text. To do this - 

  • add the effect to the title element 
  • set the position
  • Set the keyframes
  • Reveal the text at your chosen speed

This use case is an innovative and stylish way to up the clip’s production value and stand out from the crowd.

  1. Split Screen

Creating a split screen is another common effect you can achieve with Premiere’s crop effects. Creating it is as easy as placing two clips on top of each other than adjusting their positions in the Effects Control panel. Make sure each shot is at the center of the frame.

To make things look smoother, right-click on the keyframe and select Temporal Interpolation. Then select Ease In and Ease Out.

You can also use the crop effects to add transitions, blend clips together, and reveal effects.

Best Practices to Crop Video in Premiere

Cropping videos in Adobe Premiere is a precision task. Use these tips to ensure you always get it right.

  • Preview before exporting - use the Video Preview Window to double-check the video before saving and exporting it. Make sure you cropped the right parts, and you did not remove relevant shots.
  • Crop to match the video’s destination - your edit is only as good as how it looks after publishing. Make sure it is not too small or large for the intended publisher. Failure to do so will diminish the quality significantly. 
  • Check aspect ratio - the cropped video should have the same aspect ratio as the output format. Check to ensure everything is in order.

How to Change Aspect Ratio in Premiere

Speaking of aspect ratios, here is a quick step-by-step flow of how to change it in Premiere.

  1. Once your video is in the timeline, add a new sequence to the clip. Right-click on the clip in the Project panel and select ‘New Sequence from Clip.’ 
  1. Next, right-click on the new sequence and choose sequence settings.
  2. After, click ‘Custom’ to set the Editing mode. Set your frame size. You can go with 1080x1920 if you are making a vertical video to publish on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Click Ok.

At this point, you should get a message saying, ‘This Clip does not match the sequence’s settings. Change sequence to match the clip’s settings?’ When you do, click ‘Keep existing settings.’

  1. After this, your video should appear zoomed in. You can fix it by using the Effects Controls’ as discussed earlier to crop out unnecessary parts. Then play around with the Scale and Position tools in the Motion tab to ensure you get a proper fit.
  1. Don’t forget to check your clip in the Video Preview Window to ensure everything is in order. 
  2. Once satisfied, navigate to the File tab and click Export to open the export settings. Choose the H.264 format and ‘Match Source - High bitrate’ for the Preset.

Simple as it is, cropping video in Premiere is long and requires a broad knowledge of the editor’s interface. Fortunately, there is a more straightforward and simpler way for cropping videos.

Premiere Pro’s Best Alternative: Keevi Video Editor

Keevi Video Editor is a video content repurposing tool that lets users quickly perform all kinds of editing actions, including cropping. With it, you can crop and resize any video in a few clicks and publish it directly on multiple social media platforms.

It is also entirely web-based—no need to install software. Additionally, the editor is easy to use, with an intuitive interface that requires little prior familiarization. Finally, it is free, and you can get your cropping underway with these easy-to-follow steps.

How to Crop a Video with Keevi Video Editor

Simply click this link and then follow these steps to crop the video.

STEP 1 - Import the Video

You can drag and drop the video onto the Add interface. Clicking the browse option to select the video inside the computer is also an option.

The editor supports most common video file formats, so there is no need to worry about compatibility.

However, if the video is on YouTube, you can simply insert the link. The editor will import it automatically, as shown below.

STEP 2 - Crop the Video

Once the video is in the Keevi timeline, select the video in the preview window to open the video settings controls. 

This will also display the crop handles, which you can use to drag the rectangle like most photo editing tools.

Using the handles, you can resize the video, zoom to refocus the frame or combine the video with text.

crop video in premiere

STEP 3 - Set the Output Aspect Ratio (optional)

If the original video already has the aspect ratio of the destination platform, you can simply export the video. Otherwise, choose from a preset list of aspect ratio formats for the edited video.

To do this, hit settings at the top of the editor and pick your preferred format. Keevi Video Editor has presets for YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. It also has a preset for Stories applicable on any platform.

crop video in premiere

You can also set the background color. For instance, you can set it to black to create a cinematic look with the video. 

STEP 4: Export the Video

Once the edit is complete, double-check to ensure everything is in order. Afterward, go to settings to set the video output quality. You can choose from 720p to 4K quality.

After that, click the ‘Export’ button at the top right corner to render the video.

Once rendering is complete, you can upload the video directly to all social media platforms, including YouTube and Facebook.

This completes the step-by-step guide on how to crop videos with Keevi Video Editor.

Premiere vs. Keevi: Which is Better?

When it comes to cropping videos, both Keevi Video Editor and Adobe Premiere Pro are great tools to use. Adobe Premiere Pro is an advanced video editing software and thus, requires some degree of familiarity to use. This is especially true if you have zero prior technical expertise when it comes to video editing.

However, Premiere Pro is excellent for all kinds of complex video cropping if you are used to the interface. To blend multiple shots, create a picture-in-picture effect, or reveal the effects in your clip in a stylish way.

Keevi Video Editor, on the other hand, is a more straightforward tool for a beginner for cropping a video. The interface is intuitive. You don’t need to be familiar with it to complete your edits.

Also, the editing process is more streamlined and uncomplicated. There are several preset options for aspect ratios that do most of the heavy lifting for you. You can make a vertical video horizontal and vice versa in one click.

Before you Go...

This blog has covered in-detail, step-by-step guide on how to crop video in Premiere. It may not be straightforward, but it is easy. After one or two tries, you should have a firm grasp of how to use the crop effects.

However, if you prefer something simpler and more straightforward, try using Keevi Video Editor. It is just as effective and requires less technical effort.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
September 29, 2021