What are Adobe Premiere Pro markers and why you should use them in your workflow
If video editing were a story, markers would be the unassuming but indispensable supporting character — the Alfred to your Batman, the Samwise to your Frodo. Markers are there to make your editing journey easier and more enjoyable.
Markers are found in most non-linear editing (NLE) software suites, including Adobe Premiere Pro (part of Creative Cloud), Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer, and DaVinci Resolve. Markers are reference points that can be added to video clips and sequences, though you’ll find slight variations in how each piece of software approaches them. A popular use case is to add A.I. transcript markers to clips, as Simon Says supports, to make it efficient to search and identify soundbites in an interview.
All in all, markers make organizing and synchronizing audio/video a seamless process — and they’re the ultimate editor’s sidekick.
In this guide, we’ll be focusing on using markers in Adobe Premiere Pro to enhance your editing workflow. Let’s dig in!
The Basics of Adobe Premiere Pro Markers
Markers in Premiere Pro are very similar to In and Out points (in fact, markers themselves can have in and out points too), but don’t get them confused! While in/out points will change the start and end of a video, markers can be added, changed, and removed without altering the video itself.
Markers that cover a span of time (as opposed to a single frame) are sometimes referred to as “ranged markers” or “extended markers”.
The Components of a Marker
Markers aren’t just indicators, they hold information as well. To view markers in Premiere Pro, go to ‘Window’ > ‘Markers’. This will open the ‘Markers Panel’, where all the markers associated with a selected clip or sequence are displayed. You’ll find that markers have the following components:
- Name – serves as a title for the marker
- Timecode / Duration – where the marker starts and ends, duration of the marker
- Comments – open textbox that allows you to add notes
- Color – choose from eight colors for easy identification and categorization
Each marker can also have a specific role. In Premiere Pro there are four different types:
- Comment Marker – for general annotations; the default and most commonly used type
- Chapter Marker – allows viewers to quickly jump to specific points in a finished video
- Segmentation Marker – defines ranges and segments in a video
- Web Link Marker – allows you to add a URL for more information
Adding markers is easy; simply place the playhead where the marker should start and press the ‘M’ key on the keyboard (or go to ‘Marker’ > ‘Add Marker’). You can even use the keyboard shortcut on playback to add markers as you listen. You can then double click on the marker to give it a name, change duration, etc.
You can add markers in a timeline or directly on clips, including source clips and clips in a timeline. As mentioned earlier, markers don’t affect the video itself so you can add multiple markers in the same position and they can overlap each other too.
Using Markers in Your Adobe Premiere Pro Workflow
Now that you’ve got the basics of Premiere Pro markers, let’s have a look at how they can be integrated into your post-production workflow.
Workflow Before Editing
Creating markers from the get-go, before you start assembling a sequence, is one of the best uses of the tool. Once you’ve opened a new editing project and imported footage, you can sort through your clips and use markers to:
- Label clips (e.g. by scene, character/speaker, location, camera angle, B-roll, favorited takes, rejected shots…)
- Make editing notes and to-do tasks for later reference
A great way to improve the organization of your clips is to create a color-coding and/or keyword system in advance. This will allow you to quickly filter and search markers by keyword or color in a timeline via the ‘Markers Panel’ — no more endless scrubbing required!
All of this upfront work will save you huge amounts of time when you get to editing your sequences.
Workflow During Editing
Quick and easy identification of important clips will already make a big difference to your workflow, but the magic of markers doesn’t end there. While you’re in the middle of editing, you can use markers to:
- Quickly search and locate clips by keyword or color in a timeline
- Collaborate with other editors, by leaving a series of notes
- Share notes with Adobe After Effects
- Mark and edit to beats (e.g. to music)
As you can see, markers are extremely versatile. So feel free to get creative with them in order to improve your editing workflow.
Creating Transcript Markers for Adobe Premiere Pro (with A.I.)
Editing with Transcripts
Transcripts are an indispensable asset when editing dialogue-heavy videos, such as documentaries and interviews. As time-coded text versions of video/audio, transcripts will allow you to quickly find key soundbites and assemble your story.
Traditionally, editors would need to work with a transcript text file in a separate program. But there is a better way.
Auto-Generated Transcript Markers for Adobe Premiere Pro
Artificial Intelligence solutions, like Simon Says, can auto-generate transcripts and turn them into ranged markers too! This means all your footage can have ranged markers automatically applied with the transcript added as marker comments in Premiere Pro.
Using Simon Says, you can create transcript markers for source clips or sequences in a timeline. Because the transcript is formatted as ranged markers, you can easily review clips by dialogue, find soundbites, and speed up the organization process before you start editing. If selected, transcript markers can also be auto-formatted with speaker/character names as the marker title.
What’s more, Simon Says has an integrated Premiere Pro extension, so you don’t even have to leave the program to produce transcribed markers. For more information, check out this step-by-step tutorial on creating and importing transcript markers in Premiere Pro.