How to Export Premiere Pro Videos – A Video Export Guide

A modern world requires modern solutions. Adobe has been at the top of the list of best software companies for a while now. Both photographers and video editors use their software, namely Photoshop and in the case of video, Adobe Premiere Pro. Editing is only part of the larger process of creating a great video. Whether for YouTube, Vimeo, or even personal reasons, Premiere has plenty of options regarding the output of your video. Keep reading to learn how to export premiere pro videos.

Exporting a video is as important as the process of editing and choosing the right clips prior to editing. Learning how to export Premiere Pro videos is an essential step in creating the perfect video and with this guide, you will be able to.

How to Export Premiere Pro Videos

In order to learn how to export Premiere Pro videos, it is important to ensure that your project is complete. There is no special button to press or something to mark your project as complete. Once this has been done, initiate the export process by heading to the File drop down menu, selecting Export, and then selecting Media. This will open a window with many settings to choose from.

Select Format and Preset

The following two options can be selected from two drop down menus and are arguably two of the most important options if you do not want to deep dive into making a custom preset.

The Format – Choose the Right Codec

The Format drop down menu has a choice of multiple codecs which are related to both audio and video, depending on what you are exporting (you can choose to export audio or video, or both, which is the default option).

Choosing the right format can be important if you are planning on playing the video on an older device. Older devices might not support HEVC encoding, but rather, H.264, or even AVI, if it is that old. Depending on the purpose of your video, you can choose a variety of codecs, though H.264 and HEVC should cover most use cases.

The Preset – The Nitty Gritty Details

Without knowing which preset to select, you don’t really know how to export Premiere Pro videos. A codec or format, rather, does mean that you are encoding the video in a certain way, but the preset determines which resolution, frame rate, bitrate, audio encoder, audio quality, and whether it will use software or hardware encoding.

If we assume that you selected H.264 as your format, then you would have a variety of presets to choose from. The presets are appropriately named and tuned towards their destination. The Facebook 1080p Full HD is more compressed as a video on Facebook would be. Relative to their host site and use case, presets like YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo and even generic ones like Mobile Device, are all fine tuned to match the experience a user would have on that site, without compromising quality.

Choose the preset that best matches your video’s destination or create a custom one.

Choose Audio or Video Export Settings

Below the two important drop down menus, you can choose whether to export audio or video, or both, by clicking the corresponding buttons. Clicking these buttons will enable or disable additional customization options to be found in the lower right part of the export window.

Choose a File Name, Add Comments and Do an Overview of the Settings

It is important to choose the right name for your file, especially if you are doing multiple videos. A naming scheme helps but that is entirely up to the user. Renaming the output project’s file is possible through the Output Name option.

Right above that option is the Comments section, where an editor can write comments for someone else to read, like a social media manager.

To Match Sequence Settings or Not

One of the most important steps in learning how to export Premiere Pro project files is to know when to select Match Sequence Settings, a button at the very top of the window.

This button matches every video in the timeline, as well as audio file, to a predetermined setting of the project. You can choose which video or audio file will be in their native settings, or changed to match that of the project/sequence.

Selecting this will disable all format and preset customization options and go with the predetermined one.

Select this when all your video and audio files are from the same source or if their details match, like bitrate, resolution and framerate.

Customize a Preset –  Video Options

Customizing your preset is a great way of learning how to export Premiere Pro project files, because you learn what each option does.

At the very top of the lower part of the window, you can select Match Source settings once more, thus matching the settings of the source video/s. Doing this will, however, disable further modifications to an extent.

In the Basic Video Settings, you can change the output file’s resolution, frame rate and aspect.

The resolution can be linked to maintain frame aspect ratio. You can also match just the resolution to the source video/s.

The frame rate is important because it influences the video’s overall size and smoothness. More frames means a better looking video, but a much larger file size.

The aspect is tied to old, analog TVs, which are NTSC and PAL encoded. Only US TVs use NTSC encoding, while the rest of the world uses PAL. It is worth noting that modern TVs can handle any of these, so unless you are playing your file on a very, very old TV, this setting should not be of much importance.

You can match all of these settings to the source file/s.

Field Order – Select the Right One

Field order refers to which parts of a video are displayed first. In an interlaced video, you have two parts, an upper or lower, and can thus select which parts you want displayed first. Interlaced displays, Full HD ones, generally display the upper field first, while SD displays show the lower one first.

The third setting, called progressive, is used for displaying on computer and mobile screens. They display a video from top to bottom, one line at a time.

Select Upper First if you are planning on showing your video on an older HD display, and Lower First if it’s an older SD display. Generally, most new screens can handle the Progressive setting, which should be a default for most presets.

Encoding Type and Bitrate

You can encode your video in two ways, using software encoding or hardware encoding. These two options determine whether only software will be used when encoding your video, or hardware, as well. Hardware encoding used the graphics card to speed up the process of encoding a video. It is available for the H.264 and HEVC formats with specific AMD and NVidia graphics cards.

The bitrate settings are important because they directly influence the quality and size of your video. You can select your Target Bitrate and Maximum Bitrate, depending on the type of encoding you are using. The available options are CBR, VBR 1 Pass or VBR, 2 Pass. only the last option allows for selecting Maximum Bitrate.

The larger the bitrate, the larger the file size. Decreasing the bitrate too much will affect the quality negatively.

Audio Settings – Format and Basic Settings

If your video has audio in it, you might want to customize the settings to make the best of it, otherwise, a large part of the knowledge of how to export Premiere Pro projects will be missed out on.

Depending on which overall format of the video/project you select, you will have one or multiple codec options. The Apple ProRes format leaves you with no options, as does the AVI format. H.264 and HEVC give you a choice of AAC and MPEG.

AAC gives the best customization options, regarding sample rate and channels.

Selecting your sample rate determines the overall quality of the audio, and it is measured in thousands of hertz, the available options being 32000 Hz, 44100 Hz and 48000 Hz for the default AAC codec. Newer versions of the codec support 96000 Hz, for higher quality audio.

Selecting the channels determines whether the audio will be optimized for mono devices, stereo, or a 5.1 surround system.

Another important option which greatly affects audio quality is bitrate. It goes anywhere from 16 to 320. Changing the bitrate to higher than the source audio file will not increase its quality, but rather the size of the output file. Lowering it will decrease the quality of the audio.

Tips for How to Export Premiere Pro Videos

Getting to know the basics and some of the advanced options is a necessary step in learning how to export Premiere pro projects. Following are some tips on how to make your exporting faster and more enjoyable.

Determine the Purpose of your Premiere Project

If you have not done this prior to starting the project, another good time to do it is before exporting it. Once you determine what your project is for and which platform is it going to end up on, you make your remaining choices easier.

Open File>Media>Export or use Ctrl + M to open the Export window.

Choose Your Format and Preset

If you know what your project’s platform is, you can select a format that matches it. For online playback, H.264 is the most common codec, so you can choose that format. Depending on the platform of choice, whether Facebook, Vimeo or YouTube, you can choose a preset to match that of the destination, as well as the source video.

Fine Tuning and Exporting in Premiere

Unless you need to fine tune your settings, you can click on Queue or Export to start the process of exporting. By clicking on Queue, your project is added to a queue and you can still use Premiere. Export, on the other hand, starts the encoding immediately and leaves Premiere in an unusable state for the time period.

Closing Thoughts on How to Export Premiere Pro Videos

Whether a simple online video or a project for a company presentation, in learning how to export Premiere Pro projects, you can take the next step to become a better editor. Check out this Premiere Pro user guide for more.

Interested in learning more about video? Check out this complete review of iPhone filmmaking equipment.

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Morgan is a recognized video marketing expert and content creator. She also runs a video production company and has a passion for teaching all things video.