Easily Change the Duration of a Video Clip in Premiere Pro

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This article is on how to change the duration or length of a video clip in Premiere Pro. It’s very simple to do. This tutorial will introduce you to Premiere Pro’s Speed/Duration Tool, the Rate Stretch Tool, and will even show you how to reverse a clip so it plays backwards.

Changing Duration of Video Using the Speed/Duration Tool in Premiere Pro

One method to change the duration of a video clip in Premiere Pro is by using the Speed/Duration Tool. To get to the Speed/Duration Tool, right-click the clip who’s length you want to change and select Speed/Duration from the menu. If you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts like me you can select the clip and use Command+R if you’re on a Mac or Control+R if you’re on Windows. Premiere Pro’s Speed/Duration Tool will then pop up.

Speed/Duration Tool in Premiere to change the speed of a video
Use Cmd/Ctrl+R to open Premiere Pro’s Speed/Duration Tool

By default the Speed is 100%. To make the clip speed up which will make the duration smaller, make the Speed percentage higher. If you make the Speed 200% it will make the clip twice as fast, cutting the duration in half. A 10 second clip will become 5 seconds if it is sped up to 200%.

To make a clip play more slowly, decrease the number under 100%. A Speed set to 50% will make the clip play at one half the speed it currently plays. A 10 second clip set to 50% will now be 20 seconds long.

Instead of setting the speed by a percentage, you can use the Duration value in the Speed/Duration Tool and the percentage will automatically adjust. If you’re clip is 3 seconds and 10 frames and you want it to be 5 seconds, just change the Duration value to 00;00;05;00.

After you’ve set the Speed Percentage or Duration value, click OK. This will then change the duration of your video clip. The same method works for audio clips as well.

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Play a Video Backwards in Premiere Pro

Since we’re in the Speed/Duration Tool, I’d like to show you one more cool trick. If you want to play a clip backwards or in reverse, click the Reserve Speed option in the Speed/Duration Tool. Alternatively, you can type in a negative value into the Speed Percentage. For example, -200% will play a clip backwards at double the speed.

Using the Speed/Duration Tool to play a video backwards in Premiere Pro
Click the “Reverse Speed” box to play a clip backwards

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How to Use the Rate Stretch Tool in Premiere Pro

Okay, let’s say you don’t know the exact percentage or duration of the video that you want to change in Premiere Pro. Easy! Use the Rate Stretch Tool.

In the Tools panel find the Rate Stretch Tool. It could be hidden under the Ripple Edit Tool. I prefer to use the keyboard shortcut of the “R” key to activate the Rate Stretch Tool.

Using the Rate Stretch Tool to change duration of video in Premiere Pro
Hit the “R” key then drag the end of a clip out to change it’s duration

Once the Rate Stretch Tool is active, move your mouse over the head or tail of a clip. Then click and drag the end of the clip as needed. If you need it to fill a certain gap, just hit the R key, click the end of a clip, and drag the clip so it fills the gap. This is definitely the quickest way to change the duration of a video clip in Premiere Pro.

Did you enjoy this tutorial on how to change the duration of a video clip in Premiere Pro? If so, I’d love to keep in touch. All you have to do is go here to stay in the loop on new blog posts, tutorials, and announcements.

– Josh

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