How To Change Aspect Ratio In Premiere Pro: Video Editing 101

For content creators, optimizing the aspect ratio of videos is essential to ensure maximum quality across diverse platforms. Adobe Premiere Pro presents a range of cutting-edge features for video editing, including the capacity to customize aspect ratios. This article offers a step-by-step walkthrough on changing aspect ratios in Premiere Pro, empowering you to generate stunning videos primed for all destinations.

What Is An Aspect Ratio?

The aspect ratio is the proportional connection between a video frame's width and height that affects how it will appear on various media platforms, including social media and television. Aspect ratio optimization can improve the final product's quality on all devices.

How To Change Aspect Ratio In Premiere Pro

Follow these 10 steps to change the aspect ratio of your videos in Premiere Pro:

Step 1: Open Premiere Pro and create a new project or open an existing one.

Step 2: Import the video clip you want to edit by clicking on the “File” menu and selecting “Import.”

Step 3: Once your video is imported, drag it from the project panel to the timeline panel.

Step 4: Right-click on the video clip in the timeline and select “Set to Frame Size.”

Step 5: Click on the “Effects Control” panel to view the video clip’s properties.

Step 6: Click on the “Motion” tab.

Step 7: Under “Scale,” adjust the height or width to change the aspect ratio. For example, if you want to change the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3, adjust the width to 75%. This will make the video narrower, but it will retain its height.

Step 8: Preview the video to see how it looks with the new aspect ratio.

Step 9: Export the video by clicking on the “File” menu and selecting “Export.”

Step 10: Select the desired export settings and click “Export.”

You can alter the width and height of your video frame to produce a polished and eye-catching film by following these ten steps. Remember to preview your video and export it in the desired video size to ensure it looks its best.

Is It Possible To Save a Different Aspect Ratio In Premiere Pro?

Yes, it is possible to save a different aspect ratio in Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro allows you to adjust the aspect ratio of your videos and change it according to your preferences. You can choose from various aspect ratios such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, and more. To modify the aspect ratio, go to the Sequence Settings and select the frame size that you want. You can also customize your own aspect ratio by clicking on the “Custom” option and entering the desired dimensions. Once you have adjusted the aspect ratio, you can save it by selecting “Save As” and giving it a new name. This way, you can easily access your custom aspect ratio for future projects.

Types Of Aspect Ratios and Their Uses

Here are the 6 most common types of aspect ratios you need to be familiar with:

  1. 16:9 - This is the standard aspect ratio for modern widescreen monitors and televisions. It is commonly used for videos that will be displayed online, on TV, or on projection screens.
  2. 4:3 - This aspect ratio was the standard for older televisions and computer monitors before widescreen displays became popular. It is still used in some contexts, such as for older video games or some square Instagram posts.
  3. 1:1 - Also known as the square aspect ratio, this is commonly used on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook for posts that feature images or short videos.
  4. 21:9 - This ultra-wide aspect ratio is gaining popularity for cinema and gaming experiences, as it provides a more immersive viewing experience.
  5. 2.35:1 - This is a wider aspect ratio commonly used in movies for a cinematic experience. It has a wider horizontal view than 16:9 but with more black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
  6. 4:5 - This aspect ratio is used for portrait-oriented photos and videos on platforms like Instagram.

Having an understanding of various aspect ratios and their applications can help in selecting the most suitable one for your content, ensuring that your videos display accurately on distinct devices. You can easily modify the aspect ratio to meet your needs while editing in Premiere Pro, guaranteeing the optimal quality of your videos.

What Is a Pixel Aspect Ratio Calculator?

A pixel aspect ratio calculator is a valuable tool that assists in determining a video's correct aspect ratio based on pixel dimensions. It is especially useful when working with nonstandard video resolutions or when matching an existing video's aspect ratio. The calculator calculates the aspect ratio based on the number of pixels in each dimension. There are several online pixel aspect ratio calculators available for free, or you can use a built-in calculator in Premiere Pro's sequence settings. By using a pixel aspect ratio calculator, you can ensure that your video looks its best on all devices and platforms.

What Is Pan and Scan?

Pan and scan is a term used in film and video production to describe the process of cropping a widescreen image to fit a narrower aspect ratio. This technique is frequently employed to transform films captured in wider aspect ratios to either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios suitable for television broadcasting.

The process involves selecting a portion of the original image and moving the camera or cropping the image to focus on that area. Scaling down the resolution can lead to loss of the original image and potentially impact the overall shot composition. However, it is a useful technique for adapting widescreen content to fit different aspect ratios.


In conclusion, understanding aspect ratios and how to adjust them in Premiere Pro is crucial for creating visually appealing content. By choosing the right aspect ratio and using tools like pixel aspect ratio calculators, you can ensure that your videos look their best on all devices and platforms. And while pan and scan can be useful for adapting widescreen content to fit different aspect ratios, it's important to consider the loss of image and composition when using this technique. Take the time to experiment with different aspect ratios to determine the optimal fit for your content. Your audience will appreciate the effort.

Final Thoughts

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