How to Export Video from Premiere Pro

May 23, 2019

How to Export Video from Premiere Pro

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Your video is done, and it’s time to show the world its glory. But wait, you have to render and export it! Rendering a video in Adobe Premiere carries with it several choices about formats, codecs, and more. Those settings will influence the quality and file size of the finished video, so it’s essential to get rendering right.

Rendering and exporting a project file is the final step in making your video. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to render and export in Adobe Premiere. You’ll learn how to adjust key settings so that your final video file is the quality, size, and format you expect.

Check out the tutorial below to see me move through the render and export process.  

Adobe Premiere features one of the most advanced sets of options to customize how you render your final video production. Read on to find out how to choose those settings and get the most from your export.

Start the Export

You probably already know this, but it warrants mentioning that the purpose of rendering is to create a finished video file that you can export and share. Adobe Premiere stores project files as “.prproj”, but this doesn’t include a finished video file that you can upload online.

To start exporting in Adobe Premiere, go to the File > Export > Media menu. You’ll see a new window pop up with tons of settings you can choose to export your video.

Render in Premiere step 1

Navigate to File > Export > Media to start exporting your Adobe Premiere project.

This menu is where the power of Premiere’s rendering options live. You can change everything from the portion of the sequence you’ll export to the quality and codec settings in the finished file. Let’s learn more about tweaking these options so that your video comes out great.

Select What to Export

While many tools require you to select what you want to export before you start rendering, Premiere’s export settings are flexible. The first setting that I recommend tweaking is selecting the portion of the video that you want to export. If you want to export the entire sequence from your project, you can skip this step. However, it’s good practice to scan through your video in that preview window to make sure your in and out points are where you intended.  

To select a portion of the video to export, grab the handles below the preview and drag them to the start and endpoint of the video you want to use. The flag on the left side of the preview controls the starting point of the video, while the right flag controls the endpoint.

Render in Premiere step 2

Set the flags below the preview to export a portion of your video project as needed.

After you’ve selected the portion of your video you want to export, it’s worth checking out the Source settings (upper left corner of this window.) You can draw a crop window on the part of the canvas you want to export. I like this option when you need to create specific platform videos, like square format files for Instagram. If you do not need to crop your resolution, you can leave the setting as is.

Render in Premiere step 3

Draw the crop rectangle on your footage using the Source menu.

Set the Video Format and Preset

Video formats are complicated, and there are many choices for how you export your video.

I’m going to simplify this process because it helps address 90% of video export needs. Usually, it’s great to choose the H.264 format. This is a codec that’s compatible with so many devices and services that it’s typically the right choice. It does a nice job compressing your video file while preserving the quality.

Render in Premiere step 4

Choose a video format using the Format dropdown. H.264 is a good choice for most videos.

Times you may want to use another format is if you are not exporting for online upload (ex: your video will play on a large screen directly from the digital file,) or if you know the service you’re sharing to has specific format requirements. If you just want to export audio, try out MP3 from the dropdown. There are also GIF settings if you’re going to create something catchy for social media.

Now, it’s time to choose a Preset. This dropdown menu lets you select a resolution and quality setting. You’ll see a ton of options to apply to your export.

Render in Premiere step 5

There are presets in the Adobe Premiere export window to choose the site destination or playback quality for your video.

Typically, I look for settings that match the platform or site that I’ll be uploading to. Adobe Premiere makes it really easy with all of its presets for YouTube, Vimeo, mobile, and more.

You can also tick the respective boxes to toggle “Export Video” and “Export Audio” if you want to exclude either from your finished file.

The most important thing to remember with this setting is that you don’t want to set the quality too high. For example, if your project resolution is 1280×800, exporting a finished video at 1080p may distort your footage, as the final file resolution will be 1920×1080 (larger than the footage in your project.)

Also, make sure to click on the Output Name to choose where you want to save the video file and how you want to name it. Click on Export and the render will begin.

See It Render

Now you must wait. Rendering is processor intensive, so if you have a more powerful processor, it will finish faster. Longer videos and videos with more effects and elements will take longer to render. Make sure to play the finished video file and check for any errors or problems.

Rendering and exporting is that exciting part of the project when you get to see your finished product finally. Choosing the right export settings will make sure your video looks its best!

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Andrew Childress

Andrew is a freelance contributor to Storyblocks who writes about video production, video editing, and fittingly, the business of freelancing.