Post Production

Day 17 #28daysofQuickTips 2018 – See original clip names in Premiere Pro timeline

If you use the Rename function in the Adobe Premiere Pro timeline there’s an easy way to see the original clip name

First off, this QuickTip mainly applies to those who use the Display the project item name and label color for all instances in the Project Settings > General.

Adobe Premiere Pro project settings

A bonus QuickTip is that option by the red arrow above. If that options is CHECKED then anytime you change the name or label color of a clip in a bin or the timeline that change is reflected in the bin or the timeline. In other words it ripples that change of name and color throughout the project. I always turn this option on.

With this Project Setting option checked then anytime you change a label color or clip name then that is also changed in the PPro timeline as you can see below with the clips where I have changed the clip name and color.Adobe Premiere Pro changed names

Here’s the tip: If you want to quickly see the original clip name then just grab the clip in the timeline and move it. The ghosted image of the clip as you move it will show the original clip name. See the gif below.

Adobe Premiere Pro name changed

This is a quick way to see those file names but you can also (potentially) use the different name columns available in the column view metadata.

Adobe Premiere Pro name metadata

Depending on the format you’re working with you might see more or less name data. Why the Original Video File Name column is blank in this case I have no idea.

You have to be careful changing the clip name as it could cause issues if you’re sending an EDL for some type of conform or finishing. There is a checkbox in the EDL output box that must be checked to get the proper file name into the EDL.

Adobe Premiere Pro EDL settings

What happens if you don’t check that box? You get the EDL below with incorrect clip names that do not mach the name of the files on disk you’re supplying to the colorist.

Adobe Premiere Pro EDL output

You don’t want the conform looking for files called changed and changed too in the above example. You want it looking for the original file names as in the EDL below which was exported with the Use Source File Name box checked.

Better yet just send an XML for a conform as that sends more data anyway.


Have your own editing and post-production related QuickTip for #28daysofQuickTips 2018 that you’d like to share? Know a killer Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer or DaVinci Resolve tip that no one else knows? Want to possibly win a prize? Then click over to the post announcing this year’s #28daysofQuickTips and find out how you can send in your own QuickTip.


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Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…

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greg janza

This tip should have a warning message with it alerting users that they could run into confusion or problems by changing clip names. One of the cardinal rules of digital editing is keeping a clean line of connection between the media clips and their pointer files in a NLE. I’m sure that changing clip names can occur without issue but a user who changes a clip name also runs the risk of potentially getting confused down the road if the media goes offline or if the project gets consolidated. There are so many ways to add metadata to aid in… Read more »