Sequences 101: The Building Blocks of Professional Video Editing

If you’re new to video editing, the term “sequences” may be unfamiliar territory to you. In this guide, we’ll delve into the fundamentals of sequences, covering not only how to set one up for your video edit but also offering some handy tips for mastering If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll do our best to break down what sequences are and how they can dramatically improve your video editing skillset.

What are Sequences?

Imagine that it’s nearing the end of the year and you decide to make a scrapbook for your family with pictures, notes, and other keepsakes that tell the story of the year. You decide to dedicate one page of the scrapbook to pictures from summer vacation, another page to ticket stubs, and so on.

In video editing, each page of the scrapbook is like a “sequence.” Just like you can arrange and rearrange the items on each scrapbook page, in a video editing program like Adobe Premiere Pro, sequences function as a container that includes your video clips, audio files, effects, transitions and graphics. Each sequence has its own, independent timeline, allowing you to manage and edit different parts of your project autonomously, yet in a coordinated and organized manner.

How can Sequences help me become a better video editor?

For newby video editors, the alluring collection of tools and effects within programs like Adobe Premiere Pro tends to overshadow the fundamental significance of sequences. Yet, it’s essential to grasp that sequences are not merely a component within the software; instead, they serve as the foundational framework for the entire editing procedure.

In other words, if you want to become an efficient video editor, especially in Adobe Premiere Pro, we recommend you master sequencing before anything else. Doing so will give you a more organized, efficient, and flexible editing process, leading to a more enhanced and refined video.

How to create a Sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro?

To kick things off, make sure you have an existing project open in Premiere, even if you haven’t yet imported any video clips or files into your project panel.

Creating a new sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro can be done in several ways, but we’ll begin with the most straightforward method before introducing some time-saving shortcuts.

  1. Navigate to your project’s file panel, typically situated in the bottom-right corner where your clips are usually displayed. Sequences can be created in any folder within your project.
  2. From this point, you have two options: either right-click in an empty space within the panel or click on the icon resembling a piece of paper with a folded corner (the Create New Item Button).
  3. Then, choose either “New Item > Sequence” or simply “Sequence,” which will open a new window filled with various options.
  4. The window that pops up might seem daunting if you’re new to Premiere, but there’s no need to fret. The settings you choose here aren’t set in stone; you can always go back and modify them later. If you already know the file types you’ll be working with, you can streamline the process by selecting the appropriate options from the folders. For example, if your footage was shot on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you’d begin by selecting the Digital SLR folder. This will then reveal additional options, initially sorted by resolution (such as 1080p, 720p, 480p), followed by choices for frame rates (like 24, 25, 30).
  5. Finally, you have the option to give your sequence a custom name or simply stick with the default ‘Sequence 01’—no judgment here! Once you click ‘OK,’ a new timeline will appear in the timeline panel, and your freshly created sequence will show up in the project panel. You’re now ready to start dragging video and audio clips into the timeline for editing.

How to change Sequence Settings to match my project settings?

If you’re concerned that you might have chosen the wrong settings or preset for your sequence, fear not. There are a few quick methods to make sure your sequence settings align perfectly with your project.

The fastest way to generate a new sequence that aligns with your clip’s settings is to opt for “New Sequence from Clip.” This feature automatically pulls all relevant details from your video file—be it Frame Rate, Resolution, File Codec, and so on—and creates a new sequence that matches these specifications.

One downside, however, is that the new sequence will automatically adopt the name of the clip it was created from and will be placed in the same folder. This can make locating it later a bit of a hassle, so it’s advisable to promptly rename and reorganize the sequence. Additionally, the clip used to create the sequence will be instantly added to the timeline. Click here to view instructions on how to change sequence settings in Adobe Premiere Pro.

What are some advantages and applications of Sequences in Premiere Pro?

Editing multiple videos in one project

If you’re a YouTuber juggling multiple videos that share similarities, there’s no need to create a separate project for each one. Adobe Premiere Pro’s sequences offer a streamlined way to edit all your videos within a single project, making your workflow more efficient and organized.

Create multiple versions of the same video

Sequences are a great tool for creating different versions of the same video tailored for various platforms or devices. In Adobe Premiere Pro, you can set up multiple sequences within the same project, each with its own settings for resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate. This allows you to optimize one sequence for television viewing, with settings that might include a higher resolution and a widescreen aspect ratio, and another sequence for mobile devices, which might have a vertical or square aspect ratio.

Use Sequences to segment large video

Segmenting a large video into smaller, more manageable sections is one of the great advantages of using sequences in Adobe Premiere Pro or similar video editing software.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do it:

  1. Initial Sequence: Start by creating a new sequence that contains your large video clip.
  2. Create Additional Sequences: For each segment you want to create, make a new sequence. You can do this by right-clicking in the Project Panel and choosing ‘New Sequence,’ or by duplicating the original sequence.
  3. Segment the Video: In each new sequence, isolate the portion of the video you want to focus on. You can do this by trimming the video in the timeline or by setting in and out points for each segment.
  4. Edit Each Segment: With each segment isolated in its own sequence, you can now proceed to edit them individually. This makes it easier to focus on the details and apply specific adjustments or effects to each section.
  5. Nested Sequences: Once you’re satisfied with the edits on each segment, you can create a new ‘master’ sequence where you’ll assemble the final video. Drag each of the edited sequences from the Project Panel into the timeline of this master sequence. These will appear as ‘nested sequences,’ essentially acting like individual clips that you can further edit if needed.
  6. Final Edits and Transitions: In the master sequence, you can now add any final edits or transitions between the nested sequences to ensure a smooth flow from one segment to the next.
  7. Export: Once you’re happy with the assembled master sequence, you can export it as a single, cohesive video.


Sequences are a cornerstone feature in Adobe Premiere Pro, providing a flexible and powerful way to structure and streamline your video editing endeavors. Whether you’re tackling a simple one-off video or juggling a multifaceted project with a myriad of clips, gaining proficiency in the use of sequences can significantly boost both your workflow and productivity.

It’s important to note that the path to mastering sequences, as with any tool in Adobe Premiere Pro, is paved with practice and experimentation. So, don’t hold back—dive in, play around with sequences, and discover how they can optimally support your video editing objectives.

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