18 Replies Latest reply on Nov 15, 2012 11:24 AM by Zooropa75

    How to un-link copied/cut text clips?

    Zooropa75 Level 1

      I just started working with texts (titles) in Premiere Pro CS6, and it's been a little confusing for this former FCP-user... I'm getting the hang of it, but there is one thing I need to figure out:


      When I copy and paste a "text clip" on the Timeline, or when I cut one text clip into two and work with the second one, the new clip turns out to be linked to the original. When I edit the new clip, the original changes too - Totally not what I want! I can "rename" the new clip, but that just makes it more confusing.


      So, is there a way to un-link the new clip with the original, so I can edit the new clip independently? Honestly, I don't understand why the two clips would be linked. When you copy or cut a video clip, the new one is obviously NOT linked with the original one.


      I figured out that I can "duplicate" the original clip in the Project panel to get a new clip, and I can also create "new title based on current title" in the Titler. However, none of this helps with the copying or cutting scenario.


      If you are wondering why I need to do copying or cutting on text clips... Copying is helpful when I make a new multi-track video clip that's very similar with an existing one. Cutting is great when I need to make multiple screens of similar texts (such as subtitles) - I make a long clip, get it to the right format, cut it into pieces and change the texts in each piece. Yes, I know I could make the first one and then do "new title based on current title" for each subsequent one. But it would take more work to do that and to get each new clip to the right length and position.


      Thanks for any help!!

        • 1. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
          shooternz Level 6

          There is no way to unlink the Titles. (They are an Instance in themselves).


          We used to have "save as" but that was dropped to my and many others displeasure!


          In your situation I would create a text file in a Word Document (or Note Pad) and copy  / paste from there to the Titler.

          • 2. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
            Jim_Simon Level 8

            If you want a new title, you'll need to create a new title.  Copying, cutting, etc. just won't work here.

            • 3. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              As has been mentioned, one needs to create a New Title, BUT they can create a New Title Based on Current, which saves a lot of work.


              When one creates a Title, it appears in the Project Panel. Everytime that Title is used on the Timeline, it is but an Instance of that original Title. This is very helpful, where one has used many Instances of a Title, say like in old Westerns, where one had "Meanwhile, back at the ranch," but they typed "Meanwhile, back at the raunch," only to discover their typo, after they had used the Title dozens of times, via Instances. With PrPro, one could edit one Instance, or the original in the Project Panel, and the correction would carry through to all Instances.


              When you do get used to the way that Titles work in PrPro, it will be easy to get what you want - New Title Based on Current (in the Titler Panel). Works like a charm.


              Good luck,



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                Zooropa75 Level 1

                Sigh - That's a bummer. Just when I started to think that working in Premiere Pro would be reasonably painless.


                Yes, I can see there are certain scenarios where it's desirable to have multiple instances of the same title that are all linked back to the original, and modifying one will modify all. But far more common are cases where separate title clips should not be linked at all. In fact, it seems dangerous to have these non-obvious links for two reasons:


                (1) When I copy-and-paste a video clip (instance) on a Timeline, or when I make razor cuts, the multiple clip instances are not connected with each other. I can NOT work on one of them and affect the other. With the text clips, however, I can change one and affect all. Yes, I know there is a difference here because I can change the CONTENT of a text clip but not the CONTENT of a video clip. But it's still confusing, especially since the text clips and video clips look about the same on a Timeline.


                (2) If I hand off the project to another editor, or if I come back to an old project after a while, it's highly unlikely that the new editor or myself will know/remember which titles are the instances of the same original, and are therefore linked. There is a high risk of modifying one text clip without knowing that it will change a bunch of others. (The only remedy I can think of is to do "reveal in project", and then look at how many times that original text clip is used. Very tedious.) This danger is hightened even more since one can "rename" a text clip, so I can't look at the clip (instance) names to tell which ones are from the same original.


                It seems more intuitive to me that if I copy-and-paste a text clip, I want to be able to modify them separately without affecting each other. And if I cut a text clip into two, I can't imagine why I would still want them to be connected, which is like they weren't cut at all.


                I know I will probably be told that I am the "rare case" and that my way of thinking is abnormal... or that I should just start thinking differently. But really, next time when you edit a text clip on a Timeline, think about it: Do you know for sure whether that will suddenly change a bunch of other text clips? And if you don't, is that acceptable?

                • 5. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  It is probably not fair for me to say that this has never been an issue for me, as it has been this way in Premiere, from the day that they dropped Title Deko as a sub-app. for doing Titles, and I am very used to how it works. When one knows of this workflow, and gets comfortable with the New Title Based on Existing, it is hard to imagine doing things another way.


                  One of the aspects of Titles in PrPro is that they are just XML code inside the Project's PRPROJ file, and do not exist as physical, discrete files, like in the old Title Deko days. Then, one would create the Title, Export that from the Title Deko program, and Import, then use, the files in Premiere. Because of the aspects of the Titles, their linking of all Instances of that Title is hard-coded.


                  Now, it used to be that one could do something similar to the old Title Deko days, and Export a Title as a Template (PTRL file), which could then be used in other Projects, and would still retain full editability, like the Titles, that are embedded in the PRPROJ file.


                  Premiere Elements performs almost exactly the same way, with but a syntax change. In that program, instead of New Title Based on..., the term is Duplicate Title. Otherwise, everything is the same.


                  I do not recall how I did Titles in AVID, but back then, it was probably create them in Photoshop, Save_As, then Import - something that I still do, with certain Titles. Never used FCP, so have no clue how things are done in that program.


                  Sorry that I do not have better news.


                  Good luck,



                  • 6. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                    When I copy-and-paste a video clip


                    Here's the difference.  You can't change the content of the video clip, as you can with a title (at least not from inside of PP).  However, if you do change the content of the video, say you render out a new version of an After Effects export, than those changes would show up to all clip instances.  What you can do to video clips, things like add transitions and effects, you can also do to titles without those changes carrying over.  So in this sense, titles and clips behave exactly the same, and as expected.



                    it's highly unlikely that the new editor or myself will know/remember which titles are the instances of the same original, and are therefore linked.


                    That's easy.  They all are.  Any instance with the same name is the same title.

                    • 7. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                      Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

                      Good explanation, Jim.


                      As a former FCP user myself I initially had a little trouble getting my head around titles (and my student editors had even more trouble).  Now I actually *like* the way Premiere does it.


                      When you start a title in Premiere it asks you to name it.  Well gosh darn it, if you name it the actual text (like a text layer is named in Photoshop), then you can easily identify it.  Keep them all in a "text and title" bin and they are always there when you need them.  I also make very liberal use of the title templates (the ones I make myself).  Then I get in the habit of going there first when it's time to make a new title in the style of the others in the project.


                      Like so many things in Premiere, it's a different workflow.  Not better, not worse... just different.

                      • 8. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                        Zooropa75 Level 1

                        it's highly unlikely that the new editor or myself will know/remember which titles are the instances of the same original, and are therefore linked.


                        That's easy.  They all are.  Any instance with the same name is the same title.


                        That's not true as long as we can "rename" a clip.

                        • 9. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                          Zooropa75 Level 1

                          OK, I'm trying to do it "the Premiere way", so please help me with this specific scenario...


                          I want to change the text overlay for part of the duration, so I cut the text clip into two, double-click on the part to be changed, and - since I can't change it yet without affecting the other part - I click on "New Title Based on Current Title". This creates a new Title in the Project. But it doesn't affect the selected clip or how it's linked to the original one.


                          What's the easiest, quickest way for me to actually make the selected part into a new Title so I can change it?

                          • 10. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                            Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

                            Nope... not quite there yet.  There's a much easier way.


                            Don't cut the first clip.  That won't buy you anything.  Set the original title to the duration that you want that title to be.  Double click to open and then go to "Title --> New Title based on current title".  A window will pop up prompting you to name the new title... The default will be "Title 2" (assuming the first one was Title 1).  You can change this to anything you want.  Check in the far upper left of the titler window to be sure the title you are changing is "Title 2".


                            Make any changes you want and close the titler.  Unlike FCP, you *do not* edit the title to the timeline from the titler.  You will now see "title 2" in your Project (Browser).  At this point you can just drag it to the timeline or right click and "overwrite" or "open in source monitor" and overwrite or insert edit form there.


                            The key concept to get your head around is that; every title is a unique clip, just as if it was a video clip.  Totally different from FCP

                            • 11. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                              Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

                              Here's how you would make custom templates (which I think are stunningly useful)


                              Open the title you want to make into a template in the titler and click on this icon:


                              Hit the little arrow button:



                              And select "Import Current Title as Template":



                              There you have it.  A really easy way to make consistent titles (the Premiere way ;-)


                              Note in the second image under "User Templates" is the template "podcast_hum_title".  That's my custom template.  To make a new title based on that template I just choose that when I open the titler and change whatever text I need to change.


                              I *highly* recommend naming your titles as soon as you make them.


                              I've got to say, I really like the titler in Premiere.  Just takes a little getting used to

                              • 12. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                Zooropa75 Level 1

                                Hold on... So not only do I need to create a new Title every time, I also need to go into the Project panel to drag it to the Timeline? Hmmm...


                                Here is what I do in FCP when I need a continuous series of texts (subtitles or text screens): I create/format the first text clip and stretch it over the entire duration of the series. Then I go cut, cut, cut at the right spots so I get a series of identical (but not linked!) text clips. Then I double-click on each one to open it in Viewer, go to "Controls" tab, and replace the texts with the correct texts. Notice that for each subsequent clip, I only need one cut operation, one double-click, one tab click, and typing the texts. And I only need the Timeline and the Viewer. And it feels faster because, just like the modern industry pipeline model, I do all the cutting at once and then all the text input at once.


                                In the "Premiere way" as you suggested, I need to create a new Title each time (which involves a number of operations already), and then go into Project panel (which may not even be visible because I mostly stay on "Effects" tab after the initial rough-cut phase), and drag the new Title onto the Timeline, and then possibly needing to adjust the duration, and then going back all over again for the next one? My brain hurts thinking about it. And there is no pipelining.


                                There's gotta be a better way, no??

                                • 13. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                  Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

                                  Yeah... I don't know any other way.


                                  I used to do my titles in FCP the way you suggest too (more or less) but in Premiere it makes the title as a unique clip first and puts it in the Project.  I think it's better form an organizational point of view because each title is a unique item.


                                  I would recommend going the template route and finding a workflow where you make all of your titles at once.  Then you only have to open the Project tab once (though I don't see that clicking a tab is a big deal),  I use two monitors and tend to peel off tabs I need to the second one as I'm editing.


                                  FCP 7 is dead... embrace the new workflow ;-)

                                  • 14. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                    Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                                    While I can't offer you what you really want in Premiere Pro, the ability to cut up a title and make changes without creating a new title, I might have a workaround you can live with. I agree that it is a bit of a hassle to call up a title and then create one based on that title then make the changes. When faced with a similar problem a few years ago, I did something that saved a lot of time. I was pretty happy with the result, and maybe you can learn to live with it.


                                    What I did was create a title, then export the title to a file in a new directory on my PC. Since Premiere Pro CS6 titles are actually just XML in the project file, it is important to export it for this little trick.


                                    I then went into Windows Explorer, selected the title, copied it (Ctrl-c) and then started pasting it over and over again. I mean I just kept pressing Ctrl-v a hundred times. Pasting made numbered copies. I then deleted the first one and adjusted the name of the second one (you'll see) so that they appeared as a numbered sequence of titles named "Training Video Titles - Copy (1).prtl through  "Training Video Titles - Copy (100).prtl


                                    I then imported the titles into a new bin in the project panel. I just used drag and drop from Windows Explorer into the bin.


                                    When I was ready to edit, I double-clicked on the bin which brought it out into it's own window. As I needed a title, I just grabbed the next one in the sequence. I found this to be much faster than creating a new title each time. I have to admit, it took a couple of mistakes before I figured out that I needed a second bin so I could take the title I just modified and put it in the "used titles" bin. That meant that the next title I grabbed would be the next one in the sequence.


                                    I don't know if this will help you, but it helped me.


                                    Of course, if I ever wanted to do that again, I would do it the easy way instead.


                                    I would take the edited video into After Effects and animate the Source property of a new Text object. Which, in essence does exactly what you want it to do, I imagine, except that you don't cut it. You just animate the text using keyframes. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean animate as in moving the text, I mean using keyframes to change the actual text. Simple really. When finished, hide or delete the layer you brought in from Premiere Pro, export the titles to Quicktime Animation 32+ so you get the alpha channel, and import the title track into Premiere Pro. You could just use dynamic link but that might cause a severe slowdown having a comp over your entire timeline.


                                    I will put together a quick video tutorial after dinner and you will see how easy this can be.

                                    • 15. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                      Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                                      Here is a quick and dirty tutorial on animating source text in After Effects. It is getting late, and you get what you get. This is just so much easier than doing it in Premiere Pro. It really comes very close to answering the original question, I think.


                                      • 16. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                        Zooropa75 Level 1

                                        Thank you Steven, for taking the time to make the tutorial! I definitely like how the texts get "animated" in After Effects. As much as I know how powerful AE is, I am reluctant to go into it too often because, like you said, dynamic link can slow things down... and exporting/importing means if I need to make any small change to the texts, I need to redo the exporting/importing. That said, it's good to at least have this option and thank you for demonstrating it.

                                        • 17. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                          Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                                          Keep in mind that you can easily duplicate a layer in AE, then trim it to export just the area with changes. While I don't know about your PC, these comps export pretty darn quick on mine.


                                          Also, what generally happens to me is that I get a few minutes down the timeline with my dynamically linked comps and I realize that I am probably not changing anything in the first few minutes. So I render out of AE and get rid of the Dynamic Links. Then, a day or two later, I realize I have another few minutes locked down pretty tight. So I render out those comps.


                                          It's up to you to determine a workflow that feels comfortable. I am a fairly linear editor for someone who uses non linear editing software. But I have seen people who do a little of this, then some of that, then rearrange. It's interesting. I couldn't do it, but then again, I lack artistic talent. Fortunately I am technically competant. I would hate to try to survive on artistic talent. I admire talent, and I usually know it when I see it. I just don't have it.

                                          • 18. Re: How to un-link copied/cut text clips?
                                            Zooropa75 Level 1

                                            I found an easier way (at least for me) to "un-link" an instance of a Title on Timeline. The need for this could come from needing to change one Title instance without changing the other instances of the same Title, or from doing copying-and-pasting and then needing to change the title, or from cutting one Title clip into two and wanting to change one of the two.


                                            Double-click the Title instance that needs to be changed. This brings it up in the Title Designer.

                                            Click on the icon "New Title Based on Current Title". Chang name if needed, then press "OK". This creates a brand new Title and puts it in the Project Bin.

                                            The challenge I used to have at this point, was I didn't like having to go to the Bin and drag the new Title to replace the exisitng one. Or, my Project Bin may not be visible at all (if I'm on "Effect" tab).

                                            But I realized there is an easier way: Right-click on the Title instance to be replaced, choose "Replace With Clip - From Bin". Since the new Title is highlighted in the Bin, that will be used to replace the existing Title. Voila!!


                                            Now if only I could have a shortcut for "Replace With Clip - From Bin"... But that doesn't seem to be an option.