What version of Premiere Elements and what computer operating system is involved?
Can I edit the "prel" file?
The prel file is the project file. So you are essentially asking can you edit video with Premiere Elements? The answer is yes provided the program is installed, activated, and all is working. So far, you have not mentioned any problem to indicate that the program is not working.
For each project you can set up a folder to which to direct your project file and project assets.
See Edit Menu/Preferences/Scratch Discs and use save designation Same As Project for each scratch disk, or for each scratch disk set the actual path to the location of the project file. The project file's save in is set in the new project dialog. See File Menu/New/Project.
The most important matter is related to maintaining the source media connect to the project.
You cannot move, delete, or rename files and folders that went into a project after the project has been saved closed.
When you import media into a project, all you get are copies of the originals which are on the hard drive. But, the copies of the originals in the project need to trace back to the originals at the hard drive save location where they were when they were first imported into the project.
Please review and consider and, if questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to ask.
I am using Premiere Elements 13 Windows 7.
Can the "prel" file be edited directly like notepad?
I don't want to depend on the originals. I want Premiere to work like "project archiver". I want to copy the folder and use it on a different computer.
The Project Archiver is the answer since you need the project file to be connected to the source media that were imported into it.
You do that with the copy of the project file and copies of its source media in the Copied Folder from the Project Archiver with the Copy Project option. (Also Trimmed Folder with Archive Project option.)
When you import source media into the project, all you get in the project are copies of the originals which are at their hard drive save locations. But the project has to trace back to those originals at the hard drive save locations where they were when they were imported into the project.
There used to be times when one could edit the saved project file's Notepad document for some project re-setting...
But, the Notepad document for a 13/13.1 project seems to be formatted differently than prior versions.
And, there are certain aspects of a project that are embedded in the project file and some that are not.
I have no insider information on Adobe codes and formatting of its Notepad documents for saved Premiere Elements project files.
Please review and consider.
If I drag a new asset into an archived project - will it be relative like the old ones?
If you use File Menu/Project Archiver and its Copy Project option, you will get a folder named Copied..... saved to the hard drive.
In the folder will be a copy of the project file (.prel) and the projects assets which includes copies of all the media imported into the project whether they were dragged to the Timeline or not. I said that before.
But, if we introduce into that the thought of adding new assets (like source media) to the Copied Folder, you can, but it will be not part of the project until you open the project from the Copied Folder and import that "new asset" into the project that you just opened from Copied Folder. That Copied Folder should be your "base of operations" when you want to use that project. You would go to the Copied Folder, open it, right click the project file, select Open With, and then Premiere Elements the version number you used.
Please review the above and then let me know if I have targeted what you asked.
Thanks for the follow up. Glad to know that the information worked for you.
And, for the purposes of making it easier to delete a project when you no longer want it, consider structuring each of your project's to have it own folder, in general, not necessarily a Copied Folder from Project Archives. Key factor - for projects that you still want, do not move, delete, or rename files and folders that went into a project after the project has been saved closed. And, remember, source media for one project may be being used in another.
Best wishes with your Premiere Elements projects.