The instructions say that when I change project settings, they become the new default:
"The preset you select becomes the default, which is used for all new projects, until you select another preset."
The problem is that it ain't completely true. It only remains the default until I close the program - when I re-open it's something else. Which is an utter, utter, pain as the settings I want are burried under the PAL section.
What version Premiere Elements and on what computer operating system is it running?
If you have Premiere Elements 11, 12/12.1, or 13/13.1, you cannot re-set the program's "default project preset", that is the project settings that you have by just opening the a new project. The "default project preset" will be either NTSC AVCHD Full 1080i30 or PAL AVCHD Full 1080i30.
You can change the project preset for the just opened project with File Menu/New/Project before you import source media. Or, you could let the project change its "default project preset (1080i)" to another based on its automatic analysis of the source file properties when that file is the first file dragged to the new project's Timeline. In 13, you cannot change the project preset after it has been established by you (manually) or the project (automatically). If change needed, then you start a new project.
I have gone into Premiere Elements project presets in great detail in the following
Please review and consider. Any questions or need clarification on any above, please do not hesitate to ask.
This is not Adobe. Rather user to user. And, the above is this user's accessment of the situation.