What type of camcorder did your original video come from?
Which project settings are you using in Premiere Elements?
I am shooting the videos on a Cannon, HD digital video camera. When you mean 'project settings' do you mean what preset I am rendering the video in?
In this case, the Project Preset is what is chosen at New Project, and must match your Imported source footage from the Canon.
Sorry for sounding ignorant. How do you make sure the Project Preset matches the imported source?
Ah, I see, can I set a New Project to wide screen? What about videos I've already edited? Can I switch those, or do I have to re-import and edit?
>How do you make sure the Project Preset matches the imported source?
You start by knowing what you have told the camera to create... look in the camera's setup screen(s) and find out what you told the camera it should do
Then, you match your project to your files
Unfortunately, you can not change a project's settings once you've begun a project, so you'll likely need to restart those projects for best results.
Meantime, you may want to check out my free Basic Training for Premiere Elements tutorials at Premiere Elements support site Muvipix.com. They'll show you the basics and the program's operation, along with my books, should help you optimize your experience with this app.