How to Edit Faster Using the Ripple Delete Shortcut In Premiere Pro CC

December 8, 2019

I’m always looking for quicker and easier ways to edit videos. Today’s tutorial is all about one of the best tools for improving your editing workflow and making cuts with literally just a few clicks.


If you don't have a copy of Adobe Premiere Pro yet (my favorite video editing program), you can try it out for free here.


In this article I’ll briefly explain what the ripple delete tool does as well as how to quickly set a keyboard shortcut to use it.

If you're new to video editing, don't forget to check out more helpful tips and tutorials about using Adobe Premiere Pro on the blog.

What is a Ripple Delete?

The ripple delete tool automatically deletes content existing between two cuts with one simple tool and click.

Instead of cutting two areas of your timeline and then selecting the area you want to delete in between and then dragging your timeline down to meet the cuts, the ripple delete tool does this seamlessly in one click.

The beauty of this tool is that it maintains the integrity of your existing timeline. When you delete one section of footage and the rest of your timeline is shifted forward to fill in that gap, all layers move simultaneously, therefore not messing with the timing of any of your other layers (broll, graphics, multiple camera angles, audio tracks, etc.).

Any editor knows what I nightmare it can be to accidentally shift an entire layer of work, unknowingly getting the rest of your work out of sync.

make cut ripple delete 1.jpg
select ripple delete 2.jpg
gap ripple delete 3.jpg
move forward ripple delete 4.jpg

How to Use the Tool

There are a handful of ways you can implement the ripple delete tool.

Before you do anything, make sure that you’re either making your cuts through all the layers, or locking/disabling the layers that you don’t want your cuts or movements to affect.

Make Sure Your Layers are Targeted

In order for this tool to work, we need to make sure all the layers that you’d like to either cut or protect from cuts are targeted correctly. Look all the way to the very left hand side of your timeline where you’ll see a lock icon next to the layer’s labels (V1, V2, V3, A1, A2, A3, etc.).

targeted tracks in premiere pro.jpg

If these are highlighted in blue it means they are targeted and will be affected by using the ripple edit tools that we are about to discuss.

If you do not want a certain layer to be adjusted at all (a music track, for example), go ahead and lock that layer down by hitting the little lock symbol.

We are now ready to get into how to use the tool.

  1. First make your cuts. Right click on the area you’d like to delete and select ‘ripple delete’. This will delete your clip and automatically back your timeline up to fill the gap where the deleted footage lived.Note: you will need to make a cut through every layer in your timeline for this to work. If you don’t want to make a cut through a certain layer (music track for example), simply lock that layer first.
right click ripple delete.jpg

2. The second method is to use a few keyboard shortcuts. Let’s take a look at how to set up your own hotkeys in Premiere Pro

How to Customize Your Keyboard Shortcuts

A very functional feature of Premiere Pro is the ability to set your own hotkeys or keyboard shortcuts. It’s so easy to do. Let’s set one up for the ripple delete tool.

In the top menu bar, select Premiere Pro CC > Keyboard Shortcuts > in the search box type in ‘ripple delete’

Click the existing shortcut box and change it to ‘x’ by simply selecting the box, deleting the current contents and entering the new key ‘x’.

Note: if you get an error message warning you that the keyboard shortcut already exists, it’s completely fine to override it. Just take note and make sure it isn’t a shortcut that you already use frequently. If it is, simply choose a new shortcut.

set premiere keyboard shortcut.jpg
shortcut in use premiere pro.jpg

Now that you’ve set up your keyboard shortcut (and you can set it to any key that you want, doesn’t have to be ‘x’), let’s talk about how to use it.

Select the gap of footage you’d like to delete and hit ‘x’ (or your own shortcut key) and Premiere Pro will automatically delete the content and slide all of your existing timeline forward to fill the gap.

Select Ripple Sequence Markers

There may be times when you have already set certain markers throughout your timeline. If you want to use the ripple delete tool, but also want to make sure that these markers stay in the correct location, there’s an easy way to do it. You need to make sure ripple sequence markers is checked under the marker menu option.

Marker > Ripple Sequence Markers

ripple sequence markers.jpg

Super easy and now your markers will move along the timeline in line with your ripple cuts

Make Faster Cuts

Here’s another super helpful and quick tool to use in line with the ripple tool that will make your overall edits worlds faster.

Head back over to the keyboard shortcuts window and search for ‘Add Edit’ in the search box. Click the existing keyboard shortcut box and change it to ‘z’ or another key if you prefer.

change keyboard shortcut.jpg
enter new keyboard shortcut.jpg

Now, whenever you hit the letter ‘z’, a cut will be made along any and all targeted tracks. If you just want it to cut a certain designated track or tracks, you can highlight those tracks and it will only cut through those highlighted tracks.

Just like before with the ripple delete tool, you need to make sure that the tracks you want to cut are targeted, otherwise the tool won’t work properly.

You’ll know the track is targeted if it has a blue highlight on the far left side. You can simply select and deselect tracks to target them if you want to include them in these edits or not.

targeted tracks in premiere pro.jpg

Using the Ripple Edit Tool

There is another way to quickly use the ripple tool - the ripple edit tool on your timeline.

On the timeline toolbar, you can click to select the ripple delete icon or you can simply hit the letter ‘b’ as a shortcut to use the tool.

ripple edit tool on timeline

Note: In most cases you want to be sure that your audio and video are linked. To do this, simply select both clips (audio and video) and hit ‘command L’, you can also right click and hit ‘link’.

Two ways to use the tool:

With the ripple edit tool selected, click the edge of the clip where you want to begin your cut and pull all the way to where you want the edit to actually begin. This will then delete the content where you ‘slid’ over and simultaneously shift your footage forward, therefore deleting the excess footage and filling in the gap in one swift motion.

A second way to use the tool without even selecting it before hand is to hold command or control while hovering over the edge of a clip. You’ll see the little tool icon change into the ripple delete tool, where you can then jump into quickly using the tool without shifting any other tools.

How to edit frame by frame.

Activate the ripple edit tool by hitting ‘b’, then click on the exact cut that you want to adjust (left or right side of the cut), hold down alt or option key and tap the left or right arrow keys to delete frame by frame on either side of the cut.

How to Use the Extract Tool

Another handy way you may want to use this same idea is by setting in and out points on your timeline, simply using the keyboard short cuts ‘i’ and ‘o’. It will look like this:

in and out points on premiere pro

Then go up to your source panel and hit the extract tool icon or simply hit the ‘ (apostrophe) key. This will delete all the content within your in and out points and slide the rest of your timeline forward, essentially doing the same task as a ripple delete tool.

Again, you must make sure all the layers of your timeline are targeted (V1, V2, V3, A1, A2, A3) all highlighted in blue on the very left side of your timeline.

It takes some practice to get used to using new shortcuts and tools in Premiere Pro, especially if you’ve been editing without them for a while, but once you get the hang of them, they will save you sooo much time.

Try them out and leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Hi, I'm Beth.

I started Handcraft Films to give other filmmakers and photographers the gift of documenting their own stories for years to come. I hope you'll learn something new and share your creativity here.
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