Premiere Pro CC: Use 2 Monitors

Reader Eric Merklein wrote asking whether it is possible to use two monitors with Adobe Premiere Pro CC. And the answer is “Yes,” but… it depends upon what you mean by the question.

Let me explain. There are two ways we could use a second computer monitor: to display program video or display more of the interface.

DISPLAY VIDEO TO SECOND MONITOR

In the CC release, Adobe changed how we view the output of the Program Monitor. If you want to display program monitor output to a second computer monitor, all you need to do is change one preference setting.

Go to Premiere Pro > Preferences > Playback. This allows you to select an attached second computer monitor (not a video monitor) to display program video.

BIG NOTE: Most computer monitors are not calibrated to display accurate color during video playback. Be very, very cautious about using a computer monitor for critical color correction or client approvals.

If accurate color is important to you or your clients, spend the money and buy a video monitor for your Premiere system. (This also entails purchasing a video interface to sit between the monitor and your computer.) Or, at the very least, make sure your second computer monitor is calibrated for video display.

Check the monitor you want to use for video playback. In this case, I checked “Adobe Monitor 2”.

Now, when you playback a project, the second monitor will automatically switch to video playback, allowing you to watch program video on a separate monitor. (The checkbox at the bottom means that when you switch out of Premiere into another application, the second monitor reverts back to displaying the computer screen.)

NOTE: If the audio is out of sync with the video, add an offset correction to compensate. To determine the offset, estimate how many frames out of sync the audio is, then divide the program frame rate into that number.

For example, if the audio is 3 frames out of sync with video, and the Timeline frame rate is 60 frames per second: 3 ÷ 60 = 0.05. Multiply this result by 1,000 to convert to milliseconds: 50. Then, enter the number of milliseconds into the Offset for that monitor.

Play back the clip and adjust this value until the audio and video are in sync.

DISPLAY THE INTERFACE TO A SECOND MONITOR

However, what Eric MIGHT have been asking is whether elements of the Premiere Pro interface can be displayed to a second monitor. Here, again, the answer is “Yes,” but… you need to create it manually.

If you look REALLY closely to the left of the title of any tab, you’ll see a small, “bumply” place. This is called the “thumb.” Drag the thumb from where it is into the second monitor and let go. In this example, I’m moving the Media Browser to the second monitor.

Click the green button at the top left of the window to expand this pane to fill the monitor.

Next, select the next element you want to add to the second monitor. In my case, I’m adding the Reference monitor to the second monitor so I can see a much larger view of my video scopes.

When dragging one panel into another panel, if the blue square in the center lights up, the two panel tabs will be next to each other at the top of the window.

If the blue panel is to the left, the two panels will be side-by-side, with the new addition on the left.

If the blue panel is to the right, the two panels will be side-by-side, with the new addition on the right.

In my case, I placed the scopes on the right and the Media Browser on the left.

NOTE: Video scopes are displayed by clicking the “wrench” icon in the lower right corner of the Reference, Program, or Source monitors.

Continue adding panels until you have everything arranged to your satisfaction.

SAVE YOUR WORK

At this point, you could simply stop. Premiere will remember the last window layout you used the next time it starts up. But, this is not a good idea, because changing workspaces or trashing preferences will destroy all your hard work at creating the perfect, two-monitor, customized workspace.

Instead, choose Window > Workspace > New Workspace to save your new layout.

Give it a name, for instance, here, I called it “2 Monitors.”

The next time you need to switch to this layout, simply select it from the Window > Workspace menu; or use the keyboard shortcut, which is displayed to the right of the workspace name.

Cool.


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27 Responses to Premiere Pro CC: Use 2 Monitors

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  1. Tania Nehme says:

    Hi Larry,
    I’ve been trying to use the blackmagic intenisty box to connect my 55″ TV
    screen and speakers but can’t get the picture to show up on
    Premiere Pro CC 2017. Have tried so many configurations. We’ve tested Pro Res footage from other projects and they play well but the proxies don’t want to play.
    Have you tested the intensity box at all? Is there another option.
    Currently using thunderbolt to connect drive and intensity.

    Regards
    Tania

  2. david says:

    Hi guys, I notice in Larry’s screenshots his two monitors are set to different resolutions. I had a nightmare getting this to work. As premiere has a bug on the alt+scroll zoom when using a 4k monitor, I wanted to use a 1080p monitor as my main monitor and then a 4k monitor as my playback monitor. Meaning 4k resolution timelines (with 4k footage) will look their best, and 1080p footage will still play back full screen at 1080p.

    Has anyone had any luck doing this or is it just me who found this doesnt work (adobe confirmed they need to be set to the same resolutions but after seeing this post Im now not sure)

    I have a GTX970 and both monitors are connected with displayport

    • Larry says:

      David:

      Interesting. I didn’t have any problems setting this up for the purposes of writing my article. However, I don’t use the dual monitors every day, so I can’t speak to how stable this is.

      Larry

  3. Eduardo says:

    Hi, I am using the Premiere pro cc 14 and trying to use an old sony Bravia as a second monitor just to see the video as a full screen, however, doesn´t matter if I choose one or the other monitor in the play back window, just after click in the OK button, my imac screen turn to the second video and is very difficult to go back to the main window an change back the option. I just got it hiting the F5 key that opened the capture window and than it was possible to change.
    To sumup, I cannot get the Sony as my second monitor, just if I drag the program window to it

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