Fix Selection Inconsistencies! (in Timeline, ECP, EGP, etc...)
The universal convention for selecting items works as follows (in MS Windows’ Explorer and all convention-respecting software, including most Adobe programs):
Ctrl-select = selects or deselects individual items, one by one.
Shift-select = selects the range of items between a selected item and the Shift-selected one
Ctrl-A = selects all items
Unfortunately, Premiere Pro has major consistency issues when it comes to how items are selected. This results in user frustration/confusion and a much less than ideal workflow. Here are the issues and proposed solutions (see chart):
PROJECT WINDOW: Shift & Ctrl-selecting/deselecting works as expected in all views: Icon, List and Freeform. With a current selection of clips, Ctrl-selecting another clip and then Shift-Ctrl-selecting yet another clips allows a second range of clips to be selected. This works in Icon and List view but not in Freeform view. SOLUTION: allow Shift-Ctrl-selecting additional ranges of clips to work in Freeform view as well.
TIMELINE: Ctrl-selecting does not work. Shift-selecting clips works the way Ctrl-selecting does: it selects clips 1 by 1. This is unexpected and unhelpful. SOLUTION: Enable Ctrl-selection/deselection of individual clips. Allow Shift-select to select all clips within a range. If the first selected clip is on V1 and the user Shift-selects another clip on V1, then all clips in between on V1 should be selected. If the user Shift-selects a second clip on V3, then all clips in between on V1, V2 and V3 should be selected, and so forth.
ESSENTIAL GRAPHICS and LEGACY TITLER: Ctrl-select doesn’t work while Shift-select performs the function of Ctrl-select: titles are selected 1 by 1. SOLUTION: Respect selection conventions… Ctrl-select selects titles 1 by 1, Shift-select selects all titles between the first and last selected title. NOTE: oddly, selecting titles directly in the Essential Graphics panel DOES follow selection convention: Ctrl and Shift-selecting works as expected (with the exception that a user cannot Ctrl-deselect an individual title. Trying to do so deselects all selected titles). This means that not only are there selection inconsistencies between tools in Premiere, but there’s even inconsistencies within some tools themselves!
EFFECT CONTROLS: Ctrl-select selects individual effects, but Shift-select doesn’t work. With regards to keyframes, both Shift and Ctrl-select selects keyframes individually. With regards to Text layers (under Vector Motion) everything works as expected. SOLUTION: Allow Shift-select to select a range of effects/keyframes as expected by software convention.
EFFECTS: Ctrl-select works as expected. Shift-select does not work. SOLUTION: Enable Shift-select to select a range of effects. Why would a user ever want to do this? To easily select a group of effects to drag into a custom bin for organizational purposes.
CAPTIONS: Shift and Ctrl select work as expected, but this is the only place in Premiere where Ctrl-A does not work for selecting all items at once. SOLUTION: Fix this strange and frustrating omission so that users can more easily select all of their captions at once to make global styling changes.
Fixing 'boring' issues like this could have a bigger overall positive impact on editors than introducing flashy new features. Please fix what's already there before dedicating limited resources to new tools most people will never use! As always, thanks for listening!
I've been using PPro (on Mac) for a decade and I still can't get used to the fact that shift-click doesn't select a range of clips in the timeline. A bit of consistency, please.
Thank you for your response. Much appreciated!
I think perhaps the reason issues like this make their way into official Pr releases in the first place is because the wrong people are consulted, either at the time of development and/or in the quality control stage. For someone on Adobe's team who is used to Pr working in unconventional ways, through force of habit perhaps, issues like this one of selection inconsistencies might not seem like a big deal. But for new (and even longtime) users who are used to the way things work in every other piece of software they've ever used, it creates unnecessary confusion and frustration that frankly, I can't see anyone benefiting from. Just like a car turns right when turning the steering wheel right, what could possibly be the benefit of breaking that universal convention by making it turn left instead? Sounds absurd. And yet that's precisely what Pr is doing with its users with regards to selection methodologies.
"(2) Captions: Ctrl/Cmd + A will highlight all characters in a caption block if it's in edit mode. This is brand new behavior and should be in the latests beta builds. Ctrl/Cmd + A does not work for selecting all caption blocks in a track because it selects all track items in the Timeline, which is what you stated it should do... "Ctrl-A = selects all items"."
The way it should work is the same way most/all things should work: logically and, thereby, as expected.
1. in the Timeline = select everything (as you mentioned is already the case)
2. in a caption being edited = select all of the caption's text (as you mentioned is the case)
3. in the Captions tab of the new Text panel = select all captions (the point you made above applies to using Ctrl-A in the Timeline, not in the Text panel. When using Ctrl-A in the Text panel, it only makes sense that all captions be selected in the Captions tab and, logically, in the Timeline as well.)
Hopefully this is one of those issues that can be spared any debates and analysis to simply get it fixed.
Sorry if any of this comes across as harsh. But it's hard not to feel disrespected by glaring irregularities that provide zero benefits and should therefore never have made it past QC.
Thank you kindly for your help getting all of this sorted out! I believe it's safe to say that all Pr users would love to see my inconsistencies chart turn 100% green! :)
Thanks for your continued support and feedback, Pierre. We take these suggestions really seriously and want to do what we can to understand and respond to them. Here are a couple of points I can speak to:
(1) Ctrl/Cmd + Click on Graphic layers in the Program Mon: this switches the selection from one layer to another, which is the same as the Ae behavior. Ps does not have a monitor, of course, but clicking on one layer in the canvas and then Ctrl + Clicking on another layer does not select both layers. It keeps only the 1st layer selected.
(2) Captions: Ctrl/Cmd + A will highlight all characters in a caption block if it's in edit mode. This is brand new behavior and should be in the latests beta builds. Ctrl/Cmd + A does not work for selecting all caption blocks in a track because it selects all track items in the Timeline, which is what you stated it should do... "Ctrl-A = selects all items".
Rather than fix selection inconsistencies, the Pr team appears to want to double down on the nonsense by adding more selection inconsistencies with regards to how captions are selected in the new upcoming captioning tools (see illustration). You can test it today in Beta version 14.6 and read about here: https://community.adobe.com/t5/premiere-pro-beta/discuss-new-captions-workflow-in-premiere-pro/m-p/11527250?page=2#M1102.
Thankfully this tool is still in development so it's not too late to try to bring the Pr team to their senses. Jarle and Hugo, please comment regarding this by visiting the link above. The more of us speak up, the better the chances Adobe will respect universal computing conventions (and by extension, respect us, their users), rather than force more convention-busting nonsense upon us!
Hugo Nadeau commented
Well said, I totally agree with all those. Another example telling me the work on this product still has not been trully completed.
I can't imagine this was done by design Jarle. I imagine it's the result of a lack of communication between different departments or individual programmers. Even if they didn't communicate properly regarding this, however, it still shouldn't have happened since long held conventions should always be respected unless not doing so presents a clear and distinct advantage. In this case, not a single one of the inconsistencies does.
Hopefully Adobe can dedicate some resources to polishing what's already there rather than focusing on flashy, attention-grabbing new features few users will ever use. Some of the new features they introduce each year are essential, mind you, but anyone remember the 'find faces' feature that was introduced and later removed since no one ever used it? I imagine the amount of resources spent on that one feature alone could have been enough to fix these and many other inconsistency issues in Premiere Pro years ago... if only the resources had been put in the right place.
Jarle Leirpoll commented
The Premiere Pro team will have a hard time arguing against just doing this. It's totally incomprehensible for a newbie, and even when you know all this, you constantly do it the wrong way, because the conventions are so ingrained in our daily work that it's become second nature.
I can't for the life of me understand why it would be beneficial for the user to not stick to the conventions.