Pro Tip: Use “Search Bins” Option in Adobe Premiere

Adobe has brought significant improvements to Premiere Pro over the past couple of years, and the latest versions offer really interesting and useful features. Some of them include:

  • Open multiple projects without importing all the assets
  • Cineform, Phantom CINE, Canon RAW, AJA RAW, 4/5/6K+ native support
  • GPU boost for unleashing of more codecs in real-time playback
  • Multiple colors for markers in timeline and source monitor. Movable markers
  • Feathered masks in Program monitor with on screen GUI for all effects
  • Larger text size in the Project Panel. Regular, Med, Large and Largest
  • Masking and Tracking refinements
  • Cross-platform support for video effects and transitions
  • Live Text templates
  • Three different search options

Let’s talk about the last feature, the search options. For some reason, one of them is “Search Bins,” which I find very handy but it is somewhat hidden in Premiere Pro’s help menus. Like with any other Adobe application, there are ten ways to do the same thing. I’d like to share with you my workflow:

The three search options in Premiere Pro are:

  1. The most typical option is the “Find dialog.” We use this method to search for items in a project, but we can’t save the searches. Once we clear the criteria, we lose the search results.
  1. The second option is “Search in Timeline,” which we generally use to find and select clips within a sequence.
  1. The third, and my favorite option is “Search Bins,” which we are increasingly using to search for items in the Project Panel. Search Bins are pretty much the same concept as “Smart Galleries” in Adobe Lightroom. In essence, we create “Search Bins” through the use of metadata to better organize our assets. We can associate a Search Bin with our search query and the search results are always up to date with items that meet our search criteria. Just like keywords in Adobe Lightroom, if the metadata for a clip is changed, or a clip is deleted, the item is automatically removed from the Search Bin. Awesome!

To create a Search Bin simply selectFile > New > Search Bin.


024 Adobe Premiere Pro Search Bins Image 001


  1. In the Search Bin dialog, enter the search criteria in the Find field.


024 Adobe Premiere Pro Search Bins Image 002

024 Adobe Premiere Pro Search Bins Image 003

  1. Let’s say I want to find all my voiceovers for this project. I just need to type “voice”and voila! a “smart folder” has been populated with all my clips tagged with the “voiceover.” Just like in Adobe Lightroom, we can not modify the content of a Search Bin like we would with regular bins in the Project panel. If for some reason we want to remove a specific item, we need to change its metadata attributes. So, for example, removing “voiceover” from a clip’s description would also remove it from the Search Bin.

024 Adobe Premiere Pro Search Bins Image 004

  1. Renaming a Search Bin is also extremely easy. Simply right-click (Win) or Ctrl-click (Mac) the Search Bin, and select Rename. The new name will NOT change our previous search criteria.
  1. If we don’t need a Search Bin any longer, we can remove it by dragging the Search Bin to the Trash icon, or simply selecting it and pressing“Delete.” Keep in mind that deleting a Search Bin only deletes the aliases of the items and not the original items.

I hope this little trick helps you to keep your assets organized and save some time. It does it for me!




Eduardo Angel is an independent Technology Consultant, Educator, and Visual Storyteller based in Brooklyn, NY. He currently teaches at The School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography, and mentors the photography program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

He is a co-founder of the idea production company The Digital Distillery, author of popular filmmaking courses on, and regularly shares his thoughts on technology, photography, and cinema on his website

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