Tip #1536: Working with PDFs in Premiere

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1536: Working with PDFs in Premiere

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key is to convert a PDF to PNG before importing into Premiere.

The Page Options dialog in Photoshop scales the PDF image before import.

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Premiere does not support importing PDF documents. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use them. Here are two workarounds.


If all you need to do is import the entire PDF page without zooming into a portion of the page, use this workaround.

Workaround #1: Open the PDF in Preview, choose File > Export and set the export format to PNG. This exports the PDF at the size it was created, not the frame size of your project.

NOTE: Ignore the Resolution setting on export, even if you choose a higher number, the size and resolution of the exported image won’t change. I consider this a bug.

If you need to zoom into elements on the page – for example to provide closeups of an embedded image – this workaround is a better option:

Workaround #2: Open the file in Photoshop, or another image editing program. In the Page Options dialog (see screen shot) that appears: Set the Resolution to at least 400 Pixels/inch. This enlarges the image – while retaining image quality – so that you can easily zoom in or out of the PDF in the timeline.


There are two types of PDFs: those that originated as bitmaps and those that originated as vectors.

Photos, scans and Photoshop documents will not scale very well, if at all. Text, Illustrator files or images created using musical notation should scale perfectly.

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