Tip #278: How to Burn-in Timecode

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #278: How to Burn-in Timecode

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Burned-in Timecode creates the perfect reference video for clients.

Timecode burned into a video.
Timecode is a label expressed as Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames.

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Often, a client needs to review the current state of an edit. The easiest way to provide this is using burned-in timecode. Timecode is a label that uniquely identifies every frame in a video. No two frames in the same clip have the same timecode.

NOTE: Timecode should not be confused with time-of-day. While it can reflect the actual time of a recording, most of the time, it doesn’t.

To display timecode for a clip:

  • Select the clip
  • In the Effects panel, search for “Timecode” (Its located in the Video category.)
  • Drag the timecode effect onto the clip

Poof! Instant timecode.

Adjust size and position in the Effect Controls panel. Remember, your goal is visibility, not tastefulness.


A better way to display timecode for an entire project is to add an adjustment layer. We’ll cover that in a later tip.

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4 replies
  1. Doug vanderHoof
    Doug vanderHoof says:

    Wonderful, as always Larry.
    Is there a way to add timecode to a clip and not have it zero out at every cut you make? I know you can export a window burn and import it with the permanent burn.
    But can you do it without exporting.
    Thanks again.

  2. Al Davis
    Al Davis says:

    Another way to do this without effecting your actual timeline is to do this coming out of media encoder instead, using the effects output panel. I usually encode proofs for clients (h.264) and place them on Vimeo with a private link for their review.


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