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Help changing project settings of existing project

New Here ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Hi,

I'm using Premiere Elements 15 that I bought about 6 months ago.  I've spent several hours on a project, only to find out that it used the wrong project settings when I created it.  It used 4k settings when I need 1080.  Is it possible to change the resolution settings of an existing project?  Looking at old forum posts from around 2010, you could edit the .prel file in Notepad or Wordpad and change the settings.  Now, it appears the project files are encrypted or something.  Is this possible currently?

Thank you,

Brandon

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Community Expert , Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

Technically, it can't be done. Although, as you say, some people have successfully opened the .prel file in Notepad and hacked a way to do it.

No guarantees though.

Another option that may work is to copy your entire timeline using the download Clipmate (there's a 30 day free trial), then open a new project (using the correct project settings) and paste the video onto your new timeline.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Technically, it can't be done. Although, as you say, some people have successfully opened the .prel file in Notepad and hacked a way to do it.

No guarantees though.

Another option that may work is to copy your entire timeline using the download Clipmate (there's a 30 day free trial), then open a new project (using the correct project settings) and paste the video onto your new timeline.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Adding to what Steve wrote, there may be another choice.   The project settings primarily set up the editing space and are used to generate the previews that are used during editing.   When you create the final output, all the source files are read from scratch and rendered/transcoded using your output settings.   It should be that if your computer is not balking under the load of making previews during editing, you can continue with the project as is.  

To "test" this, set the work area bars over a small portion of your project and "Export and Share" with settings that match your source video.  Be sure to check the small box that says "render work bar area only".  I suspect the output will have visual quality equal to the source.

Good luck!  It would be a shame to start over!

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New Here ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Steve,

I ended up trying Clipmate, which I'd never heard of.  It ended up working really well.  It somehow turned my first clip sideways and left some settings out of a few clips, but it copied everything over correctly.  The first time I tried to copy my 2 hour project, when I tried to paste, I ended up restarting the PC because I thought it had locked up, but I waited it out the second time and it eventually pasted everything.  Again, thanks for the help with that!

Whsprague, thank you too!  I'd already downloaded and tried Clipmate before I got your response, but your idea works as well.  It automatically fits the imported video into the project resolution.

Thanks!

Brandon

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I have Premiere Elements 2020, and the fix below works. I would imagine it will work even on an older version.

Took the idea from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eyx0tkzkuc

Basically, 1) Save your project. 2) Highlight everything on the timeline (click a neutral spot on the time line and press Ctrl + A) and cut it (Ctrl + X) 3) Add a video clip that has the exact preferences that you want to the timeline then delete it. 4) Paste the clips that you cut earlier (Ctrl + V)

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Glad you found my tutorial, Timothy! I hope it helps others.

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