I understand that for most of its existence, Premiere Pro was focused on cinema and professional videomaking. Times, however, have changed and sometimes I feel like Premiere is still lagging behind with a lot of features when it comes to creating content for social medias.
In the subject of subtitles for social media, the workflows most editors use is completely different than the ones intended for conventional formats.
My job, for example, requires me to create very large quantities of 30 to 60 second long, 1:1 or 9:16 videos to be used on social media. Therefore, I need work with all my videos in a single timeline, otherwise I would have over 50 sequences in every project and changing design aspects of each clip would be a nightmare (yes, I know I can use nested sequences, but in many cases they dont help much).
To create subtitles, Essential Graphics have always been my awful yet least troublesome option. I usually stretch a single clip of text over my videos, and slice the clip as I create new subtitles. Working with with the old Closed Captions panel was not and option for many reasons, but mainly because of positioning.
When Premiere CC 2021 came out with its new "Text" panel, I had a glimmer of hope that finally there would be some streamlined system for subtitling social media content. Unfortunately, the experience was very frustrating, time consuming, full of workarounds (I even had to install AutoHotkey), and in the end I was obligated to go back to regular EG.
Here are the main problems I have encountered so far:
1 - It's buggy - sometimes when I click or double-click on my caption clips, nothing shows up in the Text panel. I have to restart the program. Also, sometimes the captions on the Text panel just dont want to be edited, you may click twice on them but another caption will be selected.
2 - It's confusing - the "Add New Captions" button creates a new caption with default font and positioning values. You are better off stretching the clip with correct formating as long as you need it and spliting the captions to create new ones.
3 - It's clunky - there are no shortcuts pre-assigned to the Text panel funtions when you update Premiere. You have to search around Keyboard Shortcuts and assign your own. Even after assigining shortcuts, you have to constantly take your hand off the keyboard to double click something, my only alternative was using AutoHotkey. Captioning is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process no matter how you do it, so each second you waste by doing anything else but typing or copying-pasting will add up to hours on large projects.
4 - Formating - again, it's a program with a conventional video mentality. For some reason the new captions do go a little a bit further down than the last ones, but you just cant go all the way to the edge. On 1:1 content you sometimes need the captions in unusual positions, margins or limits should be an option.
5 - Exporting - I need to have the option to export only the captions that are within my In and Out points, without messing up the times in the .srt files. Again, for somebody who HAS to caption dozens of tiny instagram videos in the same sequence, exporting from In and Out points are my only option. I could create a new Subtitle track for each video, but that would amount to a cluttered timeline panel and wouldn't fix the .srt time issue. Not only that, but for some reason, whenever you toggle a caption track, the other ones are toggled off.
Finally, you can't simply export the captions burned into the video AND as an external file (as requested from my team) at the same time, which I then could make into a preset. Yes, I can do this on the Text panel, but again, it's too time consuming for multiple videos.
This was the last nail in the coffin for me, after that I had to turn back to Essential Graphics.
Anyway, I'm curious to know what kind of workarounds and workflows other content creators use, hopefully I can get some new ideas.
That whole bit about needing to quickly pivot content on mulitple services, with radically different formatting/aspect-ratio makes the job a bit of a nightmare at times.
And yes, having the captions far more configurable would be a major benefit. In my various contacts, I've found it isn't just "Youtubers" needing pivoted content. Some of the top colorists "on the street" in LA also get tasked with working their outputs into social stream factors. It's everywhere now. EVERYONE needs to post Insta, Facebook, whatever.