Premiere Pro CC: Use 2 Monitors

Posted: December 15, 2013

Reader Eric Merklein wrote asking whether it is possible to use two monitors with Adobe Premiere Pro CC. And the answer is “Yes,” but… it depends upon what you mean by the question.

Let me explain. There are two ways we could use a second computer monitor: to display program video or display more of the interface.


In the CC release, Adobe changed how we view the output of the Program Monitor. If you want to display program monitor output to a second computer monitor, all you need to do is change one preference setting.

Go to Premiere Pro > Preferences > Playback. This allows you to select an attached second computer monitor (not a video monitor) to display program video.

BIG NOTE: Most computer monitors are not calibrated to display accurate color during video playback. Be very, very cautious about using a computer monitor for critical color correction or client approvals.

If accurate color is important to you or your clients, spend the money and buy a video monitor for your Premiere system. (This also entails purchasing a video interface to sit between the monitor and your computer.) Or, at the very least, make sure your second computer monitor is calibrated for video display.

Check the monitor you want to use for video playback. In this case, I checked “Adobe Monitor 2″.

Now, when you playback a project, the second monitor will automatically switch to video playback, allowing you to watch program video on a separate monitor. (The checkbox at the bottom means that when you switch out of Premiere into another application, the second monitor reverts back to displaying the computer screen.)

NOTE: If the audio is out of sync with the video, add an offset correction to compensate. To determine the offset, estimate how many frames out of sync the audio is, then divide the program frame rate into that number.

For example, if the audio is 3 frames out of sync with video, and the Timeline frame rate is 60 frames per second: 3 ÷ 60 = 0.05. Multiply this result by 1,000 to convert to milliseconds: 50. Then, enter the number of milliseconds into the Offset for that monitor.

Play back the clip and adjust this value until the audio and video are in sync.


However, what Eric MIGHT have been asking is whether elements of the Premiere Pro interface can be displayed to a second monitor. Here, again, the answer is “Yes,” but… you need to create it manually.

If you look REALLY closely to the left of the title of any tab, you’ll see a small, “bumply” place. This is called the “thumb.” Drag the thumb from where it is into the second monitor and let go. In this example, I’m moving the Media Browser to the second monitor.

Click the green button at the top left of the window to expand this pane to fill the monitor.

Next, select the next element you want to add to the second monitor. In my case, I’m adding the Reference monitor to the second monitor so I can see a much larger view of my video scopes.

When dragging one panel into another panel, if the blue square in the center lights up, the two panel tabs will be next to each other at the top of the window.

If the blue panel is to the left, the two panels will be side-by-side, with the new addition on the left.

If the blue panel is to the right, the two panels will be side-by-side, with the new addition on the right.

In my case, I placed the scopes on the right and the Media Browser on the left.

NOTE: Video scopes are displayed by clicking the “wrench” icon in the lower right corner of the Reference, Program, or Source monitors.

Continue adding panels until you have everything arranged to your satisfaction.


At this point, you could simply stop. Premiere will remember the last window layout you used the next time it starts up. But, this is not a good idea, because changing workspaces or trashing preferences will destroy all your hard work at creating the perfect, two-monitor, customized workspace.

Instead, choose Window > Workspace > New Workspace to save your new layout.

Give it a name, for instance, here, I called it “2 Monitors.”

The next time you need to switch to this layout, simply select it from the Window > Workspace menu; or use the keyboard shortcut, which is displayed to the right of the workspace name.


11 Comments to “Premiere Pro CC: Use 2 Monitors”
  1. Ricardo says:

    I am looking to display elements of the interface to the second monitor as you describe in the second option. I am using Premiere Pro CC on a Windows 8 platform. When I drag the panel or frame to the second monitor I do not see any way to automatically have it fill the monitor. You said “click the green button at the top left of the window to expand this pane to fill the monitor.” Is that only a Mac OS feature? In Windows there should be a maximize icon on the top right but I only see the X to close the window. I have looked everywhere online and cannot find a way to maximize. And the handy tilde key does not work on the second monitor. Any ideas?

  2. Eric Emerick says:

    Trying to set up a Flanders Scientific CM250 via AJA T-Tap but PPRO CC doesn’t appear to “see” the monitor in the Playback pref tab. FCPX works fine. Any ideas?

  3. Philipp says:

    Hey Larry,

    Great post!!! I have a question for you: which version of Premiere CC did you use for this? We are on 7.2.2 on OSX 10.9.2 and we can not get the offset function to work. No matter if it’s set to 0ms or 500ms it makes no difference during playback on our second monitor (actually an external Flanders through Blackmagic 4k). I have a feeling that something broke with that setting and submitted a bug report to Adobe:

    Wondering what version you had when this worked for you and if this still works for you on the latest release of Premiere CC.

    Would truly appreciate your thoughts so that I can help assist Adobe what is going on here.



  4. Will Roberts says:

    Hi Larry,

    What would be the advantage of configuring a second display this way rather than through apple system preferences? is it just that you can save preset’s or is this a lot more reliable method.



  5. gf says:

    Hi Larry,

    I often use a projector as my second preview “monitor” because that best fits my purposes, and this works fin with my Premiere Pro CS6 (Mac OS), but when I’ve tried to show people how to do it who are using Premiere CC (Mac laptops and towers), it never seems to work. Premiere CC will see the projector as a playback option, but it either won’t play anything back (blank screen) or it will cause the program to crash (repeatedly). I’ve never had this problem CS6, do you know if they changed something in CC? Is there a setting or a work around that you would suggest?


    • LarryJ says:


      Interesting idea – I’ve never used a projector in this fashion, so I don’t have any suggestions on why it doesn’t work.

      Perhaps a call to Adobe Support?


  6. Duke Sweden says:

    I had my reference monitor display show up on a second monitor but since updating Premiere Pro CC 2014 the second monitor goes blank when I open Premiere Pro. It worked before. I checked Preferences>Playback and it’s set correctly. Any ideas? Like I said it worked before the update. Sometimes I can get it to flicker on for a half second or so before it goes blank. And by blank I mean it appears like the monitor is off, but it’s not. As soon as I open another program the screen comes back on.



Check out what others are saying...
  1. [...] Larry Jordan has a great explanation of how to set up Premiere Pro CC to make use of two monitors and how to configure your user interface to make the most of all that new space. Larry also demonstrates how to fix any audio sync issues and save your newly created two-monitor workspaces. A great read, check it out here! [...]

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