Unwanted Letterbox in Youtube

Unwanted Letterbox in Youtube: a reader asks…

I use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit my videos and post them on Youtube. I upload videos either as 1080p or 720p. Usually this works fine, but sometimes I see letterboxing on the left and right side, even though my videos are 1920×1080 or 1280×720. Is there a quick and easy fix for this?

Adobe Premiere Pro is a very powerful video editing tool, certainly overpowered for most casual videographers. But it is certainly a popular tool, and many prosumers and professionals use it to create exciting content for Youtube and other social media outlets.

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That said, there should be a fairly easy fix to your situation:

  1. In Premiere Pro with the project open, click the menu item Sequence > Sequence Settings.
  2. Look at the Pixel Aspect Ratio entry – that’s a dropdown box and yours probably says D1/DV NTSC (0.9091).
  3. Click that drop-down box and change it to Square Pixels (1.0)

When you do that, the program will warn you that it has to delete the preview files. Go ahead and click OK, those preview files will simply be rebuilt using the new setting.

Most likely, this happened when you started a new project and imported a title slide or other image into your project and placed that on the timeline before you added your video clip. Premiere Pro assigns the settings for the sequence (your project) based on the first item you place on the timeline. If that wasn’t a normal video file, your sequence settings can get changed to whatever it was you started with.

By changing the sequence settings to the normal pixel aspect ratio, you fix the issue without having to rebuild your project or change individual clips (Scale to frame size on the clip menu).

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