Plug In Installation

Plug-ins must have an installer. This simplifies installation by the user, provides more compact distribution, and ensures all the pieces are installed correctly.

Create a container folder for your plug-in(s) to minimize user confusion.

Don’t unintentionally overwrite existing plug-ins, or replace newer versions.

The installer should find the default installation directories as described below.

It is also appreciated when an installer allows the user to specify an alternate directory.

Plug-ins should be installed in the common plug-in location.

Supported Premiere and After Effects plug-ins installed here will be loaded by Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Media Encoder.

Other plug-in types, such as QuickTime and VfW codecs should be installed at the operating system level.


Starting in CC, each version of Premiere Pro will create a unique registry key that provide locations of folders of interest for third-party installations for that version.

For example, here are the registry values for CC 2015.3:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Adobe/Premiere Pro/10.0/

Value name: CommonPluginInstallPath

Value data: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\7.0\MediaCore\\ (or whatever the proper MediaCore plug-ins folder is; note that this is the same as what the After Effects installer provides for a corresponding registry key)

Starting in CC 2015.3, control surface plug-ins should be installed here:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/ControlSurface/

For sequence presets:

Value name: SequencePresetsPath

Value data: [Adobe Premiere Pro installation path]\Settings\SequencePresets\

For sequence preview presets:

Value name: SequencePreviewPresetsPath

Value data: [Adobe Premiere Pro installation path]\Settings\EncoderPresets\SequencePreview\

For exporter presets:

Value name: CommonExporterPresetsPath

Value data: [User folder]AppDataRoamingAdobeCommonAME7.0Presets\

Effects presets:

Value name: PluginInstallPath

Value data: [Adobe Premiere Pro installation path]\Adobe Premiere Pro CC\Plug-ins\Common

Third-party installers can start from this path, and then modify the string to build the path to the language-specific effect presets.

Prior to CC, the only path given in the registry was the common plug-in path for the most recently installed version of Premiere Pro:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Adobe/Premiere Pro/CurrentVersion

Value name: Plug-InsDir

Value data: REG_SZ containing the full path of the plug-in folder.

As an example: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\CS6\MediaCore\

The best way to locate other preset folders was to start from the root path for Premiere Pro in the registry at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\\ Adobe Premiere Pro.exe.

Then, just add the proper subdirectories as described in the macOS section.


Starting in CC 2015, we now provide installer hints for Mac. You’ll find a new plist file “com. Adobe.Premiere Pro.paths.plist” at “/Library/Preferences”. This contains hints for your Mac installer to know where to install plug-ins, and is similar to the registry entries we have been providing on Win.

The common plug-in location is at:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/[version]/MediaCore/

Starting in CC 2015.3, control surface plug-ins should be installed here:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/ControlSurface/

Following OS X Code Signing guidelines, plug-ins should be installed in this separate shared location rather than in the application bundle.

For sequence presets:

/Settings/SequencePresets/[Your specific folder]/

Sequence preview presets:

/Settings/EncoderPresets/SequencePreview/[Your editing mode GUID]/

Encoder presets:

/MediaIO/systempresets/[Your exporter folder]/

Effects presets:

/Plug-ins/[language subdirectory]/Effect Presets/ (see Localization for the list of language codes)

Editing modes:

/Settings/Editing Modes/

Plug-in Naming Conventions

On Windows, Premiere Pro plug-ins must have the file extension “.prm”. On macOS, they have the file extension “.bundle”. Other supported plug-in standards use their conventional file extensions: “.aex” for After Effects plug-ins, “.dll” for VST plug-ins.

While it is not required for your plug-in to load, naming your plug-ins using the plug-in type as a prefix (e.g. ImporterSDK, FilterSDK, etc.) will help reduce user confusion.

Plug-in Blacklisting

Have a plug-in that works fine in one CS application, but has problems in another CS application? Now, specific plug-ins can be blocked from being loaded by MediaCore in specific applications, using blacklists. Note that this does not work for After Effects plug-ins loaded by AE, although it does work for AE plug-ins loaded in Premiere Pro.

In the plug-ins folder, look for the appropriate blacklist file, and append the the filename of the plug-in to the file (e.g. BadPlugin, not BadPlugin.prm). If the file doesn’t exist, create it first. “Blacklist.txt” contains names of plug-ins blacklisted from all apps. Plug-ins can be blocked from loading in specific apps by including them in “Blacklist Adobe Premiere Pro.txt”, or “Blacklist After Effects.txt”, etc.

Creating Sequence Presets

Not to be confused with encoder presets or sequence preview encoder presets, sequence presets are the successor to project presets. They contain the video, audio, timecode, and track layout information used when creating a new sequence.

If you wish to add Sequence Presets for the New Sequence dialog, save the settings with a descriptive name and comment. Emulate our settings files. Install the presets as described in this section.

Application-level Preferences

For Windows 7 restricted user accounts, the only place that code has guaranteed write access to a folder is inside the user documents folder and its subfolders.

..Users[user name]AppDataRoamingAdobePremiere Pro[version]\

This means that you cannot save data or documents in the application folder. There is currently no plug-in level API for storing preferences in the application prefs folder. Plug-ins can create their own preferences file in the user’s Premiere prefs directory like so:

HRESULT herr = SHGetKnownFolderPath(FOLDERID_RoamingAppData, 0, NULL, preferencesPath);
strcat(preferencesPath, "\\Adobe\\Premiere Pro\\[version]\\MyPlugin.preferences");

On MacOS: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(NSApplicationSupportDirector y,NSLocalDomainMask,…)

This should get you started getting the Application Support folder which you can add onto to create something like:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Premiere Pro/[version]/ MyPlugin.preferences

Dog Ears

Premiere Pro’s built-in player has a mode to display statistics, historically known as “dog ears”, which can be useful in debugging and tuning performance of importers, effects, transitions, and transmitters. The statistics include frames per second, frames dropped during playback, pixel format rendered, render size, and field type being rendered.

You can bring up the debug console in Premiere Pro. You can do this via Ctrl/Cmd-F12. To enable the dog ears, type this:

debug.set EnableDogEars=true

to disable, use this:

debug.set EnableDogEars=false

If the enter keystroke seems to go to the wrong panel, this is an intermittent panel focus problem. Click the Tools or Info panel before typing in the Console panel, and the enter key will be processed properly.

Once enabled, the player displays the statistics as black text on a partially transparent background. This allows you to still see the underlying video (to some extent) and yet also read the text. When you turn off dog ears, the setting may not take effect until you switch or reopen your current sequence.

Note if you are developing a transmitter, displaying dog ears will result in duplicate calls to PushVideo for the same frame. This happens because the player routinely updates the dog ears on a timer even when the frame hasn’t changed for updated stats. As of CS6, this triggers a PushVideo to active transmitters as a side effect.