How to Edit iMovie Clips in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

After you add clips to your iMovie project, you may need to edit them. If a clip has extra seconds of footage at the beginning or end, you don’t want that superfluous stuff in your masterpiece. The iMovie video editor gives you the following functions:

  • Crop: Removes unwanted material from a video clip or still image, allowing you to change the aspect ratio of the media

  • Rotate: Rotates a clip or image on its center axis

  • Trim: Cuts frames from a video clip

Before you can edit, however, you have to select a section of a clip:

  1. Click a clip or image in either the Project pane (where changes you make are specific to this project) or the Event pane (where edits you make are reflected in any project using that footage).

    iMovie displays the clip or image in the monitor.

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  2. Click the clip.

    The entire clip or image is selected.

  3. Drag your mouse cursor across the thumbnail to select the section of the media you want to edit.

    Note that some editing functions, such as Crop and Rotate, automatically apply to the entire clip. The selected region is surrounded by a yellow frame. You’re ready to edit that selected part of the clip.

    Your video segment is ready for editing.
    Your video segment is ready for editing.

Note the handles that appear at the beginning or end of the selection. You can make fine changes to the selected section by dragging them.

  • To crop: Click the Crop button in the Edit toolbar to display the frame in the Monitor pane and then click Crop at the top of the Monitor pane. Drag the edges of the frame and the handles to select the section you want to keep. To preview your selection, click the Play button at the top of the monitor. When you’re ready, click Done, and everything but the selected region is removed.

  • To rotate: Click the Crop button in the Edit toolbar and then click one of the two rotation buttons (which carry a curved arrow icon). Each click rotates the media 90 degrees in that direction. Click Done when the clip or image is properly oriented.

  • To trim: Choose Edit→Trim to Selection. iMovie removes the frames from around the selected video.

Edits that you make to one clip or still image can actually be copied to multiple items! Select the edited clip and click Edit→Copy from the iMovie menu. Now you can select one or more clips and choose Edit→Paste Adjustments to apply Video, Audio, or Crop edits. (To apply all three types of edits, just choose All.)

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