Using iLife '11: How to Export iMovie Video Files

To save a version of your iMovie video project, you can export it as a video file (or movie file) on any hard drive. The file can then be imported back into iLife later or used with other applications that don’t have a Media Browser interface, such as Mail to e-mail the file.

When you export a project as a movie file, the file uses the same format as a video saved to your iTunes library or to the Media Browser. The benefit is that other applications that don’t use the Media Browser can access it and you can copy it or move it using the Finder.

After exporting a movie file, you can choose File→Import→Movies to import the file back into iMovie as a source clip in the Event Library.

To export your video project as a movie file, follow these steps:

  1. Select the project and choose Share→Export Movie.

    A dialog appears with a grid showing the video picture sizes that work with different devices.

    Save the video project as a movie file.
    Save the video project as a movie file.
  2. Type a name for the movie in the Export As field.

  3. Choose from the Where pop-up menu the location where you want to save the movie.

  4. Select a size for the video picture.

    To display the compression method, frame rate, streaming rate, and file size for a particular picture size, move the pointer over the letter i next to the pixel dimensions for that size.

  5. Click Export to save the file (or Cancel to cancel).

    After saving the file, you can use it with other applications or import it back into iMovie. If you picked a small enough picture size, you may even be able to e-mail the file.

Check the size of your file before e-mailing it. Movie files are large, and e-mail isn’t meant for large files. Your e-mail server may limit the size of e-mail messages — many have a limit of about 10MB. Larger files are bounced back to you.

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