Organizing Clips in iMovie - dummies

By Tony Bove, Cheryl Rhodes

A video project with a lot of clips can quickly become hard to manage if you don’t organize the clips in some way. The Clips pane shows all your clips in the project, but you can use it as a makeshift storyboard for your project by rearranging the clips to suit your needs and renaming the clips to identify them better. A storyboard is a set of sketches or pictures that tells the story in sequence, and it is typically used as a guide for editing as well as an organizational tool.

Arranging clips in the Clips pane

Your iMovie Clips pane can serve as a storyboard when you rearrange the clips into the proper sequence and use descriptive titles for your clips. To rearrange your clips, click each clip and drag it to a new location in the Clips pane. You can drag a clip to any empty space.

You can also drag a clip to a location already occupied by a clip, and iMovie automatically shifts the other clips to the right and down, to accommodate the newly moved clip.

You can move multiple clips at once by clicking the first clip, and either Shift+clicking the last clip for a consecutive range of clips or Command+clicking each subsequent clip to add it to the selection. With the clips highlighted, click and hold down the mouse button to drag the selection to the new location.

Renaming a clip

Your imported clips appear in the Clips pane with the default names “Clip 01,” “Clip 02,” and so on, and that may be okay for your project. But you can also change these names in iMovie to make the clips easier to recognize.

You may want to rename clips as you edit them to indicate that the clips have been edited. For example, you may rename “Clip 01” to “Clip 01 edited” or something equally innovative. Most likely, you want to give your clips descriptive titles, such as “Uncle Monty does card tricks.” You can use up to 127 letters and spaces in a clip’s name.

To see clip information and rename a clip, double-click the clip in the Clips pane or select the clip and choose File –> Show Info.

The Clip Info dialog box appears with information about the clip, including its real name in the Finder next to Media File and its size, capture date, and duration. You can edit the filename by clicking inside the Name field, highlighting the old name, and then typing the new one. Click the Set button to set the name for the clip.

The name you give the clip does not affect the clip’s real name in the Finder, which must stay the same so that the project document can find it. Never rename a clip’s real name in the Finder.