Watch iMovie Clips at Full-Screen Size in iLife ’11

By Tony Bove

To watch a video in iMovie’s Viewer pane (and hear its audio), press the spacebar from the playhead. Press the spacebar again to stop playing the video in iLife. To play the video clip from the beginning, click the Play button below the Event Library; click the button again to stop playing.

  • To play the video at full-screen size, click the Play Full Screen button (the Play icon enclosed by a TV tube) below the Event Library to play the video from the beginning, or press Command+G (or choose View→Play Full-Screen) to start playing from the playhead.

    While the video plays full-screen, you can control playback and even jump from one to clip to another, from one event to another, or even from one project to another. Move the pointer to reveal the buttons and thumb strip, as Apple calls it (the strip of thumbnails under the image). The buttons and thumb strip disappear after a few seconds of not moving the pointer or clicking.

    Play a clip at full-screen size, with the Coverflow view of the source video.
    Play a clip at full-screen size, with the Coverflow view of the source video.
  • To keep the thumb strip displayed in full-screen view, click the Automatically Hide Thumb Strip on-off button so that it’s turned off (dark gray rather than blue).

  • To rewind or fast-forward, skim the thumb strip forward or backward; the playhead appears in the filmstrip inside the thumb strip. You can also press the arrow keys to move frame by frame.

    Above, the thumb strip is set to the Coverflow view (as in iTunes) of all your events and video sources. Click the Coverflow on-off button to switch the thumb strip from Coverflow view to the single filmstrip view, or back to Coverflow view. Click the Show Projects or Events button to show either project in the thumb strip, or events and sources of video.

  • To exit the full-screen view and return to the iMovie window, press the Esc (Escape) key or click the circled X in the lower right corner.

  • To play only the selected video, press the slash (/) key (or choose View→Play Selection).