How To Trim Videos in iMovie

Mapping out a video shot-for-shot before recording might stifle your creativity. If you want to be spontaneous while filming and leave the fine-tuning for later, however, iMovie’s got your back. The software makes it easy to edit your videos like a pro.

How To Trim Videos in iMovie

Keep reading to learn how to cut videos in iMovie.

How To Trim Video in iMovie on an iPhone

Once you’re satisfied with the footage you shot on your iPhone, it’s time to start editing. The first thing you’ll need to do is add the video clip to the iMovie timeline.

  1. Launch the iMovie app.
  2. Tap the “Start New Project” button under “Projects.”
  3. Select “Movie.”
  4. Choose the clips you want to include from your “Photos” app.
  5. Press “Create Movie.”

The videos you’ve selected will appear on the timeline. If you change your mind about the clips you want to include, you can add clips even after the initial creation of the project.

Now that your clips are imported, you can edit them to fit your vision for the end result.

There’s an easy fix if you feel that a clip runs too long or there are unnecessary frames at the beginning or the end. Follow these steps to cut the beginning or the end of a video:

  1. Click on the video you want to edit.
  2. Once the video is highlighted in yellow, long-press its edge.
  3. Drag the beginning or the end toward the center.
  4. When you’re satisfied with the length, tap “Done” in the upper-left corner of your screen.
  5. Press the “Export” button at the bottom center.
  6. Choose the destination and save your video.

The clips must be at least 0.3 seconds long for you to cut them. If the clip you’re editing is shorter than that, you won’t be able to drag the edge and cut it.

Note that you can zoom in on the clip to make the editing process easier. Just pinch open in the center of your timeline.

How to Split Video on an iPhone

Sometimes you just feel like letting the camera roll. As a result, you might end up with an extremely lengthy clip. However, simply trimming the beginning or the ending won’t do your final video any favors. In this case, you can split your video into several separate clips. Then, you can choose which clips to trim and which to remove altogether.

To split a video in iMovie, do the following:

  1. Use the white line to mark where you want to split the video.
  2. Tap the clip.
  3. Press the “scissors” icon.
  4. Hit “Split.”
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make as many cuts as you’d like.

Now you can fine-tune individual clips or remove unwanted footage. To delete a clip from your timeline, click on it and tap “Delete.”

How To Trim Video in iMovie on an iPad

When shooting on your iPad, it might take you a while to figure out how to start or end a video. For that reason, these parts are often unusable. Fortunately, the iMovie app has made it easy to get rid of any unnecessary footage.

To trim the beginning or end of a video, do the following:

  1. Add the video to your iMovie timeline.
  2. Tap on the video.
  3. Drag the beginning or the end edge toward the center of the video.
  4. Once the video is the right length, hit “Done” at the upper left.
  5. Press the “Export” button at the bottom of your screen.
  6. Choose where to save your video.

If you can’t drag the edges, your video is probably shorter than 0.3 seconds (the minimum length of a video allowed on iMovie.)

Short clips might require zooming in to ensure you’re not cutting out more frames than necessary. Simply pinch open in the center of the clip to zoom in.

How to Split Video on iPad

While trimming the first or last few frames of a video is undoubtedly useful, sometimes it might not be enough. If your video is longer, you may want to lose some frames from the middle section. In this case, splitting a video is the way to go.

  1. Position the playhead (the white line) to where you want to split the video.
  2. Press the clip.
  3. Tap the “scissors” icon.
  4. Select “Split.”
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make as many separate clips as you’d like.

Now that you’ve separated the unnecessary footage, you can remove it in two simple steps:

  1. Tap the clip you’d like to remove.
  2. Press “Delete.”

You can further cut the remaining clips by trimming the beginning or end of each individual clip until you’re satisfied with the result.

How To Trim Video in iMovie on a Mac

The iMovie app for a Mac offers many editing options to create your own cinematic masterpiece. Before moving on to effects and transitions, make sure all your footage is usable and interesting enough to add to your movie.

You can do this by cutting out all the unnecessary parts of your video.

How to Trim Video on a Mac

It might take time to get the right angle once you start recording. Also, you might realize you’ve let the clip run too long. Whatever the case may be, you can make it go away with the magic of editing.

To trim the beginning or the end of your video, do the following:

  1. Add the video to your timeline.
  2. Hold your pointer over the beginning or the end of the video.
  3. The pointer will turn into a trim tool (two arrows pointing in opposite directions).
  4. Drag the edge of the video toward the center.

Note that the shortest length of a video allowed by iMovie is 0.1 seconds.

You might benefit from zooming in if you find it difficult to see which parts to trim. When editing on your Mac, there are three ways to zoom in:

  • Tap “View” followed by “Zoom In.”
  • Press the “Command + Plus” shortcut.
  • Pinch the trackpad.

How to Split Video on a Mac

The iMovie app also allows you to cut out individual frames when editing on a Mac. This is perfect for instances where the unwanted frames are located in the middle rather than the beginning or end of the video.

To accomplish this, you need to split your video into smaller clips:

  1. Scroll in the timeline with the playhead (the white line following your cursor).
  2. Position the playhead where you’d like to split the video.
  3. Click on “Modify.”
  4. Select “Split Clip.”

Alternatively, use the “Command + B” shortcut once you’ve positioned the playhead correctly.

After splitting the video in all the necessary places, you can get rid of the unwanted footage. Deleting individual clips takes two simple clicks:

  1. Right-click on the unwanted clip.
  2. Select “Delete” from the context menu.

The remaining clips can be further trimmed or edited to your liking.

Once you’re satisfied with the results, follow these steps to export your video:

  1. Click on the “File” tab in the toolbar.
  2. Scroll down to “Share” on the drop-down menu.
  3. Select “File.”
  4. Customize your video in the pop-up window.
  5. Tap “Next.”
  6. Choose the file name and location.
  7. Press “Save” to complete the process.

A Cut Above the Rest

With high-quality cameras at our disposal, making visually-striking videos has never been easier. For that reason, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start recording without a plan. Our guide has shown you there’s nothing to worry about. You can easily cut out unnecessary footage using iMovie on any Apple device.

Have you ever tried cutting a video in iMovie? Which device did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.

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