Three Ways to Trim a Clip

Trimming out the deadwood from your clips, so that you’re left with only the very best shots from the very best scenes, is the heart of iMovie—and video editing.

Here are three more clip-trimming techniques that aren’t quite as direct as the edge-dragging business described earlier; they’ve been left in iMovie for the benefit of veterans who grew up in the era of Early iMovie, when edge-dragging wasn’t available. But these, too, are nondestructive techniques. For example, after you’ve shortened a clip by hacking a piece off the right end, you can later change your mind, even if you’ve emptied the Trash and let a year go by. You can restore some or all of the missing footage just by dragging the clip’s right edge to the right in the Timeline Viewer.

Highlighting Footage

iMovie works just like other Mac programs: You highlight some footage, then use the Cut, Copy, or Paste commands to move it around. All three of the following footage-trimming techniques, for example, begin with highlighting, or selecting, a portion of your footage. Here’s how you go about it:

  1. Click a clip to select it.

    The clip can be either in the Clips pane or the Movie Track.

  2. Position your cursor just beneath the Scrubber bar.

    See Figure 5-6.

  3. Drag horizontally until the triangle handles surround the footage you want to keep.

    As soon as you push the mouse button down, the selection triangles jump to the position of your cursor. One remains where you clicked; the other follows your cursor ...

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