Selecting Source Video
Each video clip is made up of several video frames, which appear as individual still
images, much like the individual still pictures that make up the frames of a
photographic filmstrip. (The number of frames that make up one second of video in
motion depends on the video format that you use.) Generally, as you work with video
in iMovie, you select ranges of video frames, or frame ranges, which are only a small
part of a video clip. In some instances, however, your selected frame range may span
an entire video clip or multiple clips.
By default, whenever you click a source video clip, iMovie selects four seconds of video,
beginning at the point where you clicked. This makes it easy for you to skim through
your video to find the perfect scenes and then just click them, automatically selecting
four-second frame ranges that help you build an evenly paced movie. (You can also
adjust the amount of video that a single click selects in the iMovie preferences pane.
To find out how, see “Setting automatic frame range selection” in iMovie Help.)
Click to play full screen.
Click to play from the beginning.
A yellow selection border appears around a frame range when you select it.
You can extend or shorten a frame range selection, recenter it, or select an entire clip
or multiple clips at once.
To select a video frame range in the source video library, do either of the
Click a clip to select four seconds of video, beginning at the point where you clicked.
Drag across a clip to select as much of it as you want.
To adjust a frame range selection, do either of the following:
Drag the handle on either end of the selection border to extend or reduce the
Place the pointer over the desired startpoint or endpoint and click while holding down
the Shift key.
If you want to move the selection to a different frame range within the same clip
without changing its size, you can recenter it.
To recenter the selection:
Drag the top of the selection border to wherever you want within the clip.
Press the Right Arrow or Left Arrow keys to move the entire selection to the right or
left, one frame at a time.
By “sliding” the selection range along the clip, you can move the selection to make
multiple selections of the same size, which ensures even pacing when you’re building a
To select an entire video clip in the source video library:
Click a clip while holding down the Option key.
Click a clip while holding down the Control key and choose Select Entire Clip from the
shortcut menu that appears.
Tip: Bringing up shortcut menus by “Control-clicking” can help you work more
efficiently. Shortcut menus give you relevant options, depending on where you’re
Drag the selection
handles to resize
The yellow border denotes
a selected frame range
within a clip.
To select multiple video clips:
Hold down the Shift key and click the first and last clips you want to select in a
Hold down the Command (x) key and click individual clips that are not contiguous;
click a clip again to remove it from the set of selected clips.
With multiple clips selected, you can drag them into another Event or into an iMovie
project. You can also adjust the look of a video clip and then copy and paste the
adjustments onto multiple other clips; to learn how, search for “video adjustments” in