Work with clips in Windows Movie Maker

After you’ve imported files into Windows Movie Maker, you're ready to start the main part of moviemaking—editing. Using Windows Movie Maker, you can edit clips in a variety of different ways. You can split a long clip into two shorter clips, combine two clips into a single clip, trim the beginning or ending of a clip, and even create new clips.

Split and combine clips

You can manually split video and audio clips into smaller clips to make your clips easier to work with. For example, if you have a video clip that has two different scenes, you might want to split the video clip at the point where the one scene ends and the other begins, and then insert a transition between the two clips.

Picture showing two video clips
A video clip that’s been split into two clips

Conversely, you might have a file that was divided into smaller clips that you want to combine. However, you can only combine contiguous clips. "Contiguous" means that the start time of the second clip immediately follows the end time of the first clip. For example, if you have a video or audio file that was divided into clips when it was imported into Windows Movie Maker, and the clips are named Clip 1, Clip 2, and Clip 3, in that order, you could combine Clip 1 and Clip 2, or Clip 2 and Clip 3, but you cannot combine Clip 1 and Clip 3.

You can combine contiguous video clips on the storyboard or in the Contents pane (before adding the clip or clips to the storyboard/timeline).

Show all

To split a clip

  1. In the Contents pane or on the storyboard/timeline, click the video or audio clip that you want to split.

  2. Under the preview monitor, click the Play button Picture of the Play button in Windows Movie Maker.
  3. When the clip reaches a point near the place you want to split the clip, click Pause.

  4. Under the preview monitor, use the playback controls to find the point where you want to split the clip.

  5. Under the preview monitor, click the Split button.

Tip

  • You can drag the playback indicator on the seek bar to the exact spot where you want to split the clip.

To combine clips

  1. In the Contents pane or on the storyboard, hold down the CTRL key, and then click the contiguous clips you want to combine.

  2. Click Clip, and then click Combine.

    The name and property information of the first clip in the group is used for the new clip and the time is adjusted accordingly.

Tip

  • You can combine more than two clips at a time as long as they are consecutive. To select multiple clips, click the first clip, press and hold down the SHIFT key, and then click the last clip.

Trim (hide) parts of a video clip

When you trim a clip, you make a new start and/or end trim point. The start trim point determines when the clip will begin to play, and the end trim point determines when the clip will stop playing in your project and final movie. When you trim a clip, the trimmed part of the clip is not actually removed from the source file; it's just hidden so the trimmed part doesn't appear in your project or published movie.

Picture of a trimmed video clip with the trimmed part highlighted
A trimmed video clip with the trimmed part highlighted
Show all

To trim a video clip

  1. If you are in the storyboard view, click View, and then click Timeline.

  2. On the timeline, click the clip that you want to trim.

  3. Use the playback controls under the preview monitor to find the point where you want to trim the clip.

  4. Do the following:

    • When the playback indicator is at the point where you want the selected video or audio clip to start playing back, click Clip, and then click Trim Beginning.

    • When the playback indicator is at the point where you want the selected video or audio clip to stop playing back, click Clip, and then click Trim End.

Notes

  • You can also drag the trim handles on a clip to set the start and end trim points. Trim handles appear as small black triangles at the beginning and end of a clip after you click the clip on the timeline. When you hold your pointer over a trim handle, the pointer changes to a red double-headed arrow. Drag a trim handle to set the new start or end point of the clip.

    Picture of trimming a clip
    Trimming a clip with the trim handle
  • You might need to click the Zoom Timeline In button one or more times to see clips more clearly on the timeline. The Zoom Timeline In button appears on the timeline toolbar as a magnifying glass with a plus sign (+) in it.

To undo a trimmed clip

  1. If you are in storyboard view, click View, and then click Timeline.

  2. Click the trimmed clip on the timeline, click Clip, and then click Clear Trim Points.

Create clips

You might want to create several smaller, more manageable clips from a single existing video clip to make it easier to work with your project. Windows Movie Maker creates clips in different ways, depending on the clip's source. If the source clip is from a digital video (DV) camera, Windows Movie Maker creates clips that are based on the time stamps that the DV camera inserts when the source video is originally recorded, as well as significant frame changes in the video.

  1. In the Contents pane, select the video clip for which you want to create clips.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Create Clips.

Note

  • Clips can be created automatically for Windows Media Video (WMV) files and Audio-Video Interleaved (AVI) video files that use the DV codec. For other video file formats, clips cannot always be created automatically using clip creation, so the video file appears as one large video clip in Windows Movie Maker. For these large video clips, split the clip manually to separate the large video clip into smaller clips.