Change the aspect ratio and video format in Windows Movie Maker

Video properties determine how video is displayed when you preview it in Windows Movie Maker, and more importantly, how video displays in your final published movie.

In Windows Movie Maker, you can choose the video format and the aspect ratio. You can choose between two standard video formats: NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) and PAL (Phase Alternating Line). Usually, you will not need to change the current video format setting, which is based on the Regional and Language Options settings in Control Panel.

Aspect ratio is expressed as the relation of the width to the height of the video display, and you can choose between a 4:3 and a 16:9 aspect ratio. A 4:3 aspect ratio is similar to the "full screen" display of a standard television, while 16:9 correlates to the widescreen format. If the source video file that you imported and added to the storyboard/timeline has an aspect ratio of 4:3, choose 4:3 in Windows Movie Maker also. For best results when making a movie, it is recommended that you include only video and pictures that have the same aspect ratio.

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To set the video format that is used in Windows Movie Maker

  1. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  2. Click the Advanced tab, and then click NTSC or PAL, depending on the video standards of your country/region. For information about which video format your camera supports, check the documentation that came with your camera or go to the manufacturer's website.

To set aspect ratio

  1. Determine which aspect ratio you want to use for previewing video in Windows Movie Maker and for your final published movie.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click 4:3 (full screen) or 16:9 (widescreen).