Work with projects in Windows Movie Maker

A project holds information about the arrangement and timing of the items that appear on the storyboard/timeline, which include audio and video clips, video transitions, video effects, and titles. It does not contain the actual audio, video, and picture source files, but rather references them as clips. You can edit clips in a project without changing the source files. Once you're satisfied with the sequence of clips, videos, and pictures on the storyboard or timeline of your project, you can publish the results and create a movie.

The following table explains the differences between a project and a movie.

Project
Movie

Is created by adding clips, video files, audio files, and pictures to a folder in Windows Movie Maker.

Is created by clicking File, and then clicking Publish Movie.

Contains information about the arrangement and timing of clips, titles, transitions, and effects that are on the storyboard/timeline.

Is a single digital media file that can be played back in Windows Media Player and other media players, published to a recordable CD, published and attached as a file attachment to an e‑mail message, recorded to a tape in a digital video (DV) camera and then played back from tape or on TV, or, if you use Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Home Premium, published and burned to a DVD.

Has an .mswmm file extension. For example myProject.mswmm.

Has a .wmv or .avi file extension. For example myMovie.wmv or myMovie.avi.

Can be edited from where it was last saved.

Is generally not edited.

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To create a new project

  • Click File, and then click New Project.

    You can work on only one project at a time in Windows Movie Maker.

To save a project

  1. Click File, and then click Save Project.

  2. In the File name box, type the project file name, and then click Save.

    A saved project file in Windows Movie Maker has an .mswmm file name extension.

To save a project with a new name

  1. Click File, and then click Save Project As.

  2. In the File name box, type the new project file name, and then click Save.

To open a project

  1. Click File, and then click Open Project.

  2. Navigate to the folder that contains the Windows Movie Maker project file you want to open.

  3. Click the project file, and then click Open.

To automatically open the last project when Windows Movie Maker starts

  1. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  2. Click the General tab, and then select the Open last project on startup check box.

Note

  • You can open Windows Movie Maker project files that have been created and saved in either previous versions or in the current version of Windows Movie Maker. However, after you open and then save the project file in the current version of Windows Movie Maker, the project cannot be opened in previous versions of Windows Movie Maker.