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iMovie Editing: How to Edit Videos on Mac 2024

Matthew Patel
Matthew Patel
Posted in Zoom Sep 4 · 7 Sep, 2022
iMovie Editing: How to Edit Videos on Mac 2024

If you are a high school film buff or an aspiring movie director or editor looking for entry-level editing software that is built-in with your Mac, iMovie editing software is for you. 

The iMovie software allows anyone to edit, view, and share their movies using a Mac from an iPad or even an iPhone; this interconnectedness among a number of devices is what makes iMovie an excellent option for almost everyone. 

Like every editing software, iMovie editing will seem complicated at first, but mastery of the user interface comes with practice and knowledge. This is a great first editing software for editing your blockbusters as it gets the job done and teaches you the basics of video editing. 

This article will tell you all about what you need to know to master the basics of iMovie editing, from adding video effects to background music to captions or subtitles to give your film the blockbuster treatment it needs, so read on! 

iMovie Application 

On the get-go, iMovie will open on its Projects view. The Projects view is where you will search, filter, or view every one of your movies and trailer projects.

Once you want to start your video editing, simply click Create New and choose from Movie or Trailer. To import all the stills, films, and audio, click the Libraries option on the sidebar. If you simply want to view all your files without starting a new project, choosing the Media bottom on the toolbar is easy. 

There are many other ways to import media to your iMovie editing software other than using the only files on your Mac. The interconnectedness makes it easy to import via other Apple devices like an iPhone or iPad. 

Still, it is also possible to import files from hard disk drives via a USB cable and tape-based cameras via HDV or DV formats using the cable that will come with your camera. 

Benefits of iMovie Editing Application

4K Resolution

One of the multiple selling points of the iMovie as a movie editing software is it supports and exports any video with as high as 4k resolution. This will mean that after any audio overlay or any added filter to your original film, you will be able to save and export these videos once it has been edited. And it would look seamless and flawless even on many big screens. 

To illustrate, many movies played in a movie theater are the classic HD with 1920 by 1080 pixels compared to the ultimate movie experience of 4k video at 3840 by 2160 pixels. 

Beginner-Friendly Interface

Apple acknowledges the fact that not just professionals and tech-savvy people will be using their iMovie editing software, which is why it is designed the way it is. In our experience, iMovie is even easier to tamper with at first try versus the complicated photo editing software Photoshop! 

You can easily make a movie with iMovie as there are different themes and templates you can use to fully customize your movie as your own to suit your vibe, tastes, and needs. All options are easily identifiable that all you need is a week to master the interface, and you will be an expert. 

imovie editing

Advanced Editing Features

For being so accessible and user-friendly, the iMovie editing software is anything other than elementary and basic. Other editing software will simply give you the fundamentals, like let you add effects or music, and iMovie will provide you with that and so much more. 

iMovie allows you to add effects and enhancements to your film, from background music for romcoms to voice-overs for documentary-type movies. It will also enable you customization like trailers with credit rolls to suggested film templates for many different genres of films and short films and even the fun green-screen effects for parodies and cartoon-type films. 

Intact Original File

Another feature that sets iMovie editing software apart from any other editing software is that it does not overwrite the original file. This feature will mean that you get to keep the original stills, videos, and audio of your film raw and intact. 

By saving the original files, iMovie will save you time and the effort to make copies of each media file before attempting to do your film project. Other than that, iMovie also enables easy sharing since you can have the option to use iCloud or AirDrop to make sure that any accidental closing of the application would not risk you losing the fifty hours worth of work you put into your first film. 

iMovie Editing How-Tos

Add Voice-Over

Have you ever watched cute baby animals being the cute thing they are with David Attenborough narrating everything on your screen? This is a voice-over where a narrator speaks in the background as the clip plays, and you can add them easily to your film with iMovie! 

Select the “Plus” tab on the left side of the interface and then “Voice-Over.” Once you tap “Record,” say what you need to convey and click “Tap” once you are done recording. 

You can easily “Review” your voice-over and then “Retake,” “Cancel,” or “Accept” the voice-over once you are satisfied. There is also a “Recording” layer that allows you to adjust the speed, volume, and even the duration of your recording. 

imovie editing

Change Themes

Themes add a thematic element to the entirety of your film project. You can add themes by simply selecting the “Setting” icon on the upper right side of the interface. You can select from a handful of themes: “Bright,” “Playful,” “Modern,” “Neon,” “Travel,” “Simple,” and “News.” 

Pick the theme you feel meets the vibe you are going for, and there is also an added element like boosting a scene with background music that will fade in and fade out depending on your choice. Once you are done adding themes, you will see it appear on your timeline reel as a green layer you can easily cut, split, or delete. 

Clip Trimming

Trimming clips is usually complicated in professional film production, but the iMovie editing software made that easy for you. Trimming will require picking each clip individually. When the yellow highlight appears on each side of the clip, you can efficiently drag the edges to your perusal to shorten a particular clip. 

Changing the position of each clip or video to your liking can also be done this way. To do that, simply click and hold the particular trip or sequence and then move and drag it to fit your desired arrangement. 


A way to change the whole feel of your film project is to add a layer of filter to it, and you can easily do that with the iMovie editing application. Going to the “Project Settings” option will show you all the video filters you can add to your film project. 

The best thing about this is that you can choose to add a filter on just one particular clip, so customizing each filter for each video clip or stills can be done. Select the clip you want to add a filter, select the “Filter” icon on the bottom of the interface, and choose from the various filters available for you. 

Some of the filters available are: “Comic,” “Blue,” “Duotone,” and “Silent Era,” among many others. 

Speed Up and Slow Down

With iMovie, speeding up or slowing down your film project can quickly be done. Plus, you can also adjust the frame rate of each clip to make your movie project cohesive from the beginning down to the last scene. 

You first need to click on a clip on your project timeline that you want to modify and then select the “Clock” icon on the bottom right. Choose if you wish to either Slow or Fast pace the clip. Custom speeds are available, but you can easily customize them by entering your custom speed. 

There is a slider available on the upper part of the interface, and a rabbit for speed up or a turtle for slow down will appear in the middle of the clip to signify your edit. The sped-up clip will appear shorter on your timeline, while the slowed-down clips will become longer. 

Split Clip

One clip can be cut into two or several small clips depending on what you want and your vision in the iMovie editing software. You can move clips in your timeline as well as cut some. 

To split a clip in your iMovie application, click on a clip on the timeline that you want to modify and split and then simply position the playhead on the part where you want to break the still or video. After that, go to the “Modify” setting and select “Split Clip.”

Add Text

Adding text to your film project will allow you to add a title at the beginning, captions or subtitles to make your film accessible to everyone, and you can also easily add credits at the end of your movie project. The iMovie editing software has a variety of font styles to fit whatever theme of your movie, and you can also easily time the text where you want them to appear on your timeline. 

Once you have selected the font style appropriate for your film, type the text, and it will easily appear on the screen where you can drag it to where you want it positioned. 

imovie editing

Add Audio

Background music is an integral part of any film. Sometimes, it is that particular aspect that makes a film memorable. You can convey that feeling in your film project by adding music to your movie in the iMovie editing software.

To add background music or audio to your film, select “Audio” above the software interface. On the sidebar, click on “Music,” “Sound Effects,” or “GarageBand.” The list from each selection will appear, and you can easily filter to find the music or any audio effects you want. 

After that, select the clip you want to add background music or sound effects, then drag the music below the clip on the project timeline. 

Any audio is also highly editable, and simply clicking on “Trim background music” on the movie settings will allow you to do that. 

Add Transitions

Adding transitions to your clips can give you a cohesive project that runs smoothly so that each video still will blend with the next. You can choose to have a clip fade out to dissolve to another still or zoom in to another scene in your movie, whatever you want, automatically or manually for each video clip. 

For manually adding a transition for each clip, go to the “Transitions” setting on the upper part of the interface. You can also preview a transition by simply skimming the cursor on the special effect. 

If you want to add a transition between two stills, drag an effect between the two selected clips on your timeline. If you’re going to add a transitional effect at the beginning and end of a clip, double click your select transition. 

iMovie Editing: Add Subtitles or Captions

iMovie editing does not have a specific feature dedicated to captioning and adding subtitles yet, but it is possible with the Title setting. Title setting is highly adjustable; it will take work from the font color to the caption positioning, but it is possible. 

As soon as you import your movie, go to the filmstrip area. Click on the “Titles” setting and select the style “Lower.” Type a 5 seconds worth of dialogue and remember to adjust the text duration to fit accordingly. 

Each of the text blocks will appear on the filmstrip on the project timeline, and you can change it to sync with the audio of the film. Once the text is adjusted and centered on the lower portion of the movie, go to the text box and click Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste throughout the 5 seconds of the still. 

Once you have mastered this technique, it will be easy to transcribe and add subtitles to your movie. Have fun because adding subtitles is always the right way to go! 

For accurate subtitles and captions, use GoTranscript caption services today!