Split Trim and Cut Video in iMovie (on Mac)

iMovie is an amazing video editing app for amateurs and hobbyists. It’s not a powerhouse and isn’t jam packed with features like other professional grade video editing tools. However, it does a reasonably well job, helping you edit your videos to a degree. The free video editing app on the Mac lets you split, trim and cut your videos. 

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Method #1 – Trim a video clip in iMovie Timeline

When Clips are added to the timeline, we can trim, split or move them around on the timeline. Make sure to switch the media view in the top panel to all clips.

TIP: You can pre-mark clips and allow for ‘favorite’ areas. The favorite areas will show up on each clip. This is not part of this tutorial. 

Drag the clip to add to the timeline view.  

Click and drag on the clips front edge inwards to trim it. 

trim video clip in iMovie Mac using drag edge
Hover mouse at edge of the clip.

Do the same from the other end to trim the ending of the clip.

Notice the viewer, you should see an orange border on the bottom edge of the clip showing the area of this clip used in the timeline. 

Method #2 – Keep a clip and remove the rest

Another way to trim here on the timeline is to scrub away the part you don’t want and keep what you do. 

Click where you want the clip to start while holding down the R key. 

trim to cut video clip in iMovie Mac

Drag to where you want clip to end. This will trim the area around your selection, keeping the region of the video you selected.

Before you continue, learn how to easily Cut Video Online!

Method #3 Trim video in iMovie at play head

You can also quickly trim a clip to the play head (the vertical line showing where the play head is).

Set the play head by clicking on the clip. 

Right click on the clip and select the ‘trim to play head’ option.

trim video clip in iMovie Mac

This will remove the video from the play head to the end of the clip.

TIP: You can click use the / (forward slash) key shortcut to do the same.

How to split video clips in iMovie

Splits are important because you can apply different effects, speeds, filters or transitions in between clips.

To split a clip in iMovie:

Select the video in the timeline.

Click to set the play head where you want the split to occur.

Right click and choose split clip or hit command B

split video clip in iMovie Mac

This will create two separate clips. 

You can control each clip like any other video clip imported into the timeline (i.e. as separate clips).

If you like you can split either clip into further smaller clips. You can insert other clips in between and rearrange clips once you’ve split the video. You can also delete any unnecessary ones to perform trims, jump cuts and other edits. 

Next: Learn how to crop video in iMovie!

Cut and Trim your video in one click with Imvidu. Edit videos using text.

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