If you have ever recorded a video or movie and found that some of the surrounding frame is unnecessary or irrelevant, you can use an editing function to crop down the video to focus on what should be the focus of the movie. This tutorial will show you how to quickly crop a video on the Mac by using iMovie.
Remember, cropping a video is entirely different from trimming the length of a video, the latter of which shortens the videos length but does not change the frame of the movie itself. If you just want to trim a video on the Mac, you can do that with QuickTime rather easily and you do not need to use a more powerful video editing application like iMovie.
How to Crop a Video on Mac OS Using iMovie
Before beginning, be sure you have iMovie installed on the Mac, and updated to a modern version of the application.
- Open iMovie on the Mac, it’s found in the /Applications/ folder
- Click on the big [+] plus “Create New” button under the Projects section
- Choose “Movie” under the new project type
- Choose the “Import Media” button and select the video you want to crop (or drag and drop the video to crop into this window)
- With the video imported, look in the toolbar for the small crop button and click on it, it looks like a square
- Now click on the faint grey “Crop” button that appears in the editing section
- Use the handlebars around the corners of the video to adjust the crop as necessary
- When satisfied with the crop, click on the small blue checkmark button to apply the cropped video change
- Click on the faint grey Share button in the upper right corner of iMovie
- Choose “File” from the Share button options
- Give the cropped video a description, and if desired adjust the resolution, video format, and quality, then click on “Next”
- Fill in the “Save As” file name to export the cropped video to, then click on the “Save” button
The cropped video will save as the file name given, to where ever the location you saved the cropped movie file to. In this example, the cropped video is saved to the desktop.
As you can see, the process of cropping a video on the Mac with iMovie is pretty easy when it is made obvious with a tutorial like this, but the tiny buttons and low contrast user interface can make finding and using the crop tools and other video editing functions somewhat challenging for some users.
Here is what the newly saved cropped video from this example looks like in Quick Look in the Mac finder:
And here is what the original uncropped video from this example looks like in Quick Look on the Mac:
Many users will resort to cropping a video frame like this when the videos orientation was filmed vertically or horizontally, though for best results you’ll want to be working with a fairly high quality video recording. Otherwise, you can simply rotate the video on a Mac too, which quite literally rotates the video but does not adjust the frame or crop.
Know of another way to crop videos on a Mac? Let us know in the comments. And if you enjoyed this guide, check out more iMovie tips here.