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iLife Tutorial: Use iMovie’s advanced editing tools

Enjoy extra editing features like split screen effects and blue screen compositing

iMovie’s basic editing tools already provide a fast way to edit. You can select the best bits of footage in an Event by scrubbing the cursor across a clip, and then dragging the selection into your project without having to play each clip in real time. You can speed up the editing process even more by accessing advanced tools like the dual-mode toolbar. This lets you select and add a clip to the project in one timesaving swipe. iMovie’s advanced tools also enable you to add extra post-production effects like Side by Side (or split screen), and drop in chapter markers for burning the project to disc. You can even replace one background with another. So, here’s how to advance your editing and organising skills…

1: Advanced tools
For iMovie’s advanced tools go to iMovie>Preferences. In the General section tick Show Advanced tools. The toolbar will expand to include new icons.

2: Faster editing
Click on the Edit tool icon. Click and drag an orange bar to select part of a clip in the Event browser. The selection will be added to the project window.

3: Faster favouriting
You can also favourite clips quicker using the advanced toolbar. Simply click on the Favorite tool icon, then scrub the green-starred icon over the best bits.

4: Hide and seek
Favourited clips will feature a green bar along the top. To show favourited clips (and hide everything else in the Event browser) set Show to Favorites only.

5: Back to basics
To return from Advanced to Basic editing mode simply click the arrow icon (or hit Escape). Now any clips you click on will be selected with the usual yellow bar.

6: Split screen
Drag a selected clip onto a shot in the Project window. The advanced contextual menu features new options like Side by Side. This creates a split screen effect.

7: Blue screen
Shoot a subject against coloured backdrops, drag the clip onto an existing project clip and choose Blue (or Green) Screen. The coloured background will vanish.

8: Keywords
To find specific clips click the Keyword icon. Tick to add preset keywords to a clip, or Add to create your own. Drag the cursor across a clip to add the keywords.

9: Quick comment
Use the Advanced mode to drag a comment icon onto project clips. You can then jump to specific comments (or chapter markers) with the fly-out menu.

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