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This chapter is from the book

Other Important Controls

At the very bottom of the iMovie window is a row of controls and status indicators, which are visible in Figure 3.1. Some of these controls are visible only in Timeline View.

The first is a slider labeled Zoom that enables you to zoom in on the Timeline to see more detail. As you add more and more scenes to the Timeline, the proportion of the whole that each takes up shrinks, and so do the rectangles representing those clips. Use the Zoom slider to focus in one part of the Timeline by selecting a clip and dragging the Zoom controller to the right.

Next is the Speed slider, labeled with icons of a rabbit (or hare) and a turtle (or tortoise), which might call to mind Aesop's fable about the fast hare and the slow tortoise. (To refresh your memory, the slow-but-steady tortoise wins the race.) This slider controls the speed of the selected clip. If you want a clip (or other element in the Timeline) to be sped up or slowed down, drag the slider toward the appropriate side.


If a slider control button moves sluggishly when you try to drag it, you could instead click on the spot along the slider path where you want to set it. The button will jump precisely to that spot with ease.

Near the middle of the bottom row are controls for audio. Checking the box for Edit Volume makes a volume level appear in each of the elements in your Timeline. You can then adjust the volume of each clip or sound file so there aren't unpleasant volume changes. The slider next to the check box controls the overall volume of the movie. We'll some additional features, especially of the Edit Volume check box, in Hour 11, "Adding Sound to iMovies."

The bottom row also includes a couple of helpful things to manage your iMovie project: the free space indicator, and a miniature trash can so that you can easily get rid of video clips that you don't need any more. These controls are visible from both the Timeline and Clip Viewer.

Task: Create a New Project

Before you can begin working on making iMovies, you must know how to create a new project. iMovie makes this easy by bringing up a special screen (shown in Figure 3.6) if you don't already have a project started.

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 A startup screen appears if you haven't already started a project.

To create a new project:

  1. Start iMovie. If you get the window shown in Figure 3.6, click the New Project button.

    If you don't get this window when you start iMovie, you can choose File, New Project from the menu bar to get the same thing.

  2. When you create a new project, iMovie asks you where you want to put the project on your hard drive by bringing up the Create New Project dialog box (see Figure 3.7). Type in a name for your movie and click Create if you want iMovie to simply save the file directly to the hard drive.

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7 The Create New Project dialog box.


When iMovie creates a project, it puts all your video material in one location on the hard drive, sort of like a suitcase, making it easy to have everything for your iMovie in one place. When you capture video, all the clips end up in the project, and even though there are separate files, everything stays together.

  1. You might want to switch to a more convenient location than the one iMovie suggests (such as the desktop), by clicking the pop-up menu at the top of the Create New Project dialog box. See Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8Figure 3.8 Switch to the desktop.

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