iMovie Tips and Tricks

tech tips

Starting a New Project

  1. Open iMovie and go to File, select “New Project”.
  2. The New Project window will open and here you can select some features to get your project started.  First you will select other a Theme or Movie Trailer.  Themes have transitions and certain formatting already inserted into the project.  Movie Trailers does exactly what it sounds like, it will have the effects to make your project look like a Movie Trailer.  To begin with, I would just pick “No Theme” to get started and you can always play around with themes later.

  3. Give your project a title and then leave the next couple of settings alone.  Those settings will work well for most projects.  You can select the box so that you automatically have a transition in place from picture to picture.  Look over your options and pick one that you like.
  4. Now you will be able to begin your project.  You will need photos and/or videos to insert into your project.  There are places that you can easily get pictures that are free of copyright and available for use in education. has all public domain images if you are needing more images.
    1. If your images are on your desktop, you can just drag and drop them into your project.
    2. If your images are in your iPhoto, you can just select the photo icon and search for them there.

    3. If you want to import a movie file into your project, go to “File”, “Import” and select “Movies”.

  5. To insert sound, you can either use the sound files already included in iMovie or you can insert your own by doing a voiceover or by inserting an outside sound file.
    1. To insert sound from a file already found in iMovie, select the sound icon and select the track you want.  These are mostly music files for background music.

    2. To insert a voiceover, select the part of the iMovie project you want to do a voiceover for and then hit the record button.

    3. To insert a sound file from an outside source, you can just drag and drop the file onto your project window.  Place it in the location you want.
    4. You can even get sound files from YouTube.  They have created a resource of free audio files that can be used in projects.  Go to and download the files you want.
    5. Note that if your sound file, other than a voiceover, is inserted for the whole project but the sound file is not long enough, it will just be repeated until it covers the whole project.
    6. There is a known glitch that happens when part of the iMovie file gets corrupted and you can not enter any more voiceovers.  To see some possible fixes for this, go to this site.
  6. You can also add Titles and Text to your project.  Select the Titles button to look at all of your options.

  7. Once you have media inserted into your project, you may need to adjust the various properties to make sure that the sound files are loud enough or that things occur in the correct order.
    1. Select the gear icon to enter the settings for the media.

    2. One change to make right away is to increase the volume of the voiceover and make sure that “ducking” is enabled. Ducking makes it so the other sound files are put in the background at a lower volume while your main audio file is being played.

  8. Once your project is ready to be shared out, click “Share” and select “Export Movie”.  
    1. I would suggest you select either Large or HD.

  9. There is a lot more that you can do with iMovie, use the following resources if you want to learn more.


      Watch the video below for some more advanced tips and directions.



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