iMovie 10 Video-Editing Tools

Tips on using some powerful features

iMovie 10 for Mac or iOS is a powerful video-making tool, letting you easily create your own movie masterpieces to share. To get the most out of iMovie, here are some important editing and effects tools that will take your projects to the next level.

iMovie requires macOS 10.15.6 or later. If you're using iMovie on an iOS device, you'll need iOS 14.0 or later.

Mac screen saying "Welcome to iMovie"

iMovie Video Effects and Editing Tools

iMovie offers an array of editing tools that change how your video footage looks. You'll find many of these tools via their icons in the upper-right toolbar of your screen, while others are accessible from the main menu.

Select a clip or clips, and then try these tools to make overall improvements to your project:

Color Balance

Select Color Balance to fix any color issues. Choose from Auto to autocorrect, Match Color, White Balance, or Skin Tone Balance.

Select Color Balance to fix any color issues.

Color Correction

Select Color Correction to adjust your color further.

Select Color Correction to adjust your color further.

Cropping

Select Cropping to choose from a variety of image cropping options, including Crop to Fill and Ken Burns.

Select Cropping to choose from a variety of image cropping options

Stabilization

Select Stabilization and then choose to Stabilize Shaky Video or Fix Rolling Shutter to reduce motion distortion.

Select Stabilization and then choose to Stabilize Shaky Video or Fix Rolling Shutter to reduce motion distortion.

Volume

Select Volume to adjust the volume on a clip or clips.

Select Volume to adjust the volume on a clip or clips.

Noise Reduction and Equilizer

Select Noise Reduction and Equalizer to reduce background noise and change equalizer settings.

Select Noise Reduction and Equalizer to reduce background noise and change equalizer settings.

Speed

Select Speed to adjust the speed options for your video clip or clips. Speed the clips up, and you can tell a long story or show a detailed process in a matter of seconds. Slow the clips down and you can add emotion and drama to any scene.

In addition to slowing down, accelerating, and reversing clips, iMovie makes it easy to add freeze frames or create instant replay from any part of your video. These options are also accessible via the Modify drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

Select Speed to adjust the speed options for your video clip or clips.

Filter

Select Filter to instantly apply a variety of clip filters, including Black & White, Duotone, Raster, and much more. This tool also lets you select from a variety of audio effects, including Robot, Cosmic, Echo Delay, and more.

Select Filter to instantly apply a variety of clip filters

Enhance

To quickly add automatic general enhancements to your image, go to the Modify menu, and select Enhance.

Add automatic general enhancements to your image with the Enhance tool

Precision Editing in iMovie

Most of the tools in iMovie are designed to work automatically, and this is usually all you need. But sometimes, you may want to be more careful and apply precision to every video frame. iMovie's Precision Editor lets you adjust the location and length or transitions. It also lets you see the whole length of a clip, so you know how much you're leaving out, so you can easily adjust the included part.

Access the iMovie Precision Editor from the Window menu.

Access the iMovie Precision Editor from the Window menu.

Moving Between iMovie and FCP X

You can do a lot of detailed editing in iMovie, but if your project gets really complicated, you'll have a smoother time editing it in Final Cut Pro. Luckily, Apple has made it simple to move projects from one program to the other. From the File menu, select Send Movie to Final Cut Pro. This will automatically copy your iMovie project and video clips and create associated files that you can edit in Final Cut. 

Once you're in Final Cut, precision editing is much easier, and you'll have more options for making adjusting the video and audio in your project.