Editing Video in Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

In our previous tutorials, we introduced you to Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 and showed how to import photos and videos into Windows Live Movie Maker 2011. The next step is to begin editing your video clips in Windows Live Movie Maker 2011. Windows Live Movie Maker’s video editing tab lets you split and trim video clips and adjust their speeds. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use all of these tools and functions.

Arranging Clips on the Timeline

When you import video clips or photos, they are automatically inserted into the timeline after the clip you currently have selected on the timeline.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

You can easily re-arrange the order of the video clips by dragging and dropping them.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

Surrounding clips will automatically get shifted on the timeline accordingly. Note that Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 doesn’t allow any “blank space" on the timeline - every second of the timeline must be filled by a photo, video, transition or title card.

Likewise, when you remove a clip from the timeline, the surrounding clips shift to fill the gap left behind and shortening the overall length of your movie. You can remove clips by right-clicking them and choosing Remove or by selecting them and pressing Delete on the keyboard.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

You can also cut, copy and paste the clips using the corresponding commands in the contextual menu, or by selecting a clip and pressing CTRL-X, CTRL-C or CTRL-V, respectively.

An even faster way to duplicate clips is to hold CTRL while dragging and dropping a clip. An exact copy of the clip will be placed where you release the mouse, and the original clip will remain in place.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

Splitting and Trimming Clips

In addition to re-ordering clips on the timeline, you can also trim them or split them into separate clips. Both of these tools are on the Edit ribbon.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

To split a clip, position the play cursor at the point where you’d like to split the clip. To do this, click the long black vertical cursor and drag it into the middle of a clip.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

Or, you can click Play on the preview pane and hit Pause when you reach the point in the clip where you’d like to split it.

Once you have the cursor positioned correctly, click Split.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011
This creates two separate clips, which you can now re-arrange, trim and apply effects to independently from one another.

There are two ways to trim video clips. The easiest way is to set the start point and end point. When you set the start point, Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 deletes the clip footage that precedes the cursor. When you set the end point, the clip footage after the cursor is removed. To set the start and end points, position the cursor as you did above and click Set start point or Set end point.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

Alternately, you can use the Trim tool. To open it, select a clip and click Trim tool in the Edit ribbon.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

You can set the start point and end point either by dragging the sliders underneath the preview or by entering the times in manually. You can do multiple trims by clicking Set start point and Set end point. This updates the clip with the new start and end points so you can trim it again. When you’re finished, click Save trim.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

If you make a mistake, you can press CTRL-Z to undo or delete the clip and re-import the original and start over.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to join clips or combine clips in Windows Live Movie Maker 2011. If you absolutely need this function, you can create a project with the clips you want to combine and export it as a .WMV and then import it back into your main project.

Speeding Up or Slowing Down Clips

To change the speed of a clip, select it and choose a speed from the drop-down menu next to Speed.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

Note that when you change the speed of a video clip, Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 removes the audio from it. This is because the audio’s pitch will be effected by the change in speed. If you want to retain the audio, you can extract it using a program like Audacity or AoA Audio Extractor, but when you add it back in, it will be out of sync. We’ll cover working with audio in Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 in a later tutorial.

Changing Video Volume

You can alter the volume of each video clip by selecting it and clicking Video volume and dragging the slider. You can also have the audio fade in or fade out at three different speeds: slow, medium and fast. Simply choose your fade in/fade out speed from the drop-down menu in the Audio pane.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011