QuickTime editing functions you probably didn't know it could do

Top editing tricks for QuickTime on the Apple Mac. This app has more video editing functions than you may have realised.

QuickTime Player on the Apple Mac is a useful tool for viewing video clips, but it can do a lot more. For some tasks you might prefer it to iMovie. Take a look at these editing functions.

If you run the QuickTime app in macOS and load up a video clip, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of functions. It seems to lack the features you need and you might be tempted to switch to iMovie. However, there are features that are not obvious and you can perform a number of editing tasks very quickly and easily.

Browse the videos in the Photos library

Start QuickTime or select File > Open and you you can select a file on disk. If the file selection window is small, you might miss the option to browse your Photos library. It is at the bottom of the sidebar and you might need to scroll down to see it.

Related: Where are photos stored on the Apple Mac?

Select Movies in the Media section of the sidebar and then open Photos. Browse the moments, years, albums and so on to find the video clip you want to edit.

Open a movie from the Photos library in QuickTime on the Apple Mac
Click Movies in the sidebar to browse the Photos library

Add a video clip at the start

Suppose you want to join two video clips together. Load a video clip into QuickTime Player, go to the Edit menu and select Add Clip to End. This appears to be the only option, so how do you add a clip to the start?

  1. Go to the Edit menu and select Add Clip to End
  2. Open the video clip from disk
  3. The clip is selected (it has a yellow border), and it can be clicked and dragged to the start of the video

Insert videos into videos to join them and make them longer in QuickTime in macOS
Add a video to the end and drag it to the start. You can then insert a video in the middle

Split videos and insert videos

Suppose you want to insert a video clip into the middle of a video. As before, there does not appear to be a menu option. However, you can easily achieve this in a couple of steps.

  1. Play the video and stop it at the point you want to insert another video
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Split Clip to break it into two parts
  3. Return to the Edit menu and select Add Clip to End (or Insert Clip After Selection)
  4. Click and drag the clip added to the end and drop it between the two parts of the split clip

The result is a video clip inserted into the middle of another video clip

Cut a section from the middle of a video

Suppose there is a section in the middle of a video clip that you don’t want. There does not appear to be a menu option to cut a section out of the middle a video. On the Edit menu is a Trim function, but this just modifies the start and end points of a clip. However, it can be done with the limited commands available.

  1. Play the video and stop it at the start of the section you want to cut out
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Split Clip to break it into two parts
  3. Drag the play position indicator (a thin red line), to the end of the section you want to cut
  4. Go to the Edit menu and select Split Clip
  5. There are now three parts. Click the part in the middle you want to cut to select it
  6. Go to the Edit menu and select Delete

Delete a scene from the middle of a QuickTime video clip on the Apple Mac
Split a clip and then split it again to remove a scene from a video clip

Rearrange the scenes in a video

Suppose you have a long video that covers several scenes. You might want to rearrange parts of it and change the order of the scenes. There are no menus for this, or are there?

  1. Play the video and stop it at the start of a scene
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Split Clip to break it into two parts
  3. Drag the play position indicator (thin red line), to the end of the scene
  4. Go to the Edit menu and select Split Clip to break it into two parts
  5. Repeat 3 and 4 until you have split the video at each scene
  6. Now just click and drag the scenes around to change the order in which they play

Add a voice-over or music

As with the other editing commands, there does not appear to be a way to add music or a voice over to a video clip. There is a way to do this and it is really easy.

  1. Load the video clip into QuickTime
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Add Clip to End
  3. In the sidebar of the file selector, click Music and select a file

This does not add music to the end of a video clip, it adds it as an extra audio track from the start. It does not matter if the music is longer than the video because when the video ends, the music will stop too.

Add music to a video clip using QuickTime in macOS
Add music and an audio track appears on the video clip

If you want to add a voice-over, just record your voice and save the file to disk. The add the clip to the end of the video as described above.

Export the clip

After making changes to a video, don’t overwrite the original. Export it as a new file. You might need the original clip for another video editing session.

 

 

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