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Jan 24, 2012

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto – Tutorial

by Stephen Ashby

iPhoto recently added the ability to import, view and trim videos, then share them online.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - TutorialHow To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - TutorialWe may think of iPhoto as just a tool for photos but it is possible in iPhoto 11 to view and edit video files too. This means that not only can you import the entire contents of your camera, you can also edit and use that content. Incredibly the inspiration for the trimming system comes from iOS when the 3GS was released with video capabilities. Not only does this make it incredibly familiar but it also makes it very simple. This means that you can tidy clips up in literally a couple of minutes and then instantly share them online without the need to worry about rendering, format types or anything else. You can also add the newly trimmed video to your existing iPhoto projects. It’s a great extra tool in iPhoto’s considerable armoury and one that is well worth utilising after an import. This tutorial takes you through all you need to know to use video content effectively in iPhoto.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - TutorialHow To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

1: Locate a video

The videos in your library can be identified when a video camera icon appears at the bottom left of the image. There’s also a time stamp in the other corner.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

2: Use the transport bar

When the video begins to play you will see a black transport bar appear in the centre of the screen. It’s here that you can access the trim function.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

3: Get trimming

Click the settings cog in the transport bar to reveal a drop-down menu. Click on Trim to bring up a new kind of transport bar that will let you edit your clip.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

4: Drag it

The new transport bar appears with a yellow surround on the frames. Drag the yellow bars left and right to select a trim region.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

5: Hit it

When you’re happy with the trim region selected, hit the Trim button on the right of the bar. Your video will then become the length of the region.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

6: Check it

Play your movie and you’ll see that it adheres to the region you selected. Check to make sure it’s the right length and contains all the right bits of action.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

7: Go back

You can undo the trim by using the same Settings cog on the transport bar as before. Now you will see a Reset Trim option. Click this to reverse the edit.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

8: Time to share

With your clip fully trimmed, you can use the Share option at the bottom of the iPhoto interface to show off the event, place or people in your video.

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

9: Or just add it

You can also add the trimmed video to a project you are working on. Just pick from the available options and the trimmed version will make its way over.

Click Image to Enlarge

How To Trim and Share Video in iPhoto - Tutorial

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    • Misty

      I clicked on trim after I did all of the previous steps, and when I went to upload it to fb, it uploaded the entire video. How do I fix this?

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hey Misty,

      At the risk of sounding silly, did you follow Step 7 before you shared your video to Facebook? That’ll undo your trim, so watch out for that! Obvious issues out of the way, ensure your video isn’t highlighted in the library browser, as this may cause iPhoto to upload the whole, original clip instead of your edited one.


    • Tricia

      I am having troubles uploading the trimmed video. My default is Quicktime and for some reason, when I drag the trimmed video to my desktop, and then try and save on a zip drive, it doesn’t read it. I can’t transport it to another computer. Any suggestions of what I am doing wrong?

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hey Tricia,

      It could be that your Zip drive isn’t formatted correctly to read documents saved using your Mac’s standard file system. Are you finding you’re having the same issue with any other files, or is it just QuickTime data?


    • Frenchy

      I am having a similar problem. I used iPhoto to trim a video, but when I upload it on Facebook it uploads the original untrimmed video. I have reopened the file several times on my Mac and the file I see is the trimmed file. I have then uploaded that file onto Facebook a few times and…the UNEDITED version is uploaded.

      Any reason why it is doing this? How can I upload the version I have on file, rather than the ghost file that seems to keep appearing?


    • Paul Cockburn

      I’m having a similar problem to Misty. I’ve trimmed a 1:20 length video down to exactly 1:00 but when I synchronise iPhoto with my iPad or iPhone the original version is copied across. So I have the short version on my iMac, but the longer version on my iPad and iPhone – which are the devices I use to show other people.

      I’ve found on iPhoto an option to revert to the original, but is there any way to get rid of the original and make the new version the final definitive version?

    • Luke

      I’m having a similar problem as Tricia. I trimmed just a few seconds from the beginning and end of a 6-minute video (around 950MB). When I export the video to my desktop it’s only 145KB and is only a black screen during playback if the iPhoto drive isn’t hooked up. I need to turn this in for a project; how do I get it to play without being hooked to my iPhoto drive?

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hey Luke,

      This is an odd one! As an alternative, you could export the entire video, open it in QuickTime and trim it down to size in there? Let me know how you get on.


    • Jennifer

      Ok I’m a new Mac user and I have iPhoto ’11. How the heck do I share my videos with friends through email? I tried to “export” it from iPhoto and the file would not open for people. I don’t want to post it to FB, I just want to have the file on my desktop and attach it to an email…can I do this? I have no idea how to get to the individual file on my hard drive. Please help 🙂


    • Gladys

      I’m having the exact same problem as Jennifer–cannot attach the video to an email. Seems ridiculous. I’ve worked at it all night. When I export it to Facebook I cannot share it on FB–something about a privacy setting. So it’s pretty useless right now. I also tried to attach it to an email from my Gmail account and the recipient doesn’t get the attachment even though it shows up from my end when I view the sent email. Help!

    • Saad Mirza

      Hi there.I have iphone 4 and i accidentally trimmed a video.Anyway to restore it back?

    • Andrea

      I seem to be having a similar issue except I have been trying to upload a trimmed video to Google plus, it get’s stuck in “processing”

    • Diego

      This guy doesn’t seem to answer the question: the video is edited ONLY if you watch it in iPhoto, otherwise (if you mail it or upload it to Facebook) it dos NOT work.

    • Saucy

      ok, so I think I got it. Seems like you have to save the clip as “current” (I had it set on original), in order for the trimmed version to be saved. Yeah?

    • Brian

      Exporting as “current” saves a file that appears to be just a black screen. There’s GOT TO be an easy way of doing this simple task!!!!!

    • Rick Stokes

      I’m needing to send a large number of videos overseas for a TV show to edit and use, so I trimmed them in iPhoto, dragged each movie icon out of iPhoto to a folder on the desktop, and uploaded the files via Dropbox. I noticed that about half of them were tiny files, 25 kB or so. They will still play when opened on my computer – I guess they are some sort of shortcut to the actual file – but not what I need for the guys at the other end. Is there a workaround to this bug?