Editing Video With QuickTime Player

You can use QuickTime Player for very simple video editing without setting up a whole project in iMovie or Final Cut Pro. With QuickTime Player, you can combine trimming, appending more clips, and splitting clips to arrange and export edited movies.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Editing Video With QuickTime Player.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode I'm going to show you how to do simple video editing using only QuickTime player.

So say you want to do some very basic video editing. You just want to trim some video or maybe combine two videos. You can do that with QuickTime player. There's no need to start a whole project or final cut project to do it. I've got two videos here and let me demonstrate with them.

I'm going to double click on the first one and it will open up in QuickTime player which you may just use to play the video. That may be all you've used it for up to this point. But you've got some editing commands in QuickTime player as well. I'm using the QuickTime player in El Capitan and its version 10.4.

In order to trim this video I just go to Edit, Trim, and now I've got this control at the bottom that allows me to set the Start and End points. I just drag the ends here. I'm able to trim off some stuff in the beginning and some stuff off the end and grab a section in the middle. I hit the trim button and now I have a much shorter video. I could just, from this point, just save it out. I'll show you how to do that at the end so that I've got a shorter video.

That may be enough for a lot of things you need to do. But you can also add other videos to this.

So to add another video I'm going to go to Edit and Add Clip to End. Then I'm going to select another video.

Now you can see I've got two videos here in the Timeline at the bottom. I can jump into either one for trimming just as before. So I'm just double clicking on them and it goes to the trim control. Now I can drag the beginning and end of this if I want to trim. I can hit the trim button and that will shorten this video.

So now I've been able to combine these two. Not only can I combine them but I can move them around. I can drag this one to the other end if I wanted to.

The third command is one that you can use to split the video up. So I'm going to use my trackpad and use that to move that red line there which shows me the frame I'm at. I'm going to get it somewhere in the middle of this video.

I go to Edit, Split Clip or use Command Y and this will split that clip into two pieces. You've already seen how I can move these around so I can move this one here. So I can do a lot with splitting. I can split this into as many sections as I want. Move the different sections around. In addition to that I can trim each of these sections. Go back in and do that. Just go in there and you can see the section of the original video that this is.

By just doing that there is a lot that you can do and when you're done and get it the way you want you can now save this out as a single video.

So this is where it gets a little weird. You would think you would go to File, Save but that's not an option. You can't even go up here to actually set the name for this because it is basically some sort of weird QuickTime player composition document that you are in.

All you need to do is you can either go to File, Export from here and Export is one of these formats. So I can do 720 p and export this video. You get the same options if you try to close this. If you try to close it it will ask you to export and you can open this up so you can see exactly where you're exporting to.

So I'll do Combo and it will save it out. So you can use either one of those. Use the File, Export for more control and for just saving it out in the format that it's already in you can just Close and then save out from the dialogue there. Now you can see I've got this Combo video and now it's one video here that has at the beginning fireworks and then it goes to the waves and then it goes back to the fireworks.

So it's saved out as one big video and I've successfully edited it without having to create a big project and make a big deal out of it. It's a good basic way to just handle some video very quickly.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Editing Video With QuickTime Player”

    3 years ago

    I cannot seem to buy QuickTime Pro and am told that Apple has stopped publishing and selling it. Can you help? I don’t want to use iMovie, as I am an amateur.

    And I just love your Tutorials…. Keep them coming.

    3 years ago

    How do you get the video footage into QuickTime player in the first place?

    3 years ago

    Bridgette: Not sure what you are asking. At 0:26 I double-click on the video file to open it in QuickTime Player. Is that what you mean? You can also open video files in the same way you open any file in any app: File, Open, Command+O, drag and drop onto the app or app icon in the Dock, etc.

    3 years ago

    Uday: No need for QuickTime Pro. What I show in the video is using the QuickTime Player that comes with OS X. The last thing called “QuickTime Pro” was QuickTime 7 Pro which is very very old at this point. You don’t need it.
    As for being an amateur: iMovie is for home users, not pros. Final Cut is for pros. iMovie is what you want to use. Apple built it for typical Mac home users to be able to edit their videos.

    Timothy M Ricke
    3 years ago

    This is really needed. Thank you Gary!

    3 years ago

    I have always wanted to know how to do this without going to the effort of using Imovie. THANK YOU!!!!

    3 years ago

    hi Gary
    first of all, thanks for all your great videos, I always look forward to them. Do you know if there’s a way to place “bookmarks” in a video using QT? I have some instructional guitar videos and would be nice to be able to jump to specific spots.

    3 years ago

    nick: Not really, because a bookmark like that would depend on the playback app to understand and provide an interface for such bookmarks. So if QuickTime Player did it, then you would need QuickTime Player to use them. If they had something else, or Windows, or a tablet, etc, then they wouldn’t even see them. If you upload to YouTube, they have a ton of features like this, though, so look into that if you are using YouTube.

    3 years ago

    Great tool. Now I need to know how to change .mov to a format that FB message will use, like .wmv I guess.

    3 years ago

    Joyce: Facebook will absolutely accept .mov files. Most of those uploaded are probably .mov. Of course .mov files can contain video formats that use all sorts of different compression types. But the major ones like h264 are supported. All of the MacMost videos I upload to Facebook are h264 .mov files.

    3 years ago

    Cool. I didn’t realize any editing was possible in QT 10. I’ve always used QT 7. Did QT 10 have this capability when it first came out? I remember being disappointed that it lacked even basic editing capability. Was it there all along, or were editing features added as QT evolved. I have QT 10.4. Is that the current version? Many thanks for all your great videos and community support.

    3 years ago

    On second thought, maybe it was just the perceived ease of use and greater editing capabilities of QT 7, and the ability to simply save an edited file as opposed to the tedious and rather pointless extra step of having export to a new file after editing in QT 10 that drove me to QT 7. So maybe the first release of QT 10 had some editing after all?

    3 years ago

    Dominique: Each version of OS X has added more to QuickTime Player. There wasn’t much editing in the first version way back when.

Comments Closed.