Using iMovie Markers

Markers are a simple tool in iMovie that allow you to create points in your video where the playback head and other elements will snap. You can use them to mark places to add things later, or to let you easily line up overlays, titles or other elements. You can add markers while the video is playing in the preview pane. They are similar to beat markers in previous versions of iMovie.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using iMovie Markers.

Hi, this is Gary with Let's look at using Markers in iMovie.

I'm using iMovie version 10 and we're going to look at using a feature called Markers.

Markers allow you to just place marks along some video. For instance, let's drag some video into an empty project here. At any point I can add a marker. Go to Mark/Add Marker. But you can see it is really what you are supposed to do is use M to add a marker. So I can go right here and add marker M, another marker there, anywhere I want.

The use of these markers is simply as a place to snap to. So you can see how the timeline kind of snaps to it. So if I want to add another video, say a cutaway here, I can bring it in and you can see it is going to snap to this marker.

It is kind of useful because you can snap multiple things to the same marker or kind of predefine where you want things to be. For instance, let's add a title here and you will see I will be able to snap that to the marker as well. So I just drag and drop the standard title and you can see how it snaps to it right there.

The same thing for audio. The same thing for anything. A photo, anything that you want to add you can easily use markers to have it snap to it.

You can drag these markers around. They don't have names or anything. You can remove them. Also, the keyboard shortcut, Control shift M, removes them pretty easily.

One of the cool things about them is that you can add them while the video is playing. I'm going to hit the spacebar to play here and as the video is playing I can hit M at anytime and it adds a marker. So I can watch my video and when I see there is something I want to add a title or something at some point I can simply hit a M there to mark the spot.

So you can kind of use this like beat markers. You can, let's start with a black background here from Maps & Backgrounds and then let's make this long enough so it covers the song. It is about a thirty second song. So do thirty seconds. We're going to add music. We can add that as the background to this. We can add this as the background or we can attach it to that. It doesn't really matter as long as it is going to play. We have this track here, this black background track, to add markers to.

Now I can go back here and I can play it. Hit M wherever I think the photo should change during a slideshow. Next I want to add the photos. I go to my iPhoto library and I have some photos here I can use as samples. I will add them as basically cutaways above this black background. As soon as I add them I can shrink them. You can see how it is going to snap to the marker which is really nice. It makes it easy. Not quite as easy as beat markers which would have just been able to lay in a bunch of them at a time. I can lay in a bunch of photos at one time but they are all going to be the same duration which may actually work for matching to a beat but this gives you more versatility and it is relatively quick.

Now when I play this back we'll see that the photos change to the beat.

Markers are so much more useful than just for music. You can add them anywhere you want for any reason. So, for instance, if I wanted to add sound effects to this I can add some sound effects at the right points just by skimming through the video and adding some explosion sound effects at the right spot or even some flashes on the screen or some other special effects or putting titling in certain places, captions if I'm going to use titling for captions, that kind of thing.

So anything you want where you have to snap items to a spot on the iMovie timeline it is useful to use Markers.

Comments: 10 Responses to “Using iMovie Markers”

    Tripp Frohlichstein
    5 years ago

    I need chapter markers. They have eliminated them. Any workarounds in iMovie?

      5 years ago

      What do you need them for, specifically?

        5 years ago

        Chapter makers for those that have iDVD still?

          5 years ago

          iDVD is long dead, so you can’t expect Apple to support it in the new iMovie. But there are third-party DVD creators if you still need to create DVDs for some reason. I’m sure many of those support adding chapter markers.

          Linda Taylor
          5 years ago

          I couldn’t get the chapter markers I created in iMovie ’09 to work in iDVD ’09 and I’m surprised you want them in this new OS X. You can create chapters in iDVD though, if you still want to use it. I know creating DVDs is becoming outdated to some, but many of us still support the older generation that needs, or prefers, to use DVDs. I applaud your dedication!

    Susan Rosner
    5 years ago

    Do Markers work on the iPhone or iPad iMovie apps? Great video – you are a wonderful instructor.

      5 years ago

      No, I’m pretty sure they are just in the Mac version.

    Dean Mattson
    5 years ago

    Good video. I’d gotten used to using beat markers with the previous movie of iMovie and had stopped making slideshows when the new version dropped that feature. This video showed me a way to work around that. Still I hope they add back the old way at some point – it’s so much easier.

    5 years ago

    Can I use markers to delete a section of video? I basically added markers to delete portion of video I don’t want but not sure if I can do this in imovie. Please help.

      5 years ago

      You don’t need markers for that. Just place the playback head at the start of the section, us the Split function, then place it at the end, use the Split function again. Then select and delete the middle section you just created.

Comments Closed.