This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Working with iMovie and iDVD" guide.
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Working with iMovie and iDVD   Tags: aael, apple, dmc, groundworks, knc, media, movies, multimedia, presentation practice room, video, video tutorials, video_editing, videos, visual resources  

This guide provides step-by-step processes in iMovie such as creating new projects and events, capturing video, trimming and editing clips, adding text, transitions and effects, and exporting. Also, there is a section dedicated to burning media with iDVD.
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Additional Resources

Need more help?

There are many resources available to help you learn and work with iMovie. Below are some of the resources we recommed that provide complete overviews of iMovie, its features and tools, as well as step-by-step tutorials of the application.

  • Apple Support
    Apple's official support page for iMovie and filled with instructional videos on all features of iMovie.
  • iMovie '11 Essentials*  
  contains some of the best instructional videos available! Each videos are bite-sized and broken down to show individual features or tasks, so you quickly learn about what you need to know and not waste any time!

    * is only accessible on MLibrary machines.
  • Safari Tech Books:Using iMovie '11
    This online book is an A-Z guide to iMovie. Learn things from how to install the software, to how to add effects, to exporting and sharing!

What's in this guide?

Getting Started

  •    iMovie Overview
  •    Before You Begin
  •    iMovie Interface
  •    What's in this Guide?
  •    Additional Resources
  •    Guide Contributors

New Project

  •    Before You Begin
  •    Setting Preferences
  •    Creating a New Event
  •    Creating a New Project

Import Video

  •    Preparation
  •    Importing (from DV and miniDV tapes)
  •    Importing (using camera or SD card)
  •    Importing (using flash drive, external hard drive, or other storage device)

Edit Clips

  • Selecting, Moving, and Trimming Clips
  • Clip, Video, and Audio Adjustments

Add Media

  •    Adding Audio & Music
  •    Adding Images

Text, Transitions & Animation

  •    Adding Text Slides
  •    Adding a Transition
  •    Adding Animations 

 Saving, Moving & Exporting

  •    Preparation
  •    Export Master (Highest Quality - DVDs)
  •    Export H.264 (Compressed Quality - Streaming, YouTube)

Using iDVD

  •    Creating a New Project
  •    DVD Settings
  •    Burn DVD  

iMovie Overview

What is iMovie?

iMovie is a video editing application that is part of the iLife Suite, which is available for only Macintosh computers.

It allows users to quickly and easily record/capture/import clips, edit footage, and export.

iMovie is an introductory video editing application, yet still includes many additional features such as ready-to-use themes, transitions, and slides to help make your video look polished and professional.



iMovie is compatible with other Apple applications such as iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes, and QuickTime Pro. 

Note: iMovie ‘11 projects are mostly compatible with Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X, but not vice versa.  iMovie ‘11 projects can be imported into Final Cut Pro 7 and then into Adobe Premiere Pro, but not vice versa.


Before You Begin

  • Keep in mind that files saved on a university computer are not safe from deletion.  It is highly recommended to have an external hard drive or other device in which to store all your files.  External hard drives are available for purchase at the Computer Showcase.
  • It is recommended that you work on your project from your external hard drive.
  • iMovie ‘11 natively supports uncompressed SD and HDV, uncompressed HD, RAW camera formats, Panasonic P2, DVCPRO HD, and Sony XDCAM HD.
  • There is no manual save feature in iMovie ‘11; everything is saved automatically to your specified locations when you create a new project and event.
  • Learn more about iMovie ’11 by using the tutorials at  Learn everything you need to know about iMovie ‘11 by using the tutorials at on any designated library computer.

iMovie Interface

Contact Info

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Knowledge Navigation Center/ Faculty Exploratory/ TechDeck
Contact Info
Knowledge Navigation Center (KNC): (734) 647-5836
Faculty Exploratory: (734) 647-7406
TechDeck: (734) 647-1926
Send Email

Guide Contributors

Special Thanks To:

Stephen Ratkovich
Isabel Talsma

For their wonderful contributions and hard work!



We welcome your feedback on our web site.


Creative Commons

Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. For details and exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.

©2015, Regents of the University of Michigan


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