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Windows Movie Maker: The Magic of Splitting

It is not uncommon for training modules to use video, and there will likely come a time when you'll need to make edits to that video. Sure, the advanced video and audio edits will probably require high-end software like Adobe Premiere Pro; but the majority of edits that need to be made to training videos are simple and can be done with a totally free solution: Windows Movie Maker. Most of us are familiar with the most basic things it can do, like creating title and closing credits slides, but it can do more than just that.

 

What you'll need:

  • Windows Movie Maker (download here)
  • A video file (here is a list of supported video formats, under "What kind of files can I import?". If your file has not been saved in one of these formats, you may need to convert it to a supported format. There are online tools that can do this for free, such as http://video.online-convert.com/)

 

What is the purpose of the splitting tool?

With Windows Movie Maker, making minute edits to specific parts of a video clip requires a little bit of pre-work. By default, any edit you make—such as lowering the video volume—will affect the entire video. The splitting tool gives you some control over the editing process by allowing you to separate the one large clip into smaller, more manageable chunks. This means that, with the help of the splitting tool, you can make those more detailed edits to specific parts of your video.

 

Splitting your video

This is a fairly straightforward process.

Start by placing the cursor (indicated by a black vertical line) on the point where you'd like to make the split. If it doesn't quite get there at first, click and drag it to the left or right with your mouse—or for even greater control, use the hotkeys J and L to move to the previous or next frame (respectively).

 

 

Next, click the Edit tab at the top and then the Split tool.

 

 

This will split your clip in two:

 

 

Now that you've divided your clip in two, any edits you make to the left of the split will not affect anything to the right of it; they're essentially separate entities. 

 

You can use this function to accomplish quite a lot. If you want to lower the volume of a specific part of the clip, for instance, you can just isolate it with the split tool, then select the part and lower the Video volume under the Edit tab.

 

 

Of course, you can continue to split your video into smaller and smaller chunks as much as you want.

In what ways do you find the splitting tool useful? Are there any other Windows Movie Maker hints, tips or tricks that you know of? Please share them with us (and the world!) in the comments section below.

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