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iMovie: Exporting Projects

iMovie, Version: 10.1.8. Be aware that different versions of iMovie will vary in appearance and functionality. Full Guide: View/Download

When editing is done, the project needs to be exported in order to consolidate all the edits and create a single video file. Always retain a copy of your iMovie library, not just the exported video file. Return to iMovie to make any additional edits to the movie, and re-export when finished. Do not export an unfinished draft and make edits to the new video file.

To export a finished project to a video file:
  1. Navigate to File > Share > File. A pop-up window will appear. Export time and the final file size will be displayed below a preview of the movie.
  2. Adjust the following settings in the new window:
    • Name: rename the movie with a descriptive title.
    • Description: add a description of the movie, if desired.
    • Format: select Video and Audio for most projects.
    • Resolution: the higher the resolution, the better the quality. Resolution options depend on the video clips used in the project. If file size is an issue, reduce the resolution.
    • Quality: set as High for most projects. “Best (ProRes)” is an Apple-specific format that is not compatible on all devices. If file size is an issue, reduce the quality.
    • Compress: options include “Faster” and “Better Quality.” Faster will fit most needs and will not degrade the quality of the movie file.

  3. When done, click “Next.”
  4. Choose a storage location from the new window and click “Save.”
The window will close and exporting will take place in the background. Check the status of the export with the progress meter at the top-right of the iMovie window. A pop-up will appear in the top-right of the computer screen when exporting has finished.


  • Cut Excess Clips: iMovie will export every clip in the Timeline. Make sure no clips are lingering down the Timeline, and trim audio clips that extend far past the last video clip/Title.
  • Export Time: The longer the movie, the longer exporting will take. Exporting generally takes quite a bit of time, so plan accordingly. 

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Keywords:production, video, editing, mac, file, save, publish, MP4   Doc ID:85326
Owner:Misty B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2018-08-28 15:37 PDTUpdated:2021-04-20 13:24 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
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