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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.

  • When done, click “Next.”
  • 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:Janelle B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
    Created:2018-08-28 15:37 PDTUpdated:2023-08-04 16:28 PDT
    Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
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