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Introduction to Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a free video editing application for Microsoft Windows operating systems. The application enables you to create slide shows and home movies on your personal computer, complete with effects, transitions, titles, music, narration and other professional looking features. When you finish creating your movie, you can publish and share it with family and friends still using the Movie Maker application.

Getting started with Windows Movie Maker

You may have noticed that Movie Maker only comes native in Windows Vista and is not included in Windows 7. However, you can install the new version of Windows Movie Maker in Windows 7 to turn photos and videos into movies from your PC.

With Movie Maker, editing movies is as easy as dragging and dropping still photos, scenes and transitions where you want them to appear. You can even let Movie Maker create a movie or film for you using the Auto Movie feature.

Movie Maker interface

The Windows Movie Maker interface is very similar to what you will find on most other video editing programs in the market. However, the Movie Maker interface is much simpler compared to professional video editing applications. The key areas of the Movie Maker interface include:

  • Title bar: This shows new or current video editing or movie creating projects.
  • Toolbar: This bears the shortcut buttons for common tasks like save, view and import.
  • Menu bar: This contains most of the buttons for common functions like create new projects, view options and edit files.
  • Movie Tasks pane: This pane walks you through all the steps of creating a movie from importing video clips and other media to exporting the finished movie for viewing.

Movie Tasks pane appears on the left side of the user interface by default. If you can’t see it, navigate to the toolbar and click the Tasks button to locate it.

Working with Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker works in much the same way as many other video editors in the market: First you import video clips into the storage bin of the editor, create a title for the movie, preview the various video clips to decide which to include, trim unwanted footage, add music and narration where applicable and finally export the finished movie as a new file.

If you are a professional video editor or an advance amateur, it won’t take you long to find out that Movie Maker is limited in the editing functions it can perform. The application only features basic video editing functions like trimming and splitting for individual clips. However, if you are a beginner working with standard footage like clips from your camcorder, Windows Movie Maker is probably the easiest program to use for PC video editing.

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