How to Trim a Video with QuickTime and Other Alternatives🔗
When creating videos, it’s vital that you trim and splice your video down to keep your viewer’s attention. Did you know that the average attention span of a person is now 8 seconds?
Viewers are much more likely to keep on scrolling or click away if the first couple of seconds of your video is a blank screen or in complete silence. Creating videos that are either too long or have too much dead space or silence in them can seriously harm the success of your video content – potentially impacting on your viewer retention or marketing success.
However, trimming video is quite straightforward and you can do this directly from QuickTime. This method only works on devices running MacOS, and therefore we will also introduce you to some compelling alternatives for trimming video quickly for PC/Windows.
QuickTime is Apple’s default media player, but can also be used for simple editing tricks. Among QuickTime Player's features are trim, rearrange, and rotate. You can also break up a video into separate clips and edit each one separately. As QuickTime comes bundled with MacOS, it’s always going to be free to use.
Here’s how to trim a video with QuickTime.
Step 1: Open the QuickTime Player🔗
On your Mac, head on over to the Applications folder and find QuickTime Player. Alternatively, you can press Cmd + Space to open spotlight search and type in ‘QuickTime’ and hit Enter.
Step 2: Find your target video🔗
This will open up a new Finder window in which you can select your video. Find the video file and click Open.
Step 3: Trim the Video🔗
Once the video has been opened, select the Edit button and click Trim. You will then be met with a trim bar. Drag the yellow handles in the trimming bar to select what you need to trim. For more precise editing, click and hold the handle to see the individual frames. Then, once you’re happy with your edit hit Trim.
DaVinci Resolve is a video editing program developed by Blackmagic. It’s designed for seasoned video professionals, but given that it’s free to use it’s used by many amateurs to trim video.
Step 1: Import your video and enter “Edit” mode🔗
First, open the DaVinci Resolve application and create a new timeline. Next, press Control + I to import your target video. Then, we’d want to drag that from our sources into the new timeline. T o make this edit, place the program into Edit mode from the bottom toolbar.
Step 2: Enter Trim Edit Mode and Trim Your Video🔗
Next, we’ll want to hit the Trim Edit Mode selector. You can find this as the first icon to the right of the Cursor pointer at the top of the timeline. You can use the keyboard shortcut T to do this.
Next, select the end of your clip on the timeline. If you drag from the start or end of the video, you can cut it.
Step 3: Export🔗
Then, once you’re done, hit File in the top toolbar and click Quick Export. This will save the video to your device.
OBS Studio is a free and open-source multi-platform streaming and recording platform mainly used to stream games and live broadcasts on the Internet. The program can, however, be used to trim videos.
This method is a little more complicated than others, and therefore we’d reserve this for a last-resort to tech-savvy pros. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open OBS and Create a Scene🔗
Open the OBS Studio app and create a scene by hit the + button under the Scenes list. The program will prompt you to give this a name, and create a blank canvas for us to play with. Click on the new scene in the Scenes tab to launch our brand-new workspace.
Step 2: Add a media source🔗
Turn to the Sources tab to the right of Scenes. It should be blank. Next, let’s hit the + button to add a new source. Select Media Source and give the source a placeholder name. OBS Studio will then open the media properties tab. Under local file, click Browse and find your target video.
It’s useful to click ‘Restart playback when source becomes active’. This will ensure the video starts playing once you click on the scene. Click OK and this will add a media source to your workspace.
Step 3: Record your Edits🔗
Next, we’ll want to click away from your scene by creating a new blank scene with the + button. This will reset the scene ready for our edits.
When you click on the scene with your media source, the video should start playing. Then, when you reach the point at which you’d like your final video to start, press Start Recording. This may take a few tries to get right. Press Stop Recording at the end of your desired clip. This recording will then be saved to your Videos folder.
Adobe Premiere Pro🔗
Adobe’s Premiere Pro is one of the most popular editing programs for creators and professionals. Unlike QuickTime, DaVinci Resolve or OBS Studio, Premiere Pro is not free, with the service being part of the Creative Cloud subscription model.
If you’re an avid video creator, Premiere Pro is a great tool. However, if you just want to cut a few videos, we’d suggest a free program to start off with.
Step 1: Create a new Project and Import the File🔗
First, open up Premiere Pro and insert your target video. The easiest way of doing this is finding the video in Finder or File Explorer and dragging in onto the timeline.
Step 2: Drag the ends of the clip🔗
To trim the video, use the select tool and hover over the ends of the clip. Drag them to the left or right to adjust the beginning and end of your video. It’s that simple.
If you need to slice your video in half, use the razor tool by selecting the razor icon to the left of the timeline.
Step 3: Export🔗
Then, once you’re happy with your clip, you can hit File > Export > Media to export your video. In the Export Settings box, select Format: H.264 and Preset: Match Source – High Bitrate. This is the most popular option.
Camtasia from Techsmith is a professional video editor designed for simplicity. Like Premiere Pro, it’s a paid platform. The program is a one off $249.99 payment, but TechSmith do offer a 30-day free trial.
Step 1: Import or record a video and insert it to the timeline🔗
Once you've opened Camtasia, drag and drop the video from your File Export onto your timeline. If you're using the Camtasia Recorder for screen recording, the video file should already be in your clip bin.
Step 2: Drag the ends of the clip🔗
Click and drag the ends of the video clip to trim the video. Select the video and drag it to move the clip to the beginning of the timeline.
Step 3: Export the Video🔗
Once you’re happy with your edit, click the Share button in the top-right corner. Hit local file to save to your device. Run through the Camtasia Production Wizard to complete the export. It’s that simple!
Apple have created a straightforward and convenient way to trim video clips on Mac. It’s a shame this feature isn’t included on the Windows version of the QuickTime player. For users on Windows, there are a whole host of free video editors for quick trims, alongside fully-fledged professional video editing suites.
For seasoned pros and video creators, Premiere Pro is a feature-rich industry-standard video editing program. It’s a little overkill for a simple trim, but is useful to have if you need to create lots of videos for your social media channel or business.
Video editing is a crucial part of creating engaging video content. Make sure you’ve got your viewers hooked on your movies or videos by trimming and cutting your video down to remove silences, blank screens and boring sections. Once you’ve mastered the art of the cut, you’ll find your viewer engagement and retention sky-rocket.