Windows Movie Maker Manual
Windows Movie Maker
Getting started
Key concepts
Understanding collections, projects, and movies
Understanding source files
Understanding capture devices
About video capture devices
About audio capture devices
Connecting capture devices
About the capture buffer
About saving a movie
About Windows Media
Understanding video settings
Understanding connection speeds
Preparing to create your video
Creating and improving video
Compensating for flaws in video
Creating and improving audio
System requirements
Supported file types
Keyboard shortcuts
Understanding the Windows Movie Maker interface
About the menu bar and toolbar
About the panes
About the Movie Tasks pane
About the Collections pane
About the Contents pane
About the monitor
About the storyboard and timeline
About the storyboard
About the timeline
Using Windows Movie Maker
Capturing video
To capture the entire video from a tape in a DV camera
To capture parts of video from a tape in a DV camera
To capture video from tape in an analog camera or VCR
To capture live video
Choosing a video and audio capture device
To change the capturing device
Understanding the Configure Video Capture Device dialog box
To change camera settings
To change video settings
To change the settings for a TV tuner
Choosing a saving destination
Choosing a video setting
Choosing how to capture from a DV device
Capturing automatically from a DV device
Capturing video and audio
Using the DV controls
Troubleshooting capturing video
Previewed and captured video is distorted
Captured video file exceeds the FAT32 4-gigabyte file size limit
DV device is not responding
Taking pictures
To take a picture from video in the monitor
Importing existing digital media files
To import existing digital media files
To import a Windows Movie Maker collections file
Importing video files and clip detection
Saving a project
To save a project
To save a project with a new name
Previewing projects and clips
To preview a project
To preview a clip
To pause or stop previewing a project
To play video in full-screen mode
To change the preview monitor size
To jump to a frame
To jump to a clip in a project
Displaying clip properties
To display clip properties
Displaying project properties
To edit project properties
To display project properties in Windows Explorer
Editing projects
To switch the view of a project
To add a clip to a project
To remove a clip from a project
To clear the storyboard/timeline
To create a new project
To open a project
Zooming in and out
To zoom in or out on the timeline
To fit the timeline on the screen
To increase or decrease the size of the storyboard
Moving and copying clips
To copy a clip on the storyboard/timeline
To move a clip on the storyboard/timeline
To nudge a clip on the timeline
Undoing actions
To undo the last action
To redo the last undone action
To undo or redo multiple actions at one time
Using AutoMovie
To create an AutoMovie
Selecting an AutoMovie editing style
Entering title text
Selecting background music
Editing clips
Splitting and combining clips
To split a video or audio clip
To combine a split audio or video clip
Trimming clips
To trim a clip
To clear trim points
Creating clips
To create clips for an existing video clip
Using video transitions, video effects, and titles
Working with video transitions
To add a video transition
To change the video transition duration
To remove a video transition
Using video effects
To add a video effect
To remove a video effect
Changing video effects
To add or remove video effects
Adding titles and credits
To add a title or credit
To edit an existing title
To change the title duration
To remove a title
Choosing the title location
Entering title text
Choosing the title animation
Selecting the title font and colors
Working with audio
Narrating the timeline
To narrate the timeline
Adjusting the audio levels
To adjust audio levels
Adding audio effects
To add an audio effect
To remove an audio effect
To mute audio
Adjusting audio clip volume
To adjust the volume of an audio clip
Organizing collections and clips
To change the clip view
To arrange clips in the Contents pane
To create a collection
To delete a collection
To rename a collection
To delete a clip from a collection
To copy a clip in a collection
Working with the collections file
To back up the collections file
To restore the collections file
Saving and sending movies
Saving a movie to My computer
To save a movie on your computer
To save a movie to a Pocket PC device
To open and watch a movie in the My Videos folder
Saving your movie for local playback
Completing the Save Movie Wizard when saving to My computer
Troubleshooting saving a movie to My computer
Movie file exceeds the FAT32 4-gigabyte size limit
Not enough disk available free disk space
Movie file saving destination does not exist
Source files for movie not found
Saving a movie to a recordable CD
To save a movie to a CD-R or CD-RW
Saving a movie for playback on a recordable CD
Completing the Save Movie Wizard when saving a movie to a recordable CD
Troubleshooting saving a movie to a recordable CD
Recordable CD drive not detected
Recordable CD drive not enabled for recording CDs
Permission denied for recording CDs
No recordable CD
CD is not recordable or rewriteable
Sending a movie in e-mail
To send a movie as an attachment in an e-mail message
Saving a movie for sending in an e-mail message
Completing the Save Movie Wizard when sending a movie in an e-mail message
Troubleshooting sending a movie by e-mail
File size is too large to send in e-mail
E-mail program does not support automatic attachments
Determining and changing your default e-mail program
Sending a movie to the Web
To send a movie to a video hosting provider on the Web
Choosing a movie setting for the Web
Saving a movie for sending to the Web
Getting video hosting provider information from the Internet
Choosing and signing in to a video hosting provider
Signing in progress
Sending a movie to the Web progress
Completing the Save Movie Wizard when sending a movie to the Web
Troubleshooting sending a movie to the Web
Movie not accepted by video hosting provider
Cannot download latest video hosting provider from the Web
No video hosting providers available in your country or region
Recording a movie to a DV camera
To record a movie back to tape
To copy a movie on DV tape to an analog tape
Choosing a DV device
Cuing your tape
Recording to tape
Completing the Save Movie Wizard when recording to tape
Troubleshooting recording a movie to DV tape
No DV device found
DV camera does not support DV In
Switch DV camera to VCR mode
No tape in DV camera
DV tape is write-protected
First seconds of movie recorded to tape are missing
Entire movie may not fit on tape if recording in SP mode
Temporary movie file exceeds the FAT32 4-gigabyte size limit
Naming the saved movie file
Choosing a movie setting
Configuring options
Setting general options
To specify the default author
To specify the temporary storage location
To automatically open the last project when Windows Movie Maker starts
To change the save interval time for automatic file recovery
To automatically download uninstalled codecs
To reset warning dialog boxes
To clear all passwords and user names
To restore default general settings
Setting advanced options
To specify default durations
To set the video format
To set the aspect ratio
To set the maximum movie file size for sending movies by e-mail
To restore default advanced settings
Accessibility for people with disabilities
Accessibility features in Windows Movie Maker
Accessibility features in Windows Movie Maker Help
Keyboard shortcuts for using the Help window
To change the appearance of a Help topic
To change the color of the background or text in Help
To change the font in Help
Accessible products and services from Microsoft
Accessibility in Microsoft Windows
Adjusting Microsoft products for people with accessibility needs
Free step-by-step tutorials
Microsoft documentation in alternative formats
Assistive technology for Windows
Customer service for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
Getting more accessibility information

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To find a term in the glossary, click the letter of the alphabet that is the first letter in the term you want to look up.

You can also read glossary terms within the text of Help by clicking the underlined glossary term links. After you click a glossary link, the glossary term and definition appear in a pop-up window. To close the window, click anywhere on the screen.




A network's capacity for transferring an amount of data in a given time.

bit rate

The number of bits transferred per second.

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To record audio, video, or still images as digital data in a file.

capture device

Hardware that transfers audio and video from an external source, such as a VCR or camcorder, to a computer.


Small segment of a larger video file.


An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.


A container for organizing clips.


A process for removing redundant data from a digital media file or stream to reduce its size or the bandwidth used.


Audio, video, images, text, or any other information that is contained in a digital media file or stream.


A method of smoothly moving from one video clip or photo to another. With a cross-fade transition, the frames in the playing clip fade out as the frames in the new clip fade in. In the film industry, the same process is called a dissolve.

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depth of field

The measurement of the area in front of and behind the subject that is in focus.

digital video (DV)

Video images and sound stored in a digital format.

direct memory access (DMA)

Memory access that does not involve the microprocessor and is frequently used for data transfer directly between memory and a peripheral device, such as a disk drive.


To transfer a file over a network in response to a request from the device that receives the data. Downloaded content is kept on the receiving device for playback on demand. In contrast, streamed content is played as it is delivered.

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One of many sequential images that make up video.

frame rate

The number of video frames displayed per second. Higher frame rates generally produce smoother movement in the picture.

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A part of the file structure that contains information required by an application to decompress and render the content. The header in a protected file also contains information required to get a license.

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IEEE 1394

See definition for: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394

A high-speed serial bus standard that provides enhanced computer connectivity for a wide range of devices, including consumer electronics audio/video (A/V) appliances, storage peripherals, other computers, and portable devices.

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microphone noise

Unwanted sound that is captured when objects touch a microphone inadvertently.

moiré pattern

Video artifacts that occur when recording an object that has many thin, parallel lines.

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project file

The file that contains information about the files that have been imported into or captured in the current project, and how files or clips have been arranged.

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See definition for: capture

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Audio and video content that can be captured and encoded from devices installed on your computer or from a file.


To divide an audio or video clip into two clips.


A view of the workspace that displays the sequence of your clips.

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The area of the user interface that shows the timing and arrangement of files or clips that make up a project.


To hide parts of a file or clip without deleting them from the original source. Files and clips can be trimmed by adjusting the start or end trim points.

trim points

The points where playback of a file or clip begins and ends. There are two trim points: start trim point and end trim point.

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Windows Media file

A file containing audio, video, or script data that is stored in Windows Media Format. Depending on their content and purpose, Windows Media files use a variety of file name extensions, such as: .wma, .wme, .wms, .wmv, .wmx, .wmz, or .wvx.

Windows Media Technologies

A family of digital media software developed by Microsoft, such as Windows Media Services, Windows Media Encoder, and Windows Media Player.

Windows Movie Maker

Software for capturing, editing, and arranging audio and video source material to create movies.


The area of Windows Movie Maker in which you create your movies. It consists of two views: storyboard and timeline, which act as a container for work in progress.

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