iMovie (2013): Play video

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Play video

You can play back movies, trailers, and clips in iMovie. Playback options include playing from the beginning, playing from a certain point, looping playback, and playing at different speeds—including frame by frame. You can also play back video in full-screen view.

Figure. Movie in viewer showing playback controls.

Play back video

To play a clip from the beginning: Select the clip, and choose View > Play from Beginning, or press the Backslash key (\).

To play a selection from the beginning: Make a selection, and choose View > Play Selection, or press the Slash key (/).

When you select a clip or a portion of a clip or project, the selected area is marked with a yellow border.

Note:   You can set your selection to loop (play continuously). See “Play back media in a loop,” below.

To play a project or clip from a specific point: In the timeline or the browser, click a point in a movie or a clip where you want to begin playback (or move the playhead to the point in the timeline), and press the Space bar, or click the Play button Figure. Play button. in the viewer.

To stop playback: Press the Space bar.

Use keyboard shortcuts for playback

You can use the J, K, and L keys on your keyboard to play a movie, trailer, or clip. Playback begins at the location of the playhead (in a project) or the skimmer (in a clip). You can also use the J, K, and L keys to control a video playback device.

You can use these keys to speed playback up to 32x normal speed.

To begin forward playback at normal (1x) speed: Press L.

To begin reverse playback at normal (1x) speed: Press J.

To pause playback: Press K.

To double the current playback speed: Press L or J twice.

To immediately reverse the playback direction: Press J to play in reverse, or press L to play forward.

To move the playhead one frame at a time: Hold down the K key, and press J or L.

To move the playhead at 1/2x speed: Hold down the K key while holding down J or L.

Play video in full-screen view

  1. In a project in the timeline or a clip in the browser, position the playhead where you want playback to begin.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose View > Play Full Screen (or press Shift-Command-F).

    • Click the Play Full Screen button Figure. Play Full Screen button. in the viewer.

    The item plays in full-screen view starting at the playhead position.

  3. To leave full-screen view, press the Esc (Escape) key, or press the Exit Full Screen button in the viewer controls.

Play back media in a loop

You can turn on looping so that a project (or any portion of it) plays in a continuous loop.

  1. Choose View > Loop Playback (or press Command-L).

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To loop your entire project: Press the Space bar.

    • To loop a portion of your project: Select a range or a clip in the timeline, and choose View > Play Selection, or press the Slash key (/).

Step through video frame by frame

To make it easier to find specific frames in a clip, you can step through a clip frame by frame.

  1. In the browser or timeline, skim over a clip.

  2. Press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key to move backward or forward in the clip in single-frame increments.

Published Date: Mar 23, 2018