Tweak iMovie ’11 Interface For More Classic Look [OS X Tips]

Tweak iMovie ’11 Interface For More Classic Look [OS X Tips]

Not to overstate it, but it’s summer time and as such, it’s time for vacation movies, right? Whether you travel to the banks of the Champs-Elysse, the patriotic visage of Mount Rushmore, or choose a more modest stay-cation, making home movies is a time-honored tradition.

Editing the videos with iMovie on a Mac after you take them is joyful work as well, and those that have been doing it a while may not be huge fans of the current iMovie ’11 visual interface. I haven’t been, until I was able to make a couple of tweaks to make the iMovie of today look and feel more like the iMovie I came to love a few versions ago.

Launch iMovie ’11 from your Applications folder, and then hit Command-Comma. This will bring up the preferences window. You can also use your mouse and click on the iMovie menu, then Preferences. It works the same either way.

Click on the General tab at the top left of the preferences window, and then click on the checkbox next to Show Advanced Tools. This will add a few buttons and whatnot to the iMovie editing window. The one we’re looking for is at the top right of the Project window – it looks like a little filmstrip. Click on that and the visual style of the project will change from that odd stacked view to a more traditional long filmstrip mode.

Step two to make things look more old school and, perhaps, easier to deal with for video editors with some experience is to switch the Project window with the Events window. To do this, find the button that looks like two opposing arrows pointing up and down, right next to the little video camera icon in the left middle of the iMovie window. Click on the button (Swap Events and Projects will appear if you hover over it with the mouse) and the Project window, now with the filmstrip look, will slide to the bottom while the Events window, with all the film assets from various sources, will slide up to the top left.

Ahhh. Feels much better, doesn’t it? If you ever upgrade to Final Cut Pro or even Adobe Premiere, you’ll feel a bit more at home with just these simple interface swaps.

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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