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iMovie Tutorial: How to Add Transitions to Videos in iMovie?

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Sep 17, 2021• Proven solutions

A transition is a thing you will see when moving from one video clip to the next clip. Adding transitions to clips in iMovie will make your video more attractive and move from scene to scene smoothly. There are 20+ standard transitions that you can use in the iMovie.

This article will show you how to add transitions between video clips with iMovie and iMovie video editor alternatives. In addition, you can also add fade-in/fade-out transitions effects to the beginning and end of the video easily to make it unique


Part 1: How to Add Transitions on iMovie [iMovie 9/11]

If you want to know how to add fade-in, fade-out, even get more transitions on iMovie, the following is the specific process.

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Step 1. Open your movie and select the Transition menu

Open your movie by double-click a movie in the Project browser. If you haven't added a project yet, go to File > New Project to add one and import movies to iMovie, and drag the video clips you want to edit from the event browser.

Related: How to Fade Music and Audio in iMovie

Click the Transitions button to open the Transitions Menu. All the transitions are displayed there, and you can put your mouse over one to preview it.

If you have chosen a theme for the project, then you will see a group of theme-styled transitions.

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Step 2. Select a transition and drag it to the project

Find the transition you like, click and drag it to your project between the video clips where you would like to add transitions. 

You can preview the transition effect in the viewing window.

Related: How to Speed Up and Slow Down Video Clips in iMovie

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Step 3. Adjust video transitions

Mouse over the transition and hit the gear, choose "Transition Adjustments" and the Inspector will pop up. You can set the transition duration as you like or change a transition style. After the settings, hit "Done".

To make your videos better, you can add background music to iMovie, add subtitles to iMovie, create a picture in picture effect, etc.

Part 2: Add Transitions to Videos in iMovie Automatically & Manually [iMovie 10]

Below are the steps updated for adding transitions in iMovie 10:

Step 1. Switch to the Transitions tab

After importing the clips in the timeline, switch to the Transitions tab where provides 20+ standard transitions.

If you want to get a specific theme transition, you should set a theme first. Here is how to set a new theme for your clip:

After importing the video to the timeline, click the Settings button in the upper-right corner of the timeline window, and then click the Theme button.

 iMovie Transitions

You may also like: How to get more iMovie Themes?

In the pop-up Themes window, you can choose themes among bright, comic book, bulletin board, travel, sports etc. Click the desired theme, and then click Change to apply the new theme.

 iMovie Transitions

Step 2. Preview and drag transitions between Clips

Hover cursor over the transition to preview its effects first and then drag the transition and add it between clips.

iMovie also has the capability to add transitions to clips automatically. With the automatic transitions, you can add transitions throughout the video clips quickly.

To set iMovie to insert transitions automatically, go to the Settings button in the timeline window and check the Automatic Content checkbox.

Please note: If you turned on the automatic transitions, you can’t add, change, or delete it. But you turn off the automatic transitions first (disable the Automatic Content Checkbox), and then add new transitions to video clips.

Step 3. Change the transition duration

Double-click the transition in the timeline, and in the pop-up window, enter the number of seconds in the duration field. Click the Apply button to apply the duration to the transition alone, or select Apply to All to apply the duration to all transitions. You can also change the length of transitions by editing in Precision Editor.

 iMovie Transitions

To delete a transition, select it in the timeline first and then go to Edit and select Delete to remove the transition.

Part 3: An Easier Way to Add Transitions to Videos in Mac

To add an expressive transition to your video, you can also use an iMovie alternative program like Wondershare Filmora. It provides over 60 transition effects for you to choose from. More than this, you can also custom the transitions on Filmora. Below is a step-by-step guide to explain how to do it.

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Step 1. Add your videos to Filmora

After launching this video editing software, drag your source videos directly to this program. There is a media browser for you to load files from your iTunes library, iMovie, etc.

import media to Filmora9

Step 2. Apply transition effects to your video

You can click the "Transition" tab, choose your favorite one, and then drag it to the track to apply. Double-click the transition between the clips to preview, and hit the gear icon beside the video clips to set the transition duration as you like.

export video in Filmora for Mac

Step 3. Save your files

After that, click "Export" to save your file. You can save it to different formats, or share on YouTube. Additionally, you can also burn it directly to a DVD in minutes.

export video in Filmora9 for Mac

iMovie Transitions FAQs

Here are some FAQs about adding transitions in iMovie for your reference.

1. Can I import new transitions to iMovie?

No, iMovie doesn’t allow its users to add new transitions to its Transitions library. That’s why you can only apply transitions to videos that are already included in the iMovie’s selection of transitions.

2. Why can’t I add transitions in iMovie?

You must first place at least two video clips onto the timeline in order to be able to apply a transition between them. So, if you are having difficulties adding a transition to the timeline, you should check if the footage to which you want to apply it is correctly positioned on iMovie’s video track.

3. How do I extend the duration of a transition in iMovie?

Hover the mouse over the transition you applied between two video clips, click on the Gear icon and choose the Transition Adjustments option. The Inspector window will appear on the screen where you can extend the default duration of a transition in iMovie.

4. How to apply a transition to all video clips in iMovie?

Select the clips to which you want to add a transition on the timeline, and then click on the Edit button. Locate the transition you want to apply in the Transition tab, click on the Add button and the transition is going to be applied to all video clips you selected.

5. How many transitions are available in iMovie?

There are more than twenty transitions to choose from in iMovie’s Transition library, but keep in mind that you can only use them if you disable the Automatic Content option in the Project Settings window.

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author avatar
Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.