Blog Post

How To: Restore iMovie’s Timeline Feature

Between iLife ’06 and ’08, the timeline view was removed from iMovie. Instead of being displayed in a timeline, the video wraps around like text on a page. If you have iMovie ’11, there’s a way to get back the original timeline view, where the video is in one scrollable line.

Fire up iMovie ’11 and open up a project. The first thing you’re going to want to do is swap the project view and the events view so that the video you’re editing is along the bottom of the screen. To do this, click the ‘Swap Events and Projects’ button on the middle toolbar — it’s the one that looks a bit like a refresh button.

Swap Events and Projects button

Once you’ve done that, there’s one more step. Just underneath the middle toolbar, on the right-hand side of the window, there’s a new button introduced in iMovie ’11 — it looks like a row of boxes. This is the ‘Single-Row View’ button. Click this and your project will rearrange itself into one long row which is scrollable to the left and right.

Single-Row View button

So there you have it, an emulation of the old timeline view in iMovie ’11. It seems Apple must listen to user requests after all, because iLife users have been complaining about the lack of a timeline view since it was removed two versions ago. It also suggests, along with the new audio editing features, that Apple is trying to make iMovie seem much more like its Final Cut products, which is great news for amateur videographers.

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