Creating a fabulous movie using Windows Movie Maker

Photo of Title Page for making a Windows movie

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Step 1: If you have Windows Movie Maker installed on your computer, locate it in your files. If you do not have it installed, you can find it on the internet and download it for free.

Step 2: Double click on the Windows Movie Maker icon if you have it on your desktop. If located elsewhere, find the file and open it.

Step 3: Once the file is opened, it should look like the above.

Step 4: To begin making your movie, you have to add either photos or movies by clicking either of the icons where the arrows are pointing above. This will take you to where your files are located.

Step 5: Next, find the folders where your photos or movies are stored.

Step 6: You can add one photo or movie at a time or multiple photos or movies at a time. For this, we will add multiple photos for our final movie. Hold down the “control” key and with your mouse, select all of the photos that you want to add to your movie. Those selected will turn blue (see arrow above) and a check mark will appear with the selected photo.

Step 7: Each selected photo or video will next appear on the Windows Movie Maker screen. You can rearrange them simply by using your mouse, click and hold the photo and move it to the place you want.

Step 8: Move (or add) the photo that you want as your title page to the first position of your movie.

Step 9: Click on “Video Tools” (arrow number 1 above), this will show you the duration that the selected photo will play (number 2 above). This screen will also show you the entire length of your movie (number 3 above) which you can click the blue arrow icon to view a full-screen preview of your movie. You can also watch a smaller preview by clicking the blue arrow (number 4 above).

Step 10: In this step, we will add transitions, pan, and zoom. For the purpose of this video, we will add the same transitions, pan, and zoom to each photo. To start, open the “animations” tab. Next, hold down the “shift” key and select the first photo in your movie, then while holding down the “shift” key, select the very last photo in your movie. Then find the “transition” that you like (it will show a short preview), next, select the “pan and zoom” that you like (it will also show a short preview. Note: you can select any transition, pan and zoom for each photo by simply clicking on the individual photo and selecting the transition, pan, and zoom that you want.

Step 11: In this step we will add a title or caption to our movie. To add a title, go the “home” tab, select the first photo in your movie, then select “caption” (see arrows above).

Step 12: Under the first photo you will see “Enter text here” and on the preview photo.

Step 13: Highlight “Enter text here” on the preview photo and then type in the desired wording for your title. Note: Typically the words “Enter text here” appear to be highlighted when you first open this page but you must highlight them again by putting the cursor at the front of the first word or the end of the last word, hold down and drag the mouse key to highlight all of the words.

Step 14: After adding the title, you can change the font type, size, color, style, and length that the caption will play, and the effect it will play by selecting the applicable tab. In this example, we selected Ariel font, size 55, bold, yellow. We also selected that it will play for 5.37 seconds and that it will have a smooth transition effect.

Step 15: As early as possible and as often as possible, save your movie. To do this, select the “file” tab, then the “Save project as” tab, determine where your movie will be stored in your files, then give your movie a name. In this case, we called our movie “Machu Picchu.wimp” which the program automatically adds the “wimp” extension.

Step 16: You can add captions and transition effects to any photo by simply clicking that photo like we did to add the title to our movie.

Step 17: After you type in the caption, you will see your text in the preview screen (arrow 1) and below the photo in the thumbnails (arrow 2). You can change effects and coordinate the captions playing time with the playing time of the photo by selecting the applicable tab.

Step 18: You may want to add a credit, and copyright at the end of your movie. You can use the “caption” or “credit” tab in the “home” tab. For the purpose of this movie we used the “caption” screen and then selected the “scrolling” effect in the “text tools” screen.

Step 19: Adding music to your movie is easy to do and makes it really stand out. If you plan to upload your movie to YouTube, which is recommended for file sharing, you cannot add music that you do not own the copyright or that you did not pay royalty fees. However, Windows Movie Maker has a site where you can obtain free music (see next chapter). You can add music to any place in your movie.

For the purpose of this movie, place the cursor at the beginning photo, then select “Add music” from the “Home” screen.

Step 20: Select from the choices shown at the arrow. The “Free Music Archive” has plenty of royalty-free music to choose from and you do not have to sign up for anything. For this movie, we selected “Slow Curves” from the Free Music Archive, then downloaded it to a folder on our hard drive. Next, we added it to our movie using the “Add music at the current point…”

Step 21: You can see where the arrow is pointing to a series of green bars that show the addition of the music. The top right arrow shows where you can adjust the fade-in of the music at the beginning of the movie and the fade-out of the at either the end of the movie or at any point in the movie. You have three choices: slow, medium or fast. Try medium first and then try the others to suit your preference. Use the preview mode to hear the music as it enters and exits the movie.

Step 22: Use the large preview mode to see what your movie will look like when it is uploaded to the internet (above).

Step 23: Use the smaller view to make quick additions and changes to your movie.

Step 24: When you have finished adding all of your photos, videos, captions, credits and music, and you are satisfied with your editing, it is time to save the movie in a format that can be viewed and shared. First, go to the “Home” screen. Next, find and click the “Save movie” tab (top right arrow). A pull-down window will appear that gives you several saving options. For this movie we selected “For high-definition display” because it displays the best of the other options. It uses more memory, but it is worth it for better resolution.

Step 25: When you select “For high-definition display” a screen will pop-up that shows your folders and files. Select where your movie will go, we suggest that it go in the same folder as the original .wimp file, then give it a name. We used “Rainbow Mountains” and the program automatically selects .mp4 as the type of file. Click save and the movie will convert from a .wimp file to a readily accessible and universal .mp4 file.

Step 26: Above, the screen as the movie file is saving to your folder.

Step 27: After your movie is finished being converted to a .mp4 video, the above will pop-up. Click “Play” so that you can see how good your movie looks in high definition. If you are not happy with it, edit your .wimp file and save the file again as a .mp4. Note: You may want to resave the movie with the same name to avoid saving an obsolete file and to save memory.

Step 28: A good site to share your video is YouTube but you must be a member that is free to enroll. If you are a member, find a similar screen as above, click the camera icon (red arrow) and upload your newly created video. Congratulations!

We hope that these simple instructions will help you produce a great video and great memories!  It should help you document those items on your bucket list and to add another drop in the bucket!


Click on the following to watch the video we made of our fabulous trip to the Rainbow Mountains of Peru:


If you need further assistance please feel free to contact me























































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