There are several ways on the Apple Mac to adjust the length of a video or cut out individual sections. But what if you want to crop the video not only in length but also in height and width? If you want to remove black bars on the sides of the video or want to change the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3 or 1:1, then there is a solution for that too. While for the video length Apple's own solutions QuickTime Player and iMovie are useful, another app is used for cropping video edges and changing the aspect ratio on the Mac: Photos.
Chapter in this post:
The limitations in QuickTime Player and iMovie
While you're in QuickTime Player adjust the length of the video by removing segments at the back and front, so there are no options to change the aspect ratio. Even in iMovie, this is not possible without major detours. Although there is a "crop" tool in the clip selection, it is more of a digital zoom or area selection.
Because the aspect ratio (e.g. 16:9 for landscape format videos) remains the same while you adjust the image section, which is then dragged to the appropriate size. In the end, you keep the aspect ratio and get a video that tends to be blurrier. Because a smaller amount of pixels is pulled to the original resolution.
Adjust the height and width of a video in the Photos app
As with editing photos, screenshots and other images, there are numerous options available in Apple's own Photos app under macOS for adjusting video files. Note, however, that some functions and the arrangement of certain options with macOS 13 Adventure are new to it. In macOS 12 Monterey and earlier they may not be available (as indicated).
So now, to adjust the aspect ratio of a video in the Mac Photos app, open the video file in this software. If you use the app by default to import your photos and videos from iPhone and iPad, then the video is probably already there. If, like me, you don’t use photos otherwise, simply drag and drop the video file into the open app. So it will be imported and ready for editing.
If you have successfully pushed the video into the Photos app, proceed as follows:
- Select (double-click) the video so editing options appear in the top right corner
- Then click on the "Edit" button in this selection
- Now select the third tab called "Crop" in the top middle
- Either freehand the frame to the new aspect ratio or select an aspect ratio (16:9, 4:5, 5:7, 4:3, 3:5, 3:2 or your own input) on the right
- Complete the processing with the "Done" button displayed at the top right
Save video in new aspect ratio by drag and drop
If you don't just want to leave the height and width adjusted video in the Photos app, but also use it as a file on the Mac or elsewhere, then that's of course possible. The easiest way to export the video in the new aspect ratio is drag and drop.
So hold the video with the left mouse button and drag it from the Photos app to the desired folder or to the desktop. It may take a moment before the file appears in the destination. Because it has to be exported first.
By the way, you can call up the file information there and check the new image size to understand the processing that has been carried out. So my 1.920 x 1.080 video that I converted to 4:3 now has a resolution of 1.440 x 1.080 pixels.
Save video in new aspect ratio via Export function
If you want to make additional settings or if drag & drop doesn't work for you, you can use the Export menu in the Photos app. To do this, select the video and click on in the menu bar filing -> Export... -> 1 Export video. Alternatively, you can use the key combination Shift+Command+E after selecting the video. Whatever you do, you will now be presented with some export options.
Important: At the top you can select the film quality. This is given in a number of pixels (480p, 720p, 1080p or 4K) and describes the height of your video. If you only want to adjust the video edges and don't want to change the overall resolution, select the appropriate size here (in the example given, this would be 1080p) or simply the largest option (4K). In this way, the original resolution is used as the initial value.
Do you want to adjust the resolution in addition to cropping the edges, e.g. B. to reduce the file size, then of course you can do that with this selection. For my 4:3 example, selecting 720p as "Movie Quality" would drop the resolution from 1.440x1.080 pixels to 960x720 pixels. In addition, as shown in the screenshot, you can choose other options, such as integrating / removing metadata and the name and location of the file. Once you have set everything according to your wishes, click on the "Export" button.
[On vacation] After graduating from high school, Johannes completed training as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which led to his independence. He has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others, for several years now. His articles include product introductions, news, instructions, video games, consoles and much more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.