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How to Use Windows Live Moviemaker

Functions of the Backstage

The backstage is where you will save your project or movie, open an existing project, publish your movie, and access the program's options.  Here is where you will learn how to accomplish all of these tasks.

Starting a New Project

When you open Movie Maker by clicking on the program (instead of opening a file in Movie Maker). the program automatically opens a new project for you.  If you are currently working on a project and need to start a completely new project, simple click the upper left icon (the backstage) and select "New Project" or use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+N.

Saving a Project

Saving files in Windows Live Movie Maker is slightly more complicated than in other applications.  If you are not finished with your movie, you should save your project as a .wlmp file.  This type of file can only be opened in Movie Maker.  To use this method of saving, simply go to the backstage and click "Save project" or "Save project as."  Save project as simply allows you to save a different version while Save project just overwrites the current project file.  You can also save using the keyboard shortcut ctrl+S.

If you save it as a movie, it becomes a video file, which is smaller than a project file.  Once it is saved as a movie however, all transitions and effects become permanent.  The only way you can make a change to it is if you import the file into a new project.  To save a project as a movie, just hover the mouse over "Save movie" and select the best setting for your movie.  We recommend keeping a copy of the .wlmp file just in case you need to make any changes later.

Opening an Existing Project

Windows Live Movie Maker is only able to open Movie Maker Project (.wlmp) files.  If you want to open a video file in Movie Maker, you must import it using one of the methods shown earlier.  To open an existing project, go the the backstage and click "Open project" or use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+O.

Changing the Options

For the most part, the default settings in the options menu should be left alone.  The only reason you should go to this menu is for troubleshooting a problem.  This is where you can find options to change audio and video input and audio output.