How to Crop a Video Quickly and Easily

Ryan Knott

Marketing Content Strategist

Table of contents

Do you need to change the focus of your video clip without having to re-shoot your footage all over again? This post is going to teach you all you need to know about how to crop a video.

While it’s often used for photo editing, cropping is just as useful when it comes to editing video. With cropping, you can remove unnecessary or distracting portions of a video clip or change its dimensions to fit within a certain area. 

Camera footage is often cropped to change the emphasis of a shot or remove unwanted and distracting portions. So, whether you’re working with footage from a camera or a screen recording, there will likely be plenty of times that you need to crop these clips. 

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What is video cropping?

In a nutshell, video cropping refers to the process of removing unwanted portions from the outer edges of a video to focus on a specific subject or area. For example, if you have a photograph, and you cut out the parts you don’t need so you can zoom in on what’s most important — that’s essentially what you’re doing when you crop a video.

While you might think that cropping sounds similar to trimming or cutting, it’s not. Trimming and cutting generally refers to shortening the length of a video by removing bits of footage. Cropping, on the other hand, doesn’t alter the duration of the video; it simply changes the dimensions and the framing to center the viewer’s attention where you want it.

So, why do people crop videos? Well, there are a few reasons, such as removing distractions from the edge of a frame or changing the aspect ratio of your video so that it’s better suited to platforms like Instagram and YouTube. 

Whatever the reason, knowing how to crop a video is an essential skill for any budding video editor! 

How to crop a video with Camtasia

One of the fastest, simplest (and best) ways to crop a video is with TechSmith’s Camtasia. Our user-friendly editing suite comes with a wide range of advanced tools that are super easy to use — making it perfect for professional and novice editors alike! 

With Camtasia, you can change the speed of your videos, add music to your footage, and even create closed captions and subtitles. But, before we talk about all the wonderful ways you can use Camtasia, let’s get back to the matter at hand. 

Here are step-by-step instructions to crop a video using Camtasia:

Step 1:

With a video clip, or image, selected on the canvas, you can select the Crop tool.

Step 2: 

With the Crop button selected, select the video clip or image that you want to crop. 

Step 3:

A thin blue line (and handles) will appear on your clip, which shows that Crop mode has been enabled. Click and hold the handles to drag the edges of the clip or image until your frame looks exactly how you want it. 

Step 4:

When you’re finished, toggle back to Edit mode by clicking the cursor icon above the canvas. 

Once a clip has been cropped, you can move it to wherever you need it on the canvas.

How to un-crop a video

Using Camtasia to crop a clip is particularly useful because it’s “non-destructive.” This means that when you crop your footage, the original clip remains intact. So, if you look back on your edits at a later stage and realize the shot looked better as it was, or want to crop it differently, you can! 

Simply follow the steps above to toggle Crop mode back on and make the necessary changes by adjusting the edges.

How is cropping different from zooming and trimming?

As we mentioned above, cropping is the process of moving or adjusting the edges of an image. Of course, there are other ways to edit your video that don’t involve cropping images or parts of your video, such as splitting and trimming. 

While these editing terms are sometimes used interchangeably with cropping, they do, in fact, mean completely different things. So, to avoid any confusion, let us talk you through the differences of each: 

What is zooming?

With Camtasia, you can zoom in or out on your videos by changing the size or scale of clips and images. Zooming is perfect for software tutorials and demonstrations when you need to display a detailed view of a user interface. 

What is trimming?

On the other hand, trimming refers to removing part of the beginning or end of a clip and is sometimes, this is referred to as trimming the top or tail. Trimming is critical to making sure that your video starts quickly and you don’t lose your audience’s attention. 

Best of all, with Camtasia’s video cutter, you can trim video and audio files separately.

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What is video scaling?

While we’re here, let’s quickly cover scaling too! 

Scaling an image will change the overall size of that image. If you’re using Camtasia, it’s always best to display media at 100% scale, but camera footage can sometimes be scaled down without losing as much clarity, which could help reduce the file size of your video

The scale of a clip or image in Camtasia can be viewed and edited in the Properties panel.

However, please note that stretching a video or image larger than its natural size can cause pixelation — which is why it’s important to learn how to resize an image correctly.

That’s all there is to it, but don’t forget that as well as zooming, trimming, and scaling, Camtasia has all the editing tools you could ever ask for. Whether you want to blur your footage, rotate the final video, or merge two videos into one, Camtasia has got everything you need! 

When you should crop a video

Here are a few ways that cropping can be a helpful technique to have in your toolbox:

  • Fitting footage in a specific frame — like the screen on a smartphone or tablet.
  • Patching a mistake or irregularity in a screen recording.
  • Removing black bars from mobile videos.
  • Showing simultaneous actions happening in separate areas of your screen.
  • Displaying multiple clips on screen at the same time.
  • Isolating part of a user interface.

Now that you have learned how to crop a video in Camtasia, get out there and work some video magic!

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Croping a video, the FAQs

How to crop a video on iPhone?

To crop a video on an iPhone, open the Photos app and select the video you wish to crop. Tap Edit in the top right corner, then tap the crop icon at the bottom of the screen. Drag the corners to crop your video, and tap Done to save your changes.

How to crop a video in Premiere Pro?

To crop a video in Adobe Premiere Pro, first position the playhead over the clip you want to crop in the Timeline panel and make sure the clip is selected. Next, go to the Effects panel and navigate to Video Effects › Transform › Crop, then double-click to apply it to your clip. Finally, go to the Effect Controls panel, select the Crop effect, and either drag the handles in the Program Monitor or adjust the numeric controls to crop your video more precisely.

How to crop a video on Android?

To crop a video on Android with Google Photos, open the video you want to edit and tap on Edit, followed by Crop. If you’d like to change the aspect ratio, tap on Aspect ratio, or to adjust the video’s perspective, tap Transform and then drag the dots to crop the video. Once you’re satisfied with the crop, tap Save Copy at the bottom right to save your changes.

How to crop a video Windows 10?

To crop a video in Camtasia on Windows 10, first select the video clip or image on the canvas and then click on the crop tool. A thin blue line with handles will appear around your media, indicating that Crop mode is enabled. Drag these handles to crop your video to your desired frame. When you’re done, click the cursor icon above the canvas to toggle back to Edit mode.

How to crop a video in iMovie?

In iMovie, select the clip you want to crop in your timeline and then click on the Cropping icon, which looks like two overlapping squares. Click Crop to Fill and then adjust the frame by dragging the corners or sides. Once you’re satisfied, click the blue tick in the top-right corner to apply the crop and return to the main timeline.

How to crop a video on Mac?

To crop a video on a Mac you can use iMovie or Camtasia. In iMovie, import your clip to the timeline, then click the Cropping icon and adjust as needed. If you’re using Camtasia, select your clip on the canvas and click the crop tool; then drag the handles to crop your frame.

How to crop a video on Tiktok?

To crop a video on TikTok, start by uploading your video before proceeding to the editing screen. From there, click Crop and drag the handles on the sides and corners of your video, or select your desired aspect ratio, until your frame is the shape and size that you want.