What Is Trimming?

After you have roughly assembled your clips in chronological order in a sequence, you begin to fine-tune the cut point (or edit point) between each clip. Any time you make a clip in a sequence longer or shorter, you are trimming that clip. However, trimming generally refers to precision adjustments (anywhere from one frame to several seconds). If you are adjusting clip durations by much larger amounts, you are still trimming, but you may not be in the fine-tuning phase of editing yet.

Getting an edit to work is an intuitive process, so you need to watch the results of your trimming adjustments repeatedly as you trim. Many factors go into the decision of when exactly you cut from one shot to the next. When you fine-tune your sequence, you are no longer focused on the larger structure of the movie, but how each shot flows to the next. You focus on individual edit points between clips instead of large groups of clips. In most cases, you aim to achieve a certain visual and psychological continuity.

You can trim edits anywhere you can adjust a sequence clip’s In and Out points—the Timeline, the Viewer, and the Trim Edit Window, which is designed specifically for fine-tuning edits.