Parts of Windows Movie Maker

By Michelle Castle

Windows Live Movie Maker is a free desktop video program that you can download from Microsoft's Windows Live website. Movie Maker's interface consists of the ribbon toolbar, preview window and timeline. After creating a movie, the saving and publishing tools allow you to save the movie and share it with others.

Ribbon Toolbar

Five main toolbars are contained on Movie Maker's ribbon: Home, Animations, Visual Effects, Project and View. Additional toolbars appear on the ribbon as you work, providing you with extra tools to make adjustments. These toolbars are contextual, appearing only when you work with elements for which the tools are needed. For example, the Music Tools bar appears when your video includes a soundtrack, and it provides tools to adjust the music's volume, fading, and start and stop times.

Preview Window

The Preview Window in Movie Maker allows you to see your video clips, pictures, music, animations and effects together as a single movie. Previewing the video allowing you to make adjustments to the video without having to publish it first. As you watch a movie in the preview window, the marker advances along the movie's timeline. Observing the marker lets you see what portion of the movie's timeline to edit to achieve the desired effect.


Movie Maker's timeline shows how video clips, pictures, sounds, animations and other media elements fit together in the movie. The timeline shows audio tracks above the video and pictures on the timeline, with titles and credits appearing below the videos and pictures. Transitions and visual effects are noted on the video clip or picture. Change the order of elements on the timeline to change when they appear in the finished movie.

Saving And Publishing Tools

After your movie is complete, you must save or publish it in a movie format to share it with others. Tools for saving and sharing the movie are located on the Home portion of the ribbon toolbar. Movie Maker has tools to easily save the movie for viewing on computers, mobile devices, high-definition displays, DVD players and popular websites such as YouTube and Facebook. Custom settings give advanced users even more publishing and sharing options.