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Quicktime Player for Snow Leopard now allows you record the screen. Awesome!
Once you have a movie it will let you trim screen recordings for length.
Is there a way to crop the movie's dimensions, either in QT or using some built-in or free software?

Update: How to crop to an arbitrary size and aspect ratio? iMovie only seems to let you crop to the aspect ratio of the containing project.

Result: Both good answers but since I have QuickTime Player 7 and Photoshop, that's the workflow I choose as the answer. NOTE: If you have Photoshop Extended, you can import a movie, use the crop tool, and Export the cropped movie. Not free or built-in, but convenient.

To summarize the instructions from the video link ricbax posted:

  1. Open movie in QuickTime Player 7
  2. Copy a frame and Paste it into a new document in Photoshop
  3. Draw a rectangular selection around the area to keep and fill with black
  4. Invert the selection and fill with white
  5. Save as .GIF, with 2 colors
  6. Back in QuickTime Player 7, open Movie Properties window
  7. Select the Video Track
  8. Select the Visual Settings Tab
  9. Drag and Drop the 2-color .GIF file onto the Mask drop area (or use choose file button)
  10. Export the (now cropped) movie
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Checkout the video here:

How to Use Quicktime to Crop Video with Letterbox/Pillarbox

If you upgraded SL from Leopard you can do this via Quicktime 7 otherwise they have cut out all the awesome editing features from QT10. :(

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I don't think you can do this directly while recording in QuickTime, but you can do it with QuickTime and iMovie.

I got the desired effect by

  1. Doing a full screen recording
  2. Opening the recording in iMovie
  3. Using the "Cropping, Ken Burns and Rotation" tool under the Windows menu to crop just the region I wanted to show.
  4. Export the iMovie to the desired format (under the iMovie Share menu)
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Great answer! Most other solutions require paid software or tedious methods like using Photoshop to define a mask. – Jeff Mar 19 '13 at 20:29

iMovie allows for cropping the frame (at least in the iLife 09 version).

Apple has a tutorial video online at

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