Cropping is an editing tool that allows you to choose what part of a video or image frame you want to be visible. Cut out unwanted elements or lines at the edges of a video, or fit a video to a new aspect ratio.

Read on to learn how to crop videos or images to remove black bars (i.e. remove letterboxing) in the Clipchamp.

Please note that cropping is different from trimming, zooming, or changing the aspect ratio (dimensions) of a video.

Never used Clipchamp before? Just visit app.clipchamp.com to create a free account and start using our online video editing tools straight away.

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How to crop videos 

Is your video or image in a different aspect ratio to your video? Easily resize your content and remove the black bars with the cropping tool.

Close up of a non-cropped and cropped image

Start by creating a new video with Clipchamp, then add your video or image files to the Your media library.

Step 1. Drag a video into the timeline

Drag and drop the video or image file from Your media library into the timeline.

User drag and drop video onto the timeline

Step 2. Click on the clip in the timeline to reveal the editing menu

Select your video clip on the timeline so it is highlighted green. Click on the Transform tab to launch resizing options.

User clicked transform tab to launch resize options

Step 3. Change Auto Fit to Crop to Fill

In the Transform tab of the menu, under RESIZING, click the dropdown and change it from Auto Fit to Crop To Fill

Close up of crop to fill button

The editor will zoom in on the centre of your video and the black bars will disappear.

As you can see in the example below, our portrait video has now been cropped to fit the square aspect ratio of the video.

Editor showing the portrait video now cropped to fit into a square

NOTE: if you don't want to crop the clip, you can also use a blur fill effect to replace these black bars with a blurred extension of the video – see Adding Filters.

Step 4. Save your final video

If you're finished editing and would like to save the video/s in your timeline to your computer, click the Export button in the top right.

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How is cropping different from trimming and zooming?

Cropping changes what parts of the video frame are visible throughout the entire clip. Trimming and zooming are different:

Trimming a video clip means you change the length it plays for. E.g. by trimming a few seconds off of the end or start of the clip. To learn how to trim a clip in Clipchamp, see: trimming a video, audio, or image clip.

Zooming in on a video clip means adding a moving zoom-in or zoom-out effect. E.g. slowly zooming in on a video or still image as it plays. To learn how to add a slow zoom effect in Clipchamp, see: adding filters 

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Try it out

Ready to get started? Head straight to Clipchamp to try it out for yourself:


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