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When you create a new video, the default aspect ratio will be 16:9.

User selecting the 16:9 aspect ratio button under the export button

But if you want to change the dimensions later, or make a copy of your video in another aspect ratio, you can. 

See below for a step-by-step guide, as well as tips on removing black bars (the letterbox effect) if you want your videos to fill the frame.

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How to change the dimensions of an existing video

To change a project's dimensions, open the video in the Clipchamp editor. 

NOTE: if you want to create a new version of a video with different dimensions while still keeping the old version, first make a copy of the video on the editor homepage, then open the copy and follow the below steps.

Step 1. Click the video ratio button to the right of the video preview

This button displays the video's current aspect ratio, e.g. the video in the below example is 16:9 (widescreen).

Close up of 16:9 aspect ratio

Step 2. Hover over the other ratios to see a preview

Once you've clicked on the ratio, other ratio options will appear beneath it. You can hover over these to see a preview of what those new dimensions might look like. 

Moving picture of user selecting different aspect ratios

Step 3. Click on a new ratio to change the project to that ratio

If the original dimensions of the videos and/or images you've added don't match the one you've chosen for the project, you will see black bars on the sides of the frame, as shown in the below example. This is a letterboxing effect to preserve the full frame of the original video. To remove it with cropping, see the next step.

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.

Moving picture of different aspect ratios

Step 4. If you want to remove the black bars, resize the video clip or make sure to choose the appropriate aspect ratio of the video clip.

To resize a clip so that the video and/or image is cropped to fill the frame:

1. Click on the clip in the timeline so it is selected/highlighted green

User clicking on the video so it's highlighted green

2. On the video preview, you'll see a few editing options to the left. Either click Crop to fill or use the freehand tool to make your video bigger or smaller.

Close up of video with Crop to fill feature

Now your video should be cropped to fill the full-frame.

There is currently no way to set all of your clips to 'Crop to Fill' at the same time, so you have to set each individually. However, we're always working to improve the editor and plan to make this easier in the future.

Once you've set your clips to 'Crop to Fill' they will automatically fill the frame, even if you change the aspect ratios again in the future.

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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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