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The preview process in video editing is important because, to make appropriate creative decisions, you have to consistently see what you have and what you have just done. Windows Movie Maker is designed to do this just the same as any other non-linear editing program, and there is quite a bit of customization and control that you can have within the software.
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Depending on your monitor, sets of monitors, how you want to view your video or other preferences, you may need to change the size of the preview monitor.
Go ahead, and select the video you want to preview, which may either be in a stated sequence or from Collections. Go to View in the upper task bar and select Preview Monitor Size. From here, you can decide to go with either the Small or Large setting.
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If you just want to begin previewing a sequence or clip you have a few ways to go about it. The easiest way to go about it is to select either a clip in the beginning of a sequence or from Collections, and then use the controlling buttons on the Preview monitor. You can also go up and select Play from the task bar, and then you will see all the same commands written out.
For each of those commands, there are quick keyboard shortcuts listed in the menu so memorize and use those for quick access. The best part of the Play menu is that you can choose Previous Frame or Next Frame if you are trying to move frame-by-frame for accuracy. This is especially good for specific edits or taking a freeze frame.
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If you want to get a really clean view of how the video looks as you are previewing it, you may want to do it in Full Screen mode. Go to View in the upper task bar and go down, and select Full Screen to make this happen.
You can also use Alt and Enter for speed. Once here, you can use the Preview control quick keys and Esc to exit Full Screen mode and return to the regular Windows Movie Maker display.