Chapters To Quicktime Movies

If you want to automatically jump to chapters in your digital movies like you can with DVDs, QuickTime Pro can do the job for you. For a fraction of the cost of expensive video editors you can create a complete chapter list to allow you to skip to the exact moment in your movie you want everyone to see.


1. Type your chapter list in any word processor or text editor. One word chapter titles are best; never use more than three short words. End each title (except for the last) with a carriage return.

2. Save the file as a TXT file and open it in QuickTime Pro. Choose “Export” from the File menu, select “Text to Text” as the Export option with “Text with Descriptors” as the Use option. Click on the “Options” and choose the following settings: “Show Text, Descriptors, and Time,” “Show time relative to start of Movie” and fractions of sections at “1/30.” Feel free to overwrite the old file.

3. Open the movie in QuickTime. Choose “Show Movie Inspector” from the Window menu to see a window with the movie time settings. Scrub the playhead to the point where you want the first chapter to begin (use the right and left arrow keys to find the exact frame) and note the current time.

4. Load the new text file in a text editor and type the frame time value in the time descriptor just before your first chapter title (e.g. “”). Set the beginning point for each chapter and type the time descriptor before that title in your text file. Finally, type the movie’s duration in the final time descriptor. Save the file (make sure it’s still in TXT format).

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5. Import the edited text file into QuickTime Pro. Choose “Select All” from the Edit menu and copy to the clipboard. Return to the main movie, select all and choose “Add to Movie” from the edit menu. This will add the text track to your movie.

6. Choose “Show Movie Properties” from the Window menu to see a list of movie tracks. Select the audio or video track you want to divide into chapters and click “Other settings.” Choose “Text Track” from the Chapters pulldown menu.

7. Select the Text Track in the Properties window and deselect “Enabled” so the chapter titles aren’t visible in the movie. Cache or preload the track (depending on your version of QuickTime). Save the movie. When you play it back you will see your chapters in a popup menu next to the timeline.