A cool effect in movies and TV is to show multiple windows side-by-side, or a smaller window playing on top of the main window (picture-in-picture). You can do the same trick with your own movies using a simple video editor like QuickTime Pro. Best of all, it’s a lot cheaper than more expensive video editing software.


1. Open a movie in QuickTime Pro. Select the entire contents of one movie (“Select All” from the Edit menu) and copy it to the clipboard. Close the movie because you won’t need it anymore.

2. Launch the second movie file. Choose “Show Movie Properties” from the Window menu. Select the video track and click on the “Visual Settings” button. At the bottom you should see a field “Layer” with the value “0.” This tells you this track is the bottom track in the movie.

3. Move the playhead (the triangle in the timeline underneath the movie window) to the point where you want to insert the new movie. Choose “Add to Movie” from the Edit menu. You should now see a new track in the Movie Properties window named “Video Track 2” with a Layer value of “-1.” The lower number indicates the new video track is actually higher, or on top of the original track.

4. Scrub the playhead to the point where you inserted the new movie. The new movie should now hide the original movie.

5. Scale Video Track 2 down. Half is usually a good size because that will actually reduce the movie to a fourth the size of the movie window. You can type the value in pixels or as a percentage of the original track size. Video Track 2 will now play over the original track as a picture-in-picture.

6. Change the offset value to position the Video Track 2 exactly where you want it to play. If you want to see the entire contents of both video tracks, scale Video Track 1 as well. You can use the Scaled Size and Offset features to play as many movies as you want side-by-side.

7. Experiment with the other visual settings. You can mix window transparency, flip or rotate any video track to create just about any effect you want.