Canvas Basics

The canvas, sometimes called the preview window, is the working area where you arrange, rotate, resize, and order the appearance of media on the timeline.


  1. Canvas tools are located in the toolbar above the canvas.
  2. An inactive area surrounds the canvas. Anything that is off-canvas is not included in the final video.
    Tip! Add an animation to media located off-canvas to have it move into view.
  1. The active part of the canvas. Everything on the active part of the canvas is included in the final video.
  2. The outside edges of the canvas contain boundary guidelines to help you snap media to the edge.

Canvas Tools

Change canvas background color

The canvas background displays in the final video whenever media or assets do not cover the entire canvas.


For the entire video:

  1. Right-click the canvas and select Project Settings.
  2. Select a color from the Color dropdown.
  3. Click Apply.


For a portion of the video:

  1. Click the Annotations tab.
  2. Click the Shapes subtab.
  3. Drag a rectangle onto the canvas. Drag the handles until the annotation covers the entire canvas.
  4. Right-click the annotation on the canvas and select Arrange > Send to Back.
  5. In the Properties, select the desired background color from the Fill and Outline color dropdown.
  6. Drag an end of the annotation on the timeline to extend the duration.

Turn Edit mode on


Edit mode allows you to resize, rearrange, and rotate media. After using Crop or Pan, click Edit to continue working on the canvas.

Turn Crop mode on


Crop removes the unwanted outer areas of a video or an image clip.

  1. Click Crop to turn crop mode on.
  2. On the canvas, drag the blue handles to remove desired area.
  3. Click Edit to return to edit mode.

Turn Pan mode on


When zoomed in on the video at a high magnification level, use pan mode to move the video around within the boundaries of the canvas.

  1. Click Pan to toggle pan mode on or off.
  2. In pan mode, the cursor turns into a hand on the canvas. Click and drag the video on the canvas to view an area of the video not currently shown on the canvas.
  3. While in pan mode, the canvas editing features are disabled.
  4. Click Edit to return to edit mode.
Detach or attach canvas
  1. Right-click canvas > Detach Canvas. The canvas is detached.
  2. To reattach:
    • Windows: Click Reattach canvas button in the empty canvas location. c2018-Reattach.png
    • Mac: In the empty canvas location, right-click > Reattach Canvas.

Switch to Full Screen mode

c2018-FullScreen.png Windows


c2018-FullScreenMac.png Mac

  1. While canvas is detached, click the Full Screen button to expand it to fit the entire screen.
    • All editing features are enabled while working in full screen mode.
  1. Press the Esc key on the keyboard to exit full screen mode.

Change the magnification


Click the Canvas Options dropdown menu to change the magnification level of the video on the canvas.

  • This does not change the canvas dimensions / editing dimensions of the video.
  • Choose Fit to view the entire video within the boundaries of the canvas.
  • When the view is magnified, use Pan mode to move the video around within the boundaries of the canvas.


Working with the Canvas

The canvas is the working area where you arrange, rotate, resize, and order the appearance of media on the timeline.

Select media

Click media on the canvas to select it.

When a clip, group, or other media is selected on the canvas, it is also selected on the timeline.

Move, resize, or rotate
  • To move media: Click and drag to new location on the canvas.
  • To resize media: Drag a handle in or out to desired size.
  • To rotate media: Drag the center handle and turn. Press and hold the ALT key while dragging media for 3-D rotation.
Select more than one media
  • Press and hold Shift, then click each media to select.
  • Selected media can be moved, rotated, and resized together.
Reorder media
  • Right-click media > Arrange.
  • Media on the timeline is automatically updated on the timeline tracks to reflect the new order of the media.
Align media

Snapping is available on the canvas to assist in aligning media.


As media is moved on the canvas, the snapping guidelines appear.