While playing a media file in VLC, sometimes you will have the need to go frame by frame. To get to an exact shot or scene, you will need to play the video forward one frame at a time. VLC has a frame by frame feature that allows you to step just the tiniest bit ahead in a movie. It gives you full control of where you want to reach in the timeline. Unfortunately, VLC doesn’t support frame-stepping backwards; it’s only possible to move forward.
There are two simple ways you can follow to move one frame ahead at the time. One is by using the shortcut key and two is from the Advanced Controls bar of the player interface.
This has to be the simplest method. Just navigate in the timeline where you want to capture or pause at a frame. Then, hit the shortcut key: e.
To use this shortcut, your video can be either playing or pausing. If it is playing, then hitting ‘E’ would stop the play and will navigate it forward one frame at a time. Tap on the ‘E’ key on your keyboard a couple of times to get to the accurate place in the media.
If the hotkey ‘E’ doesn’t work for you, then it is likely that another keyboard character has been assigned to the task. You can view (or even edit) the shortcuts by going to Tools > Preferences and then by switching to the Hotkeys tab. Enter frame on the search area to bring it up easily. Edit it if you want or keep it as it is.
You may be interested in: How to Edit VLC Media Player Shortcuts or Hotkeys
The default layout of the player doesn’t display the next frame button on it. You will have to bring it up in the interface. If you haven’t changed anything, then go to the View menu and then click on Advanced Controls to turn it on.
You will notice another line of player controls appear right above the default set of media control keys. Press the last button in the advanced controls to access the frame by frame feature.
It looks like a film strip; actually, two film strips like they’re skipping (frame skipping). If you put your mouse pointer over it for a while, it will show the info. Press it and it will take you forward in the media one frame at a time.
If you can’t find the button in the advanced control interface, then you can add it using the Tools > Customize Interface feature.
To get additional details on customizing VLC interface: How to Customize VLC Media Player Interface