If you’re planning to create videos of your family and friends or getting started on YouTube, there are free video editors that can help you to produce high quality videos.
So, today I will count down the absolute best free video editing software for Windows, Mac and Linux. They all include professional quality features with no time restrictions or forced watermarks.
Since, we all have different needs I will point out the pros and cons of each program to assist you in finding the best video editor for you.
It’s more demanding than most free video editors. So make sure that you meet or exceed the system requirements before installing.
DaVinciResolve initially released in 2004, the free edition of this video editor includes so many professional features. It’s amazing and it’s still free.
Some of the key features include multi track timeline, editing 4k videos, trimming tools, multicam editing along with a good amount of cool transitions and effects making DaVinci Resolve even better.
The fusion effects is now built in to create film quality visual effects and motion graphics. Their wide selection of color correction tools are some of the best of any paid or free video editor software.
This is another program with a steep learning curve. I highly advise checking out the various tutorials available online.
You can install DaVinci Resolve on all major operating systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Their free edition includes just about every feature most people would ever need. Their paid version which they call studio costs $299. It supports multi-user collaboration with additional 3d tools and effects.
How to use:
When you launch DaVinci Resolve, you have the choice to continue working on a project or start a new one by selecting new project.
- Give it a name and click on create.
- To import all of the files, you will need for your project make sure that media pool is selected. Right click in the media pool section and select important media or you could simply drag and drop individual files from any open folder into the timeline. It will give you the choice to keep or change your timeline frame rate.
- Another area to check out is the effects library. This is where you’ll find the audio and video transitions along with other cool graphical effects.
2. Hitfilm Express
Hitfilm Express is a powerful free editor. It is packed with full of features to create professional quality projects. It includes more than 400 effects and presets, advanced cutting tools, audio and video filters, output resolutions up to 4k and a lot more.
If you need additional tools, more than 30 add-on packs are available starting at around $10 per pack. In the US, if you’re getting started learning how to use hitfilm express, they have video tutorials that will teach you how to use it.
It’s really a great program. Hitfilm express is available for Windows, and Mac.
How to use Hitfilm Express:
The only quibble I have with this program is the process to get it up and running.
- First you have to click on get hitfilm express free.
- Then have to choose a social media site to give this program a shout-out. You would probably think that giving a shout-out to a program you’ve never used before is ludicrous.
- Now fill your information with a valid email address, then select send me the Express download.
- You will then receive an email with a link to download the Hitfilm Express installer.
- The link will take you to a new page to finally download the program but wait there’s more after you have downloaded and installed this program.
- The first time you launch it, you have to click on activate and unlock sign in and now you’re done putting aside the cumbersome registration process.
Shotcut takes the number three spot on this countdown. It’s just like Open Shot. It’s completely free and open-source.
It supports most of the popular audio and video file formats with export resolutions up to 4k. The video effects include transitions, color correction and various filters. The timeline allows for multiple tracks and adding Clips is easy.
The interface is somewhat clunky and looks outdated but once you figure out some of the basics, it becomes very easy to use.
Shot Cut is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
How to use it:
- Click on begin a project.
- Select your folder and give it a name.
- Select your video mode and click on start to add clips to your project.
- Just drag a clip from any folder and drop it in the main window then left-click and drag that clip down to the timeline.
4. Open Shot
Open Shot is free and open source video editor. It is a great options for beginners because less of a learning curve than some of the others mentioned in this list.
This is easy-to-use video editor includes a ton of features, some of those include video and audio effects, transitions, keyframe animations, and supports most file types. Best of all, it’s completely free. The user interface is very well designed.
When you go to export your project, it supports multiple resolutions up to 4k. Open Shot does contain bugs that could make it crash but over time it’s been continuously updated making it more stable.
Open Shot is now available for all major operating systems including Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Lightworks is non-linear editing program has been used in many Hollywood productions including the Wolf of Wall Street, Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible and many others.
Lightworks has both a free and pro version. Their free edition includes most of the key features most people would ever need including video capture, professional level color correction, and allows the import of most file formats.
What keeps this program from being lower in this list is that the export formats are limited to mpeg-4 with a max resolution of 720p with the free edition of light works.
This video editor is powerful and has a steep learning curve. If you want to try it out they have excellent video tutorials on their website.
Lightworks is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Here are 5 bonus video editor programs that might be worth your time to check out.
Apple iMovie: If you own a Mac, Apple iMovie is a simple program for basic video editing.
Avidemux: The open source Avidemux is a lightweight program which is great for quick tasks like trimming, encoding and other basic features.
FlexClip: If you are a beginner at video editing, FlexClip is the right one for you. It offers ready video templates in different categories to facilitate your video editing process.
Blender: If you have blender, the popular open source 3d creation program sitting on your computer. Their built-in video editor just may include all the tools you need for your video editing project.
KDenLive: K Den Live is a fantastic choice, if you run Linux. It’s built upon the same MLT framework as Shot Cut. It includes dozens of effects, transitions and other useful tools. There’s a beta version for Windows is now available.
VSDC: The final bonus pick is VSDC. This fine program is exclusively for windows and includes a good number of special effects, video stabilizer, pre-configured profiles along with other cool features.