Best Free Video Editing Program

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Introduction

Whether you're a professional looking to save money, a student looking for a program to help with a school project or just a person who likes making videos and needs an editor, this page is for you.

I will also be here to answer as many of your questions as I can in the comments section and on our forum. So please, if you need some help picking the right program or if you are an experienced video editor and feel that a specific free editor should be reviewed, because it has worked so well for you, let me know and hopefully, together, we can help everyone find the Best Free Video Editing Program for them!

Disclaimer: Be careful to only approve the installation of the programs you want and recognize. If you are given the choice of standard or custom installation, choosing custom will often give you the opportunity to see exactly what components the software is installing and choose which parts you do or do not want. Downloading free software on the internet can be risky though so ALWAYS pay attention to exactly what you are downloading and where you are downloading it from; it's for your own health!

 

Rated Products

VirtualDub  

An impressive open source package mainly supports AVI files


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Great piece of software for the power user who is really familiar with video editing.
Can be quite confusing for the average user.
Read full review...

Avidemux  

An open source video editor with a large selection of filters


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Powerful, easy to use and well documented tutorials.
As with any other video editing program, it can be confusing.
Read full review...

OpenShot  

A cross-platform video editor supports many video, audio and image formats based on FFmpeg


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Open source)
Powerful with many other add-ons like 3D animated titles
Should download some other add-ons like PPA if users' OS above Ubuntu 9.10
Read full review...

Kdenlive  

A free video editor supports multitrack and unlimited media files in timeline


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Open source)
High compatibility of input and output media formats, support multitrack and unlimited media files in timeline, multiple free open-source addons, have creative video effects like Cartoon, Charcoal and Flippo.
Not suitable for greenhands, update slow, no powerful video effects like PIP and faceoff.
Read full review...

Other Selections

This section will hold other alternative products reviewed that did not end up on the main list. This is because of my own experiences running the programs on my computer for my projects and the evaluation I made of its efficacy as well as how easily others were able to complete projects in a satisfactory and timely manner. This may not apply to how the program will run on your system for your projects so please, do not become upset if you see a program you like below. If one of these is your favorite for your projects I am happy for you and would honestly like to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • LiVES
  • Cinelerra
  • Kino
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Wax
  • FFMpeg
  • Blender
  • ZS4 Video Editor
  • Lightworks
  • Cinefx Jahshaka
  • Movica

 

Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 

Editor

This software category is in need of an editor. If you would like to give something back to the freeware community by taking it over, check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here.

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Average: 3.9 (262 votes)

Comments

You're clearly a smarter dog than me. I didn't get to square one with Freemake - it has zero help/documentation. Oh there's one video, but it's just a 2 minute ad [music only].

PS: Lightworks installing is erratic. I never did manage to install it. LW is helpful, but they just shrugged [evidentally it's not uncommon]

A new open source video editor. Vidiot: http://sourceforge.net/projects/vidiot/

this is a mess. The usual minimal documentation. Wouldn't import any of my videos [in any format], so it didn't last long on my hard drive.

Virtual Dub doesn't work with MP4 files? Tried opening some but no luck.

Avidemux: Awesome program for a beginner. I'm experienced in computers, but just starting with video editing and right out of the box, I was able to cut out portions and get rid of black frames on my home movies.
One of the best wiki's I've seen.
http://tinyurl.com/n4dsv2j
Also a very good forum: http://tinyurl.com/l5ul2kl

Perhaps it will be a bit more challenging as I get into more intricate editing, but just to get my home movies broken down into smaller chunks, it's been a breeze.

While I appreciate the generic caution re: the practices of software companies like NCH, I think you failed to fully warn readers of the risks of NCH software specifically. You also failed to consider these practices in your evaluation.

If you ignore the spammy, malware-like bundling and the under-the-table installations of NCH software, your evaluation might be spot-on. But, I don't think you can or should ignore the fact that NCH Software (and others like them) engage in deceptive practices like:

* installing code on systems without proper disclosure or permission
* redirect browsers without notification
* use misleading techniques to trick users into installing additional software
* leaving code on systems after uninstall

Gizmo's really should NOT ignore these malicious practices in their reviews. Taken into consideration, ALL NCH software ratings should be reduced by a measure of at least -25% and should include both strong warnings in the actual NCH app review and a in the Con's section to fully warn readers.

I also dislike NCH practices and might replace there software with another program in the near future.

I downloaded Videopad and tried installing it. The install stopped running when I selected the "Finish" button. I did not select any of the optional programs. It basically locked up. I could not stop the install and had to do a hard reboot (not an easy thing to do with a laptop). I will be contacting NCH about this issue and until then I will not be installing this program.

Which of these can do simple cut and trim, and save without re-encoding?

I just tried Avidemux and it appears to save trimmed videos without re-encoding. It is available as a portable version at http://portableapps.com/node/19409. It worked fine with an AVI but crashed with a MOV. Freemake Video Converter couldn't handle a MOV either.
For quick cuts or trims I use the free Freemake Video Converter at http://www.freemake.com/. After you trim you can save it as almost any video format.

Note: in the newest version of Freemake, 4.0.4 onwards, it ads a Freemake logo to the end of any video over 5 minutes long. Other than that, good stuff but watch for 3 toolbar options when installing. Use 'custom install' to uncheck them.

Just took a quick look at it. Original file is AVI. When I do a trim and then save as an AVI, one of the options is one-pass or two-pass encoding. Doesn't that mean it is re-encoding to save the edited clip?

Yes, it is re-encoding but it is really quick and easier to use then most other programs. The free VideoPad appears to re-encode also. Virtualdub is limited in file type compatibility.

I'm a beginner. I just want to remove part of the commercial in the video recorded from over the air tv broadcast. And maybe remove a little bit of starting/ending section. That's all I need for now. Please any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Your best bet is to download the free VideoPad Editor. It allows you to cut out unwanted parts of your videos.

Thanks for info. Is remaining parts still one video? Or several shorter ones?

After you cut out the unwanted part, what remains is just one video.

Get a professional video editor for FREE!
Sounds too good to be true?
Well it is true…

Explore Lightworks for yourself.

Here’s a review and import guide:
http://video.atheart.dk/review-lightworks-video-editor-part-1.html

Here you can download the program:
http://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_docman&gid=8&task=cat_view&Item...

And here you can see some of the movie productions edited on Lightworks:
http://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Item...

Thanks for the tip. I plan to test Lightworks in the upcoming future and will post my findings.