Open Source Video Editing Tools

Professionals and organizations that need to offer top-notch content for free or at the lowest cost should consider using an open-source video editor. More than ever, the content advertising sector needs videos. So, many content creators are creating beautiful films in the field. But you need a high-quality video editor to give those raw videos an expert look.

You can go for any top-rated video editor that charges top dollar; however, this is useless. And, now and again, your creative mind needs to have unique editing features that a so-called premium video editor might also lack. Here are open-source video editors for hungry video creators and editors who need more simple features. Continue reading to find quality free video editors with public source code for personalized customization.


OpenShot’s easy, user-friendly interface indicates some extra polish you don’t usually see in a free, open-source video editor. Combined with the integrated tutorial when you first use the software and the complete user guide available on the website, OpenShot makes video editing easy for beginners and experts alike. 

OpenShot; Source: OpenShot Video Editor

Drag and drop functionality is available for working with the clips on the timeline and importing media into the program. You can add an endless number of tracks, and instead of each track being a dedicated “video track” or “audio track” like most editors, you may put any sort of media into any track. The extra flexibility can be helpful, provided you can maintain order.

Although there are not many unique tools and effects offered, there are still plenty to work with, such as keyframe-based animation and transitions with real-time previews. One function you don’t see in many other free products is 3D animated titles, which OpenShot can handle in case you’ve additionally installed the open-source 3-D photo software Blender (which itself has video-enhancing features, too).

OpenShot is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux as a free download, even though donations and Patreon subscriptions are accepted via the internet site to support development. 


Although Shotcut does not appear particularly remarkable at first, it is a powerful non-linear video editor that has enough tools to meet most users' needs for video enhancement. The free cross-platform application—available on Windows, Mac, and Linux—opens up to a smooth, minimal interface, making it best for new or casual editors who want to take things easy. 

Shotcut; Source:

But when you start including extra modules based on the functions you want to apply, Shotcut starts to evolve to reveal its depth. Each panel may be undocked, moved around, re-docked, or left floating, providing you with great manipulation over the way to arrange your workspace on one or more monitors.

Shotcut supports a wide variety of image and video formats in addition to 4K resolution. However, there is no "Import" button because the program offers "native timeline editing" that does not require importation. 

But you can still open and preview files in Shotcut just like in different editors, create a “playlist” of the media you’re using for the project, and drag clips into your timeline. The timeline has a full range of editing features, including adding tracks, splitting and trimming clips, and shortcut keys for those functions. There is also a strong choice of video and audio transitions and stackable filters, from stabilization to chroma key (green-screen effects).

Although there is a learning curve for the advanced features, the Shotcut YouTube channel provides a number of video tutorials to assist. There’s additionally an online course available for purchase that has been reviewed and formally authorized by Shotcut’s lead developer. 


LiVES is a non-linear video editor with bonus packages targeted at a particular kind of user: the video jockey, or VJ. It is available as a free download for Linux, and a Windows version is being developed. Alongside its standard enhancing capabilities, LiVES consists of some real-time editing features that allow a VJ to blend and control videos to go together with audio—all on the fly at a love performance. 

liVES; Source: Wikipedia

One part of the interface is the clip editor, in which you can apply effects like fades, swirls, and colors to the media you’ve imported. The clips can then be positioned and organized on the multi-track timeline, the other section of the interface, for immediate rendering or saving for a later time.

For live VJing, of course, it is essential to be able to control and manipulate your clips quickly. With LiVES, you can make a custom keymap to trigger effects or switch between clips with a single click. The video also allows you to "scratch" back and forth, much like a DJ might on a record. Even if you do not have any immediate plans to schedule a VJ gig, the ability to seamlessly combine audio and video in real-time can lead to opportunities for events or live performances.


Kdenlive, like a great deal of open-source software, has been made to run on Linux operating systems. Based on the MLT media framework, it is a well-known and powerful Linux video editing program as well as an excellent all-around open-source editor. The interface is simple and straightforward to use, looking most familiar to people who have used iMovie. You can also personalize it in line with your needs and choices.

Kdenlive; Source: Wikipedia

Kdenlive’s timeline is completely functional, supporting limitless video and audio tracks, visible audio waveforms, preview rendering, and “JKL” playback shortcuts. It is easy to drag the powerful collection of transitions, effects, and filters onto clips, adjust their settings, and view a live preview. When you’re prepared to export your finished video, you can select from a wide variety of mainstream file types and presets. 


For Windows, Mac, and Linux users, Avidemux can be downloaded for free. It is not a comprehensive timeline-based video editor. Instead, it’s designed for making pretty easy changes and giving out a changed file. You can choose the start and end frames of your video to indicate which parts to remove when you import it. 

Avidemux; Source: Wikipedia

You can apply filters, with some aesthetic options like coloration effects and borders, and others that enhance the clip by sharpening the image or lowering noise. You can also upload additional clips to your current one; however, that type of work may be best for a full non-linear editor.

If you do not need to make any changes to the video, Avidemux might be the most helpful tool for you. As part of its exporting step, Avidemux can encode video and audio to an outstanding number of file types, with a robust quantity of detailed options for the output. If you've got many clips to encode, you can queue them as much as you like, one by one. 


If you’re most effectively seeking to do short, easy editing, a free, open-source software program is the best software to use. VidCutter is an excellent tool for doing exactly what its name implies: cutting video. The cross-platform program can import and export the most common formats, along with AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEG, and others. 

VidCutter; Source: Snapcraft

Its interface (which has light and dark theme options) consists of just a few elements: A preview area presents your imported media, and a single-track timeline at the bottom can display thumbnails if you toggle on the option. Mark start and end points on the timeline, clip in, and your choice will be added to the clip index on the side. You can add more than one clip in this manner and drag and drop to re-organize them on the index. Saving the video will export your clips to a file in that order, and the brand-new file will match the video format of the source. 


While Natron isn’t a non-linear video editor intended for slicing and assembling video clips like the different software on this list, it does offer a powerful open-source way to tackle another critical aspect of video production. Its motion graphics composition software and cross-platform visual effects (VFX) are utilized to prepare special elements in post-production to produce the "movie magic" inside a given shot or scene.

Natron; Source: TJFREE

In Natron, effects are constructed from a series of "nodes." You can connect and stack multiple layers and branches of nodes as needed, adjusting and customizing details about a node's efforts and applying them to a video clip. This lets in features like shifting and resizing 2D/3-D elements, chroma keying to update backgrounds, and movement monitoring to follow points on a video. 

In addition, Natron provides an extensive selection of both commercial and open-source VFX plugins to add more tools according to your needs. Once your shot is completed, you can switch over to some other video enhancing or sequencing software program (like any of the open-source ones in this list) to place it into an extended, complete video with audio and different scenes.


Flowblade doesn’t provide versions for Mac or Windows yet; it focuses on providing a fast, stable video-editing experience for Linux. By not adding too many extra features that might slow it down and complicate the process for users, it succeeds in developing a faster loading and operating experience than a number of other editing software programs. This also helps offer it added stability, cutting back on crashes that have a tendency to affect other open-source products more regularly.

Flowblade; Source: Manjaro | Software Center

Flowblade’s modern-looking interface feels familiar and intuitive to many, with timeline tool buttons that are on a single row. Within this slightly pared-down toolbar are more than enough flow and trim tools for the activity, even though its “insert editing” version that automatically pushes all clips together to the left may take some getting used to if you’ve been using other tools. It also gains from the plethora of effects that Linux video editors have at their disposal, including keyframe-based audio editing, custom titles, transitions, and image filters.


Lightworks is a well-known and established video editing program that has been used on numerous Academy Award-winning films over its roughly 30-year existence. Lightworks Free ($0 per month), Lightworks Create ($9.99 per month), and Lightworks Pro ($23.99 per month) are the three versions that are offered. The software can be downloaded for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Lightworks;Source: TechRadar

Beginner and advanced video editors can each take advantage of this software, which incorporates a huge variety of features and effects. Lightworks is made to export files in almost all file formats and to social media platforms with ease. The software includes instant autosave, keyboard shortcuts, and background processing to keep running even as you keep or export every other document and hundreds of customizable pre-constructed effects like titling and movement snap shots.

Lightworks can import files at any frame rate and maintain their original resolution and shape. As an advantage, users are capable of creating shared projects through the cloud to work with a team or share projects.

Blender Video Sequence Editor 

The difference with Blender is that video editing is just a small portion of its capabilities. Actually, the free, open-source software is a full suite of professional-grade 3-D creation tools, accessible on Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can use it for 3-D modeling, sculpting, portraying, animation, and much more. It includes powerful tools for visual composition and even 3-D recreation development.

Blender Video Sequence Editor; Source: SlashCAM

Integrated inside all of this is the Blender Video Sequence Editor (VSE), which can be a bit tough to get to and figure out at first, given that the interface is designed to deal with a lot more than simply video enhancing. Fortunately, there are numerous support resources available, from free tutorials to paid training from the Blender Institute and a Blender Cloud subscription. Once you find your way around, you’ll find the VSE to be a full-featured non-linear editor with a multi-track timeline, cutting and trimming tools, keyboard shortcuts, and plenty of advanced options. Then, of course, you can constantly upload 3-D photos and animation if that’s something you’re into—or if the software program inspires you to give it a shot.

Final Thoughts

Open-source video editors may sound like a line of video post-processing tools for freelancers and small groups. But the truth is completely different. These apps are intended for professionals who create videos or agencies that require special content customizations. You can try any of the above tools for video development. Choose the app based on the customization capacity and specific capabilities that you need.

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