How to use OpenShot Video Editor for beginners.
Affordable consumer-grade video editing software used to be a needle in a haystack and it was nearly impossible to find it for free. However, the proliferation of smartphones, coupled with the tidal wave of consumers wanting to create and edit their own videos, has resulted in many more options emerging. OpenShot Video Editor is a great choice among many.
OpenShot achieves a software triumph. It’s free, open-source, and updated frequently. What’s more, it is available for a variety of operating systems including Linux, Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows. We’re big fans of the open-source community, so if you find that OpenShot Video Editor meets your needs, we encourage you to support the developers.
Download and Install OpenShot Video Editor
Video editing is resource-intensive, so you’ll want to install OpenShot (or any other video editing software) on the most powerful computer you have access to. If you have Windows, Linux, or Mac, make sure it has a 64-bit operating system.
OpenShot recommends at least 16GB of RAM, although they say you can use 4GB as well. And, of course, you will need a lot of hard disk space – at least 500 MB for installation and more for storing video clips and the final project.
Visit the OpenShot download page and download the correct version for your operating system. Run the downloaded file and follow the instructions of the installation wizard to install OpenShot on your computer.
The OpenShot Interface Explained
Launch OpenShot and you will see that the interface is divided into four main areas: main toolbar, project files, timeline, and video preview.
On the main toolbar, you will find buttons for common actions such as creating a new project, opening a project, saving a project, undo and redo, import and export.
In the Project Files area, you will find all the video, audio, and graphics files imported into your project. You will place these files on the timeline to create your video.
As you can imagine, in the timeline, you can see all of your videos, audio, and images, clips, and transitions – all the parts that make up your project.
You can always preview your project by clicking the Play button in the video preview area.
Import Media Files into OpenShot Video Editor
When you launch OpenShot, it will open to a new unsaved untitled project. Think of it as a blank page that you see when you open Microsoft Word. (If this is your first time opening OpenShot, you will also see an inline guide. To access the inline guide again, choose Help> Tutorial.)
The first thing you need to do is import the video, audio and / or image files that you want to use in your video project. There are two ways to import project files.
Drag and drop to the project files area
- In the file explorer, navigate to the files you want to import.
- Select the files you want to use in your project.
- Drag the files to the OpenShot project files area.
Importing media files from the main toolbar
Alternatively, you can select the green plus icon from the main toolbar and navigate to the files you want to import.
Arrange Clips on a Timeline in OpenShot Video Editor
Then arrange the files on the timeline. Drag video or image files to a track on the timeline. Arrange them in the order in which they should appear in your video. If you are using still image files, you can adjust the duration of these clips by doing the following:
- Select a clip in the timeline. The selected clip will have a red border.
- Hover over the end of the clip to see the double arrow icon.
- Click and drag the end position of the clip so that the clip has the desired duration.
You can use any of your project files as many times as you like.
Add Music to Your OpenShot Video Editor Project
If you want to add a music track to your video, you can easily do it in OpenShot Video Editor.
- Drag the audio file from the project files to an empty track in the timeline. Audio files will display a musical note icon (as opposed to a thumbnail image if the file is an image or video).
- If the song is longer than your video, click and drag the right edge of the audio clip to the left, which will cause the audio track to finish earlier.
- If the song is not enough for your video, you can always add multiple audio files or even the same audio multiple times.
Preview Your OpenShot Video Project and Save It
Once all of your clips are in the timeline, preview your video in the video preview area.
If you like what you see, be sure to save your project by selecting the Save Project icon in the main toolbar or choosing File> Save Project As.
Exporting Your Project in OpenShot Video Editor
When your project is complete, you can export your video to several different file formats.
- Click the red circle icon in the main toolbar, or choose File> Export Project.
- Give a name to the exported video.
- Browse to the folder where you want to save the exported video.
- Select what format the exported video should be in. Options include MP4 (best for YouTube uploads), AVI, FLV, MOV, MPEG, OGG, or WEBM.
- Click the Export Video button. You will see a progress bar while exporting the video.
- When the video has finished exporting, select Done. Your video will be saved in the folder you selected above.
There’s So Much More to OpenShot Video Editor
Don’t stop now! There are tons of other features in OpenShot Video Editor that you can explore, such as transitions between clips, animations, and titles. Either way, the steps above will help you find a video that you are proud to share.
How to use OpenShot Video Editor for beginners
How to use OpenShot Video Editor for beginners.