Simple video editing software?

need a recommendation for a simple video editing software, just basic video editing - cutting / rearranging clips and adding simple text and shapes with no effects.

it’s proving to be a frustrating exercise so far. i’ve used AVS Video Editor before, it actually works reasonably well, i’m able to capture from my web camera (and can change capture settings) and can edit text, there is some weirdness however - the more text i add the slower it becomes (not unresponsive, just opening text for editing takes longer). also, editing itself is too basic and involves a couple of extra clicks which adds up when you’re adding hundreds of captions.

so i’ve decided to switch to adobe premiere elements, i’ve used premiere a long time ago, and remember it being pretty intuitive and easy to use, and i’m fairly proficient with using photoshop. but so far it’s anything but intuitive. i had to open help 3 times within 10 minutes just to do simple tasks. i can’t edit shape properties until i apply a style. copying a title and then editing it edits all of the copies - to prevent it from doing so i have to switch to “expert” mode and duplicate a clip, then drop it into the timeline. and i can’t use it to capture videos, it switches to lowest quality regardless of the project settings.

is there anything that fits the bill? just something lightweight but easy to use? i’m on windows.

1 Like

i downloaded lightworks with high hopes but have not gotten to investigating. fcp x is what we have but i want out of apple’s universe.

similarly all i do is cut, arrange, and text

1 Like

thanks, will take a look at lightworks!

i feel like i’m not the targeted audience for either AVS or premiere elements, judging by silly themes / effects etc but there is gotta be enough ppl wanting to do simple editing to warrant a simple editor…

isn’t blender supposedly a pretty capable video editor!? Looked through a few pretty crummy tutorials - only this one seemed half-ok:


blender seems more than capable, but that might be a downside - looks like it’s way beyond a simple editor (i seem to remember that’s why i skipped on it), but if editing is simple enough… i’ll check it out, thanks!

ha, yea as long as you don’t get tempted to try your hand at 3D modelling it might serve you well! Let us know how it works out for ‘simple’ video editing, never actually tried myself, just resort to frenzied youtube annotations. I’d like to make some ‘how-to’ vids for linux aleph DSP dev, maybe a decent demo showing the sync features in sguenz, maybe actually release that software!

yeah, not a fan of premiere at all - find it extremely confusing for simple tasks. Not sure about the shapes aspect, but I recently started using Davinci Resolve for small projects, the free edition which you can find here:

I’m pretty sure it is primarily intended as grading software, but the editing tools seem fine for small jobs and it is very user friendly.


i’ve tried blender for simple editing but it wasn’t simple at all (for me).
i use iMovie for this task, but i don’t know a non-apple solution.

1 Like

I second davicni resolve. It becomes a better editing software at every new updates and the free option is already packed with way enough features to do all the simple things and some of the more complex tasks in a very intuitive way (at least it’s intuitive to me).

Plus they may seem unnecessary but having such a powerful grading tool right inside your video editor is a very nice feature once you start needing it (and that can be sooner than you think).


thanks for the suggestions - will give davinci resolve a try as well!

just finished editing a video, for now still using AVS video editor, and after premiere it’s actually not that bad, just a couple of minor annoyances.

Davinci Resolve is slowly getting better. There are some good tips out there - the most important thing is to stop it using full hd ProRes as an intermediate, which just eats disk; ProRes proxy is fine. But I’ve used it successfully to make a few films and by and large have enjoyed that process.

1 Like

discovered this today. open-source. tested the workflow for a couple hours. it is fantastic, super super psyched to ditch FCX.

note, it’s still alpha. but i was able to do everything i ever needed to do with FCX easily, without reading a manual.

also… this transcoder is invaluable:


I use Reaper, it fits your criteria of straightforward and lightweight. Just drag and use video clips like you would audio. That’s how I’ve edited every Youtube video I’ve posted.


Update: I gave up on Resolve and now use Hitfilm Express, which is great - free (but not open source), simple, like an alternative Premiere. More like Premiere/Final Cut than iMovie, but you’ll work it out fast, and then the power in it is all worthwhile. They aim at the amateur genre short market, but it’ll work for anything.

Curious to know why you gave up on Resolve! I find it super easy to work with.

Also, Olive looks fantastic, thanks @tehn for sharing!

Handbrake I use all the time, would it only be to convert videos to a framerate that fits ableton’s awful needs.

I used OpenShot in the past and it was good enough. Free/Libre Open Source Software for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

1 Like

it was a few versions ago, and I found its defaults highly resource intensive. I frequently was just doing tiny things, and always having to change the default proxies to something less space-intensive drove me mad. i was running on a Macbook Air with not much disk space and got annoyed that editing screencasts just ate disk unless I fiddled with it. It wasn’t hard to use - I just didn’t like using it.

Ah ! You’re right it was awfully demanding for older computers even as far back as 5 years ago. I think they improved the resource consumption A LOT with each recent iterration as I seem to recall it was indeed one of the main gripes everyone had with the earlier versions. Also I think if you don’t have much use for color grading there must be simpler options out there. But I really enjoy it and find it super straightforward and easy to manoeuver which I can’t really say of many video editors. But I’d need to check if the CPU/GPU optimization is much better because I only use it on pretty powerful computers so it’s never been an issue whatsoever for me.

I didn’t want to make a new thread for this so I just thought to post here. If there’s a more appropriate thread, mods please feel free to move it. And forgive me for not knowing the proper vocabulary…

I have this idea to take multiple zoomed footages from various videos and make a kind of composite or montage video of the different zoomed footage. What would I want to look for in a video editor’s manual to learn how to do that? Like, would I zoom in on the footage I wanted, render, then put that render together with other similar renders? Is there a specific word in video editing for layering different footage?

Sorry again. And thanks in advance.

final cut or premiere or after effects could all do this(i would think most editing software could do this but dont have experience with others). You would put each clip on the video timeline in track 1 2 etc and then zoom each one in and move around as pleased to make a mosaic and or could also use the blend modes/opacity if you want them to interact with each other.
this is an example of having multiple tracks of videos all with different blend modes interacting with each other that i made and use this method often.