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Video editor software for Windows, Mac, and YouTube

About video editors

Video editing was once a costly, complicated process that only highly skilled professionals could perform, using expensive and enigmatic video-editing suites housed in professional post-production studios. The advent of affordable, simplified video-editing software has changed all that. Now amateurs can rearrange video footage, incorporate visual and sound effects, and add a soundtrack to their film, right from their Windows and Mac desktops, using free or low-cost video editors.

Premiere video editor morph cut


What to Look for in Video Editors

What makes a great video editor? It's easy to use, with simple editing modes, automatic video creation, and preset templates. The video editor should include a robust tool set, including myriad effects and transitions, an audio mixer, and titles and credits. You should see high-quality sharing options, whether you're exporting digitally or to DVD. And the software maker should offer helpful FAQs, online technical support, and free tutorials.


Best Video Editors for Windows and Mac

If you don't want to pay for PowerPoint and don't like the stripped-down Web version, try one of these three PowerPoint alternatives.

Adobe Premiere Elements 14

Adobe Premiere Elements 14 helps turn your raw footage into buzz-worthy 4K video, from trimming and reordering clips to enhancing color and clarity to sharing your finished work. Depending on your skill level, you can edit on your own, work with guided edits, or trust Premiere Elements to do the heavy lifting with the Instant Movie function. When you're done, share in any file format you choose, or post directly to your favorite video or social site right from the app. Try it for free for 30 days or buy it for $99.99.

Filmora

Filmora's easy-to-use frame-by-frame preview enables you to take more precise control over your basic video and audio edits, such as trimming, color correction, volume, and fade-ins and -outs. It's easy to add elements, such as text and titles, music, overlays, filters, and motion graphics. On top of that, Filmora has over 100 advanced effects to choose from. When you're done, share your video in a variety of formats. If you get stuck, there are how-to videos, FAQs, and tips to help out. You can try out a limited edition of Filmora before buying a one-year license for $34.99 for one PC, or pay $49.99 for a lifetime license.

CyberLink PowerDirector 14 Deluxe

CyberLink PowerDirector 14 Deluxe offers an Easy Editing Mode for first-time video editors. Its Magic Movie Wizard guides you through importing your videos and photos, selecting a preset movie style, adding and tweaking audio, adding titles, previewing, saving, and sharing. The new, easy-to-follow Express Projects feature enables you to drag and drop clips, and PowerDirector will add the preset effects, animation, and music. If you're still unsatisfied, polish your creation with over 500 customizable effects and templates. There is no free trial of CyberLink PowerDirector 14 Deluxe, so you'll have to shell out $69.99 to begin working with it. But you can try the Ultra version for free for 30 days.

Download a free trial so you can decide which video editor works best for your needs:

  • More video editors for Windows and Mac

  • Video Cutters and Converters

    If all you need to do is cut a clip or convert a video's file format (from MOV to MP4, for example, so you can play it on your phone), then you probably don't need a premium video-editing suite. Plenty of no- to low-cost video cutters and converters are up to the task.

  • Top-rated video cutters
  • Top-rated video converters
  • Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.