The best video editing software is a must-buy for professional editors, not to mention YouTubers looking to enter the big leagues. And even if you’re just someone who wants your smartphone clips to look better for sharing online, there’s easy-to-use video software out there to make your footage look slick. On this list you’ll find the best video editing software for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, both paid-for and free. So whatever equipment you’re using, and whatever you need to edit, you’ll be to make the right choice.
1) Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of two industry standard tools when it comes to video editing. It’s used by top professionals, on everything from YouTube videos, ads and short films to broadcast TV and movies.
The other industry standard tool is Final Cut Pro (number 2 on my list), and both are closely matched for features and sophistication. But as Final Cut Pro is only available for Mac, and Premiere Pro is available for both Mac and Windows, that cements the latter as the best video editing software overall.
Premiere Pro supports 4K, 8K and VR formats. Its trimming and editing tools give you a high degree of precision and control. You can work on an uncapped number of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source you can think of. And automatic sync makes it easy to handle multi-angle shots. It boasts customisable keyboard shortcuts, and great collaboration features too.
2) Final Cut Pro X
Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is a highly capable and highly respected tool for professional video editing. The main thing that counts against it is that it’s not available for Windows. On the upside, it’s subscription-free. So if you don’t want a Creative Cloud subscription, Final Cut Pro X lets you pay once, and once only.
Wth features including 360° video, HDR and advanced tools for colour correction, Final Cut Pro X is optimised to get the most out of your Mac, and integrates nicely with other parts of Apple’s ecosystem, such as your Photos or iTunes collections. It’s also surprisingly easy to use, despite being so powerful and feature-rich.
3) Adobe Premiere Elements
Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are expensive, and a lot of work to learn if you just want to edit some videos for fun, such as family footage or your first YouTube video. In which case, we’d recommend Adobe’s Premiere Elements, which we’d call the best video editing software for beginners.
The approach to video editing is very simple and visual, and you get all the video effects you need, including transitions, chroma-keying and opacity and so on. You can develop quite a fast workflow too, by harnessing smart search functionality, video stablisation options, and automated functions, such as motion tracking and smart toning.
4) Adobe Premiere Rush
Going to be working on the move? Then check out Premiere Rush, which makes all the most important bits of Premiere Pro available on your tablet or phone. Available for iOS and Android, this is the best video editing software for working on mobile.
Premiere Rush offers a simplified version of the Premiere Pro interface, with large icons and panels that are easier to click on a small touchscreen. And while there this means fewer features, you still get all the fundamentals, such as adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop, and mixing in background music.
One of the best video editing apps around, Premiere Rush can be used as an app in its own right, or in conjunction with Premiere Pro. For instance, when you’re on the train, you could make some extra edits to footage you’re previously worked on at the studio on your desktop PC.
5) Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
if you’re a beginner who wants to get started with video editing software, Adobe tools aren’t your only option. It’s also worth checking out Corel VideoStudio Ultimate, particularly if you’re already a fan of Corel’s illustration and graphic design software.
This solid and relatively cheap video editing software for Windows has a clear and visual interface that makes it easy to get started. Then once you’ve mastered the basics, there are more powerful features to discover, such as motion tracking, 4K support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library, multi-cam support, 3D text editing and thousands of effects.
Wondershare’s Filmora is a solid video editing tool for enthusiasts, or those just getting started with editing, for a surprisingly low price. It has an intuitive interface that’s easy to use, whatever your level of familiarity with video editing.
There are a large number of handy built-in titles, effects and filters designed for YouTubers and like, as well as a library of royalty free sound effects and music to give your videos impact. You also get the ability to record your own media directly within the tool.
7) CyberLink PowerDirector 365
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is a serious bit of consumer-level video editing software that long been available for Windows, and has recently been released for Mac users too. It’s available either as a one-off purchase or a monthly or annual subscription, and both options are pretty cheap.
Despite this, PowerDirector 365 has many professional and high-quality features. Get cracking on the 100-track timeline and you’ll soon find yourself making the most of multitudes of stabilisation and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking and surprisingly easy trimming.
There’s 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. Then there’s slideshows, screen recording, DVD menus, object design tools and more. And the latest version, released this March, comes with free and unlimited access to an extensive, royalty-free library of content from Shutterstock.
8) Pinnacle Studio
Pinnacle Studio isn’t the best known video editing software for Windows. But it’s well worth considering if you’ve never edited video before. For a quite reasonable price, you get more than 1,500 effects, titles, and templates, six-track HD video editing, colour correction tools, a dedicated stop motion feature, time remapping and more. It’s very easy to use too.
This video editing software is available for a one-off purchase. And if you like it, you can always upgrade to one of the more fully-featured and professionally oriented packages, Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate.
9) Vimeo Create
Vimeo is keen to creative professionals. So it’s not surprising that its Vimeo Create service, aimed at helping businesses produce social media videos, is pretty impressive. Aimed at people with zero experience, it allows you to use and customise pre-prepared video templates. And there are millions of stock video clips, photos and commercially licensed music tracks available to use for free. There are lots of built-in styles, too, that you can apply to your video at the click of a mouse.
Vimeo Create makes it easy to produce videos for a variety of aspect ratios (eg square, horizontal and vertical) to suit different social platforms. It all works in the browser, so there’s nothing you need to download. Yes, it lacks the advanced features expected from a full-service video editing program. But what it’s designed for, it does very well.
If you think professional video editing on your smartphone or tablet requires paid-for software, think again. KineMaster is available for Android devices, iPhones and iPads, and goes way above and beyond what you’d expect from a free mobile app.
Kinemaster has a smart and easy-to-use interface that’s both intuitive and lag-free. Features includes the ability to edit multiple layers, add handwriting and text annotations, experiment with up to four audio tracks, and precisely edit at frame and sub-frame level.
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