Step-by-Step Video Editing for Beginners

The last step in the video production process is to edit your video. Now, when it comes to video editing, you have a lot of choices out there. Most of them are paid, but there are also a lot of good free solutions too.

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Adobe Premiere

First in line is Adobe Premier. This is the king of the hill when it comes to editing. It’s comparable to the Hollywood standard Final Cut Pro, but it’s not as expensive and it also works on a PC. To use this program, you’ll need a blazing-fast computer, several gigabytes of available hard drive space, and a lot of free time. That’s because the software has a wicked learning curve.


iMovie is Apple’s solution to video editing, and it’s “free” if you buy a new Mac. The good news is that, even if you have an older Mac, it’s probably already installed. The bad news is that it’s only available on a Mac computer. So, if you aren’t an Apple fan, you’re out of luck.

If you are a Mac user, the learning curve is shallow, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble editing with it. Most of the features are self-explanatory and intuitive.

Pinnacle Studio Plus 9.0

Pinnacle Studio Plus is aimed at the “prosumer” market. In other words, it’s made for businesses that don’t have a real budget for video editing, and yet still need a video editor. It’s also for individuals who don’t have any editing experience.

It does all of the basic stuff you’d need an editor to do: capture video, cut and paste scenes, dub audio, and title creation. It’s also got some special effects like slow-mo and burring. It’s even got a blue-screen feature so you can be your own weatherman or star in an action flick. All you’ll need is a stunt double.

Ulead MediaStudio

This program includes an audio editor and a video studio. The “lite” version of this product is usually bundled with capture cards or other hardware to provide just basic editing features. The MediaStudio is really aimed at the amateur musician who wants to create professional music videos, but doesn’t have the budget of a, say, Michael Jackson or Justin Bieber.

  • Basic Editing The basic editing of any video usually includes things like cutting, pasting, trimming, and doing some funky stuff with audio in the background. So, at a minimum, your editor should be able to do voiceovers and background audio, cut, splice, trim, and otherwise edit your video clips.Splitting and trimming is pretty straightforward on most editors. For example, in iMovie, you can edit in the timeline or use more precise tools. Editing in the timeline is easy – select the clip you want to edit, and the program encases it in a yellow “box.” Then, you either right-cick on the selected clip or you use the edit menu to select “Trim to Selection” or “Split Clip.” These options allow you trim and split the video clip, respectively. Adding music is done via drag and drop. Find the section of music you want to add, for example, and drag it from the folder where it lives to the iMovie window and “drop” it into the audio line.Some editors also allow you to apply special effects like “slow motion” or let you speed up the video to make a mock-time lapse video.
  • Converting Video Last, but not least, you may need a way to convert the resulting video file. Sometimes, uploading the video to YouTube is enough. But, when it’s not, you need multiple file formats to take care of the other video sites out there as well as your own.Using a file converting program like YTD’s video converter you can take any raw video content and convert it to a usable format for the web.So, let’s say you had a video you shot on your digital camera or a smartphone. It saves automatically as some native file format. You want to convert it to something like AVI or MPEG4. The YTD converter will do that for you, preserve an HD quality backup for you, and let you either upload the resulting video or burn it to a disc if you’re feeling old-school.

Remember to respect intellectual property with video downloads.

Marine McAllister loves video production. With the right tools and inspiration, she enjoys helping others learn how to create, edit, and share great videos for business and fun.


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