Top 10 Video Editing Programs for YouTube

Jun 02, 2021• Proven solutions

What kind of? That depends on your needs as a creator. The range of professional-level features, availability of video effects, price point, and ease of use are all potential factors. With that in mind, we’ve divided this list based on different factors that will be important to different YouTubers.

Our Favorite:(Windows, Mac) – $39.99

Key Points:

  1. Loads of video effects (transitions, titles, etc)
  2. Picture-in-Picture & Split- Screen effect
  3. Green screen
  4. Music library
  5. Easy to use

Filmora9 provides you with one of the most intuitive video editing experiences available through any software. It is easy to jump into Filmora9 and start creating – there’s almost no learning curve. Cutting, trimming, rearranging clips, and layering clips and images using the PIP (picture-in-picture) tracks are all simple functions in Filmora9.

One of the biggest draws of Filmora for YouTubers is the abundance of. Filmora’s in-house team of designers has created thousands of animated titles, filters, motion graphics, overlays, and transitions you can apply to your videos easily. It’s just a matter of clicking on the menu you want and dragging your chosen effect to where you want to use it.

There are also powerful, professional, tools available through Filmora9 including color grading, audio mixing,(chroma key), and speed controls.

Filmora9 is anbecause it is easy to use and includes a lot of the resources creators need to take their videos to a higher level of quality.

Top 2 Free Video Editors for YouTube

Sometimes there just isn’t room in your budget to pay for video editing software, but that shouldn’t stop you from building a YouTube channel. Here are the 2 best video editors you can use for free:

1.(Windows, Mac, Linux)

Key Points:

  1. Key framing
  2. Alpha Channel
  3. Unlimited video tracks

OpenShot is powerful and easy to use. It has unlimited video tracks you can drag your clips between, and while the magnet feature can snap clips together you also have the option of leaving space between. Trimming and splitting clips is simple.

In general, almost anything you want to accomplish in OpenShot can be done by right clicking on a clip and selecting the function you want to access. Functions include setting volume levels, adjusting your speed, and adding movement or zoom effects.

Some of OpenShot’s features that may be especially appealing to YouTubers are transitions and the ability to animate text.

2.(Windows, Mac, Linux)

Key Points:

  1. Lots of audio tools
  2. Color grading, ability to save presets
  3. Intuitive timeline

This is another surprisingly powerful free option. Shotcut is more feature-rich than OpenShot, but the tradeoff is that it is slightly more difficult to jump into as a new user.

Shotcut’s multiple video tracks make it easy to combine clips, and functions like splitting and copying clips can be performed by selecting the right option on the main toolbar.

Where Shotcut really shines is in the amount of detail you can put into adjusting your sound and picture quality. You can adjust balance, bass & treble, and gain among other audio features. For picture quality, there is both manual color grading and preset options.

One drawback of Shotcut is that you can’t add moving text (you can add text, but it’s stationary). However, you can get effects from elsewhere and apply them in Shotcut using alpha channel.

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The Premium Video Editor for YouTube–CyberLink PowerDirector Ultimate

You’re ready for more. You’ve been editing for long enough that ‘ease of use’ isn’t one of your main concerns, and you’ve got the budget to pay for something at a more professional price point. If this sounds like you, here are our pick for a premium video editor

Key Points:

  1. Renders quickly
  2. 3D editing/motion tracking
  3. Screen recording

There aren’t a lot of hiccups when you’re editing with CyberLink PowerDirector. The overall experience is fast, smooth, and powerful.

Transitions, titles, filters, and other video effects are available through CyberLink and, like Coral, it allows for 3D editing and motion tracking. There’s a lot you can add to your videos through CyberLink to enhance the experience for your viewers.

One particularly useful feature of CyberLink is automatic audio ducking. This means it can automatically lower the levels of background sound during dialogue, so there’s no more worrying about how to smoothly quiet your music during your voiceover.

CyberLink’s interface is fairly clean and looks simple. However, due to the sheer quantity of tools packed into the software, it can still be overwhelming and confusing when you’re a new user.

Top Screen Recorder/Video Editor Combo

If you make a lot of tutorials or gaming videos then a good screen recorder is essential. Most screen recorders don’t include many editing tools, but our pick for top screen recorder/video editor combo makes it possible to create your entire screencast video in one program.

1.(Windows) – $50

Key Points:

  1. Remove pauses
  2. Text and callouts
  3. Audio sync

FlashBack Pro is an easy-to-use screen recorder that allows you to schedule recordings or start recording when particular programs are launched. You won’t have to edit out footage of yourself finding the icon for your software or game and opening it, because that part won’t be recorded.

There features in FlashBack Pro that was added specifically with gamers in mind, like the ability to define your FPS and choose your recording quality.

You can do all of that using the free program FlashBack Express, though. If you decide to pay for FlashBack Pro it’ll be because combining your screen recorder with a simple video editing suite simplifies your video creation workflow.

As an editor, FlashBack Pro lets you remove mistakes and pauses, synchronize your audio, and add ‘annotations’. The annotation options in FlashBack Pro include text, callouts, highlights, blur effects, and images.

Here are 10you can have a free trial.

Top 2 Video Editors for VFX or Animation

If you want to create custom title effects for your videos or add explosions, then you might want to consider a video editor that was designed specifically for animation or SFX. Here are our top 2 picks for SFX and animation video editors.

1.(Windows, Mac, Linux) – Free

Key Points:

  1. 3D editing
  2. Lots of tutorials
  3. Easily accessible templates

Blender is a free ‘3D creation suite’ which includes video editing features. Professional animators use Blender to make cartoons and video game demos. It is not an easy program to jump into, but they’ve made a lot of great tutorials to help you.

If you need the special effects features in Blender for very specific purposes (i.e. creating your Intro or adding effects to an already finished video) then you may want to use it in combination with a simpler video editor.

Blender users have created a lot of pre-made templates for different kinds of effects which are easy to find online and in many cases free to download. You can grab an effect, like a 3D title, and use Blender to customize it and add it to a video you’ve already edited in another program.

2. Hitfilm (Windows, Mac) – Free (), $300 ()

Key Points:

  1. Audio levels
  2. Professional VFX
  3. Import/edit 3D models

You can’t beat Hitfilm for VFX. Both the free Express version and the Pro versions offer the ability to edit 3D models as well as advanced compositing features.

The free version includes a complete, fairly intuitive, video editing suite that will be much easier to jump into than the second-ranked FX editor on this list. However, in order to unlock the full potential of the program, you will need to purchase ‘Add Ons’. Add Ons might include effects or tools, and many of the compositing tools need to be purchased through a pack.

Packs (generally) cost between $15 and $50, meaning that Express plus an Add On is still considerably more affordable than Hitfilm Pro.

Hitfilm Pro is the most expensive editor we’re mentioning on this list at $300, but if VFX is something you’re looking to get serious about then it is worth considering. You get a professional-level video editor and all of the tools you’d have to buy separately for Express.

2 Best Mobile Editing Apps

Do you make videos on your phone? More and more people do. It might be easier to edit your videos right on your smartphone instead of transferring them to your computer. Here are two apps that make that possible.

1. FilmoraGo –,

Key Points:

  1. Effects (transitions, filters, overlays)
  2. 16:9 and 1:1
  3. Post video logo roll

FilmoraGo is a free video editing app from the makers of Filmora (although it is not a mobile version of the desktop editor). It includes a lot of features YouTubers look for, like title effects and transitions.

You can reorder your clips in FilmoraGo by tapping and dragging, and most other changes you might want to make are just a couple taps away. It’s an easy to use app that even includes pre-set ‘themes’ which allow you to add music, titles, filters, and other effects to your video all at once.

One downside to FilmoraGo is that it adds a logo-roll to the end of every video. That’s the tradeoff for it being free, and since it plays after your video it is a lot less intrusive than having a watermark overlaid over your entire video. It only costs $2 to remove the logo roll.

You can export directly to YouTube or Instagram from FilmoraGo

2. Movie Maker Filmmaker (,)

Key Points:

  1. Fun stickers
  2. Good title tool
  3. 16:9 or 1:1

If you want to make a cool looking video quickly and have a lot of fun doing it, Movie Maker Filmmaker by Alive (it’ll just be called Alive in your phone) is a great option.

Alive offers a great selection of stickers, filters, and overlays. Stickers are easy to apply, position, and resize. The text tool is basic, but there’s a lot you can do with it. There are a lot of modern, trendy, font options and you can add a colored background.

You can’t export directly to Instagram from Movie Maker Filmmaker, but you can share videos to YouTube after they are first posted to Alive’s own platform.

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What video editing software do you use? Tell us what you like about it, and what you look for in an editor.

Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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