Video Editing Software

Discover some of the top video editing software for 2021.

Video editing software allows you to make creative changes and add post effects to videos. There are many reasons to become a video editor. Video editing is a lucrative career field, with numerous employment opportunities. Many video editors work as independent freelancers, while others get jobs with larger production agencies. As a video editor, you have a great deal of freedom over your schedule. You are allowed to choose not only when you work, but who you work for.

Another reason video editing is such a popular career is it allows you to do something fun and creative. While it does require some level of training, you are typically not required to get a degree. In most cases, whether you are hired depends on your portfolio. There are many professional classes you can enroll in to learn video editing, but it is also possible to teach yourself. Listed below is more information about how you can start a career editing videos.

Responsibilities of a Video Editor

Video editors are part of the post-production team. As an editor, you are not responsible for filming material. On larger projects, you may be asked to give input to a director. This can include explaining what kind of post processing effects are available or whether it makes more sense to use practical effects over edited ones. You may also be asked practical questions, such as determining whether it is worth shooting a scene on location, or if it is easier to edit a backdrop into the footage.

There are many ways you can edit a video. Some common examples of editing include color correction and exposure adjustment. Editors also insert different visual effects into a scene. Another key responsibility of an editor is trimming down content to an acceptable level. This often involves cutting specific lines, or on larger projects, jumping between shots to get a better angle.

Video Editing Software

Video editing is done through specific software. There are no shortage of video editing programs available to choose from. For smaller projects, you typically have freedom to choose whichever program you are comfortable with. If you are working with a studio, you are often expected to use whatever program the rest of the studio uses. There may be some freedom, based on the scope of the project. If you work alongside an editing team, everyone is expected to use the same software.

Many video editing software comes with free trials. Other programs are technically free to download, but only provided a limited number of functions until you purchase an account. If you are new to editing, you are strongly encouraged to use a free program to learn the basics. Once you find a program you are comfortable with, upgrade to a paid account.

Adobe Premiere Pro

For years, Adobe has been the industry standard for editing software. Adobe originally earned acclaim as a photo editing tool, but Premiere Pro is entirely for video editing. Adobe Premiere Pro is used by both students and professionals. It is one of the top editing tools used by YouTubers, but even television and film studies use it to edit videos.

Part of the reason it is so popular is it works on both Windows and Mac PCs. The trimming and editing tools offer more control than other programs, offering the most precise editing. It is compatible with almost all available video sources. The UI is easy to use and fully customizable, allowing you to create your own keyboard shortcuts.

As of writing, Premiere Pro has a seven-day free trial period. Otherwise, you must sign up for a monthly subscription. There are several subscription plans available. For the basic program, you pay $20 each month. For more extensive services, such as access to Adobe Creative Cloud, you pay close to $50 each month.


Lightworks is another popular video editing software, especially among new editors. Lightworks has a basic, easy to understand interface, even if you never edited a video before. The program also comes standard with multiple editing tutorials. By default, you also gain access to multiple high quality stock videos and music clips, which you can insert into your work without fear of copyright claims.

Lightworks has access to fast export for some of the most popular online platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo. There are options for multicam editing, allowing you to sync up clips filmed from multiple angles. It also boasts impressive speed optimization, which lets you edit a new project while importing or uploading edited videos.

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut is considered another industry standard program. Unlike most other video editing software, it is designed entirely for Macs. Final Cut Pro has many advanced features for editors. It is one of the best programs for color balancing, offering a wide range of precise options. It also includes 360-degree video editing.

Because it is an Apple product, it naturally integrates with other Apple programs, such as iTunes. Another benefit of being a Mac only product is the software is much more optimized. Other programs designed for both Windows and Mac must take certain concessions to ensure compatibility across both systems. Final Cut Pro is optimized specifically for Macs, ensuring you always get the most out of the editing software.

Another reason many editors prefer Final Cut Pro is the lack of a monthly subscription. Currently, you can download the program for a free 90-day trial, though it has some features locked until you purchase the program. There are no monthly subscription plans to choose from. Once you buy the software, which typically costs around $300, you permanently own it.

Video Pad

Video Pad is an excellent program if you are only interested in learning how to edit without stressing over when your free trial expires. Video Pad is entirely free to download. Once you download the software, you have access to all of the features. Video Pad is considered a basic program, but it contains all the necessary tools for inserting special effects, adding overlays and unique transitions or inserting text. You can also make sound and color adjustments.

Video Pad is most commonly associated with online content. If you are trying to work for a professional editing company, you will want to purchase an advanced program. If you are editing YouTube or Facebook videos, Video Pad is a perfect program to learn the basics.