Professional video editors are expensive to hire, and if your budget won't cover that expense, you're left with the option of doing the editing yourself. But learning to use professional video editing software takes time, patience, and dedication, so you need simpler software to ease you into the world of video editing. But which software should you choose?
The answer will depend on whether you just want an immediate solution that you can use without the steep learning curve of complex software, or if you plan to dedicate time in the future to learning professional editing software.
In this article, we'll be reviewing a variety of easy-to-use video editing tools grouped into two categories:
- Video editing software you can use right away to get great results
- Software to use now as an introduction to professional video editing software
But first, we'll take a look at our video editing platform, Reduct.Video, and walk you through how it makes video editing as easy as editing text (even if you have no video editing expertise).
Reduct is a high-quality video editing platform that beginners can learn to use in just a few minutes. Want to see how you can use your text editing skills to edit videos? Get a free 30-day trial of Reduct.Video to test our transcription-based video editing tools and start your first project today.
Reduct.Video: Use Your Text Editing Skills To Edit Video
Our user-friendly, online video editing platform, Reduct.Video, uses a highly accurate transcript as the basis for editing video. Simply by editing the transcript, as you would a text document, you edit the video footage. This makes it easy for beginners to get started using our software — even without watching hours of tutorials or reading long how-to documents.
Reduct.Video is specially designed for editing footage that includes lots of speech, making it ideal for testimonial videos, how-to videos, tutorials, documentaries, interviews, event highlight, video content for social media, and much more.
When you upload your footage to Reduct, our online video transcription feature converts your video's audio to text — we offer both computer and human transcription. Then, you can use the resulting transcript to review your footage and pull all of the most important moments.
You can also read our other article to learn more about our video to text transcription services and how to choose between the two transcription options.
Unlike using timeline-based video editing tools, Reduct makes it easier for you to find and extract the most important clips of footage. How?
Instead of spending hours fast-forwarding and rewinding your video to clip the exact moments you need, you can use Reduct to review your footage and highlight the important sections in the transcript as you go — our software pulls all of the highlighted sections as video clips, called Highlights — and saves them for you to download, share, or use to compose a longer video .
In Reduct, you build a highlight reel (we call it Reel) by using a drag-and-drop tool to arrange video clips into the order you want them to appear. Use clips from different video files to create a Reel, or just use Highlights from one main video source.
When you're happy with the order of your clips in the Reel, you can move on to more detailed editing to add finishing touches. Reduct lets you do this using our precise Strikethrough editing feature to remove sections of video you don't want to include in the final version of your video. Our software's video text editing features are so accurate that you can even strike through the slightest hesitations and pauses in the transcript and the corresponding video footage will be edited out.
It's also super simple to add text slides and captions to your completed video.
Our text-based approach also saves you lots of time on editing — we've found it to be up to 12 times faster than using a timeline video editing tool to do the same job. In addition, Reduct's online collaboration features make the feedback and editing process super simple, saving your entire team further time and hassle.
For more tips on editing word-based videos in Reduct, check out our post: How to Edit an Interview Video in 5 Simple Steps.
Reduct's Online Platform Simplifies Collaboration
As a video editing beginner, working with other team members and getting feedback from more experienced editors is extra important. Because our platform is entirely web-native, Reduct users can store all of their videos in the cloud and give other team members access to view, edit, download, and share their video files.
We also have a handful of collaborative features, including a new feature called Presence, that allows everyone to work on video projects together in real-time. With a collaborative video editor, there is no need to upload and download multiple files or create several versions of the same project on local computers.
Through the Reduct user interface, you can give team members permission to:
- Comment on videos
- Highlight videos
- Edit videos
- Tag and share videos
- Create projects
- Upload recordings
- Download videos
As you upload videos to Reduct, you can group related recordings in Project-Based Folders. This not only improves the organization of your video library, but it also simplifies the permissions process and makes sharing files with other teammates much easier. Instead of sharing each video file you upload, you can add other users to video folders so they can access all existing videos and any new videos you add.
Share Video Files With Anyone Through Reduct
To share your edited video projects with non-Reduct users, you can simply copy and paste your video's unique share link and send it to them via email, messenger, or workspace collaboration tool. The link also provides an interactive transcript that they can read alongside the video, search through the transcript, or skip around.
To post snippets or videos on social media, create Vimeo or Youtube videos, or publish your videos across other online channels, just download the Highlight or Reel onto your computer and upload it onto the relevant platform.
Other Video Editing Software For Quick Results
If you want to edit other types of video footage, like music or action-focused videos, or you'd like to consider other video editing software tools, we've compiled a list of some of the best.
This first list includes video editing apps and software which, like Reduct, can get you started right now creating high-quality videos. By opting for one of these, you won't have to worry about learning professional video editing software.
Apple iMovie is on Mac and iOS devices (including iPads, iPhones, and iMac computers) for users who want to put together video presentations, simple Youtube videos, and short clips. It uses simple drag and drop tools for trimming videos based on a timeline, and it gives you tools to add titles, music, and effects, including ready-made transitions, split-screen effects, and audio fade. It also has a range of video filters and sound effects.
iMovie needs to be downloaded and only lets you work on video files that are saved to your computer (or device you're using to access iMovie), which slows down the video editing process. The software has no specific collaboration tools included, and to get feedback from team members — especially those not using an iOS device — you have to download and send the file directly to each person or share it on a third-party platform.
An equivalent option for Windows users is Moviemaker, which offers very similar tools and features for PCs.
Filmora is a "simple video editor" for Windows 10 and 11 that "simplifies advanced features". Its video editing features include video effects, green screen, keyframing, motion tracking, color grading, speed control, and more. If you're looking for a video editing tool for dynamic videos, including sports footage, music videos, and fast-paced videos in general, it's a great option. Reviewers also like Filmora because it works with a wide variety of video formats.
For talk-based video content, the editing features of Filmora may be excessive, as its main focus is on fast-moving content with added trendy visual effects. The Filmora software is quite heavy and requires 10 GB of free hard-disk space, as well as 8GB of RAM for HD and 4K videos.
Camtasia is a screen recorder and video editor available for both Windows and Mac. It's advertised as quick to learn "without a big budget or fancy editing skills." Its template-based process is suitable for creating and editing video tutorials, how-to videos, YouTube videos, training videos, explainer videos, and video lessons among other uses.
Camtasia's built-in video editor is timeline-based and uses drag and drop tools to add text, transitions, and visual effects.
This software is best used for very simple video projects. Its creators suggest a three-step process of 1. Record your screen. 2. Add a few Effects. 3. Share. If all you are looking for is to add a little polish to your videos, Camtasia may be all you need. Its editing features are limited, however, so if you plan to knock up highlight reels or need to review large amounts of footage, you'll be better served with different software.
Descript is a video and audio editing software focused on editing podcasts and screen recordings. It allows users to edit both audio and video by editing text. It's described as "a multitrack audio workstation, complete with everything you need to create a podcast, from recording to rough cuts, mixing to publishing."
As its focus is recording and editing podcasts, Descript comes with comprehensive audio mixing and editing tools, which will be surplus to your needs if you are more interested in creating films or documentaries, for example.
Adobe Premiere Elements — despite being part of the Adobe range of video editing software that includes the advanced Adobe Premiere Pro — is designed with beginners in mind. It's a simpler, much more intuitive tool than its professional video editing counterpart. This timeline-based video editing software works well for quickly editing video clips using real-time 'guided edits' to add effects, overlays, transitions, and animations.
Elements, similarly to iMovie and Moviemaker, is more consumer-focused than some of the other video editing apps on this list, making it more suited to creating personal video content.
Video Editing Software As a First Step to Learning More
If you plan on learning how to use professional video editing software, like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro, it's worth taking the time to choose video editing software that will help ease you into those more robust platforms. The transition from the video editing software in the list below to a professional video editing software package will be more intuitive than if you choose software from the previous list.
Hitfilm Express is a timeline-based video editing program that's designed for beginner video editors, YouTubers, gamers, and film students. It's widely considered to be one of the best free video editors available and uses many of the same editing tools and techniques as more advanced software. It's a great starting point for progressing to pro software down the line.
Although onboarding is not as quick and simple as some of the tools described in the previous category, tutorials are available online.
Cyberlink's PowerDirector 365, gives you a wide range of video editing tools and is designed for a range of user levels, from beginner right up to pro. It's a whole suite of video editing software for Windows that you can add to in stages as you get more proficient. The base software provides a range of video templates that are quite easy to start using (after viewing some tutorials). As you get comfortable with the software, you can explore more sophisticated techniques and effects.
Pinnacle Studio is aimed at users who want to "edit like a pro." It provides many of the tools you get with pro-level video editing software, including video masking, multi-cam editing, motion tracking, split-screen video, color grading, audio editing, overlays, transitions, custom titles, and more. It comes in Standard, Plus, and Ultimate versions, allowing you to upgrade as you get increasingly proficient with its tools.
Reduct.Video: Video Editing Software You Don't Need to Learn
When choosing which video editing software to use as a beginner, consider two things:
- What kind of videos do you want to edit? Does your footage contain a lot of dialogue (i.e., interviews, documentaries, presentations) or are you putting together music, sports, dance, or lifestyle videos with little to no speech?
- Are you planning to learn pro-level software in the future?
If you're editing word-based videos and want to get going as quickly as possible, then Reduct.Video has the shortest learning curve of any of the software on our list. Its intuitive, text-based approach to video editing allows anyone who has ever edited a document to start working on video projects right away.
Plus, because it hosts your video editing projects online, Reduct works seamlessly both for Mac and Windows users, and teams that use a combination of both, improving collaborative workflow.
To get started on your first video editing project, start a free 30-day trial of Reduct.Video and experience our powerful video editing program for yourself.