Combine Video Clips (Without Complex Video Editing Software)

Peggy Pan
February 2022

Combine Video Clips (Without Complex Video Editing Software)

If you want to combine video clips into one longer clip — to create a highlight reel from different pieces of footage, for example — you have a few options.

There are traditional video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro that let you make sophisticated touch-ups and create high-quality movies from your footage — but these tools require video editing background, and making precise edits in these tools can be a cumbersome process for even the most experienced editor. If you're not already a video editor, and all you need to do is combine a few video clips, the time investment to learn advanced video software won't seem worthwhile.

Alternatively, you could opt for a basic video editing app (MovieMaker for Windows, or iMovie on Mac, for instance), but this can lead to choppy transitions between clips and affect overall video quality.

Our solution, Reduct, is a text-based video editor that transcribes your videos to text and lets you use your transcript to edit your videos. It's easy enough for a beginner video editor to learn and use without training, and our platform also integrates with more sophisticated editing tools, so it works for experienced video editors that want to save time creating a rough cut or combining video clips before making advanced touch-ups to the final video.

Below we'll walk through the five steps to combine video clips in Reduct so you can upload your first video project and start editing your footage right away.

  1. Upload Videos & Choose a Transcription Option
  2. Review Your Transcript & Highlight to Create Video Clips
  3. Drag and Drop Highlighted Text to Combine Video Clips
  4. Edit Out Pieces of Footage You Don't Want to Use
  5. Share Your Video or Export to Another Video Editor

Want to see how Reduct lets you combine video clips just by editing a transcript? Get a free trial to test our text-based video editing tools on your own footage.

How to Combine Video Clips Using Reduct.Video

As we mentioned above, Reduct is a text-based video editor, so all video editing starts with a transcript. You don't need to check timestamps, navigate timelines, or work your way through hours of tutorials, as you would with professional video editing software. You just highlight sections of text to create clips and drag-and-drop them into place to combine them — this lets you edit video 12x faster than with other video editing tools.

It's important to remember though, that Reduct is a text-based video editing tool, so it's perfect for dialogue-heavy videos like interviews. This video editing method doesn't work for other types of video content like music videos, wildlife videos, or other purely image-based footage.

If you're working with other types of video and want to learn more about beginner video editors, check out our comparison guide: 9 Best Video Editing Software for Beginners to Start Editing Now

Here is the step-by-step process of combining videos clips using Reduct.Video:

1. Upload videos & choose a transcription option.

To get started using Reduct, the first step is to add video footage to our platform. Reduct accepts any video format (mov, AVI, MP4, wmv, mkv, and more) so you don't need to convert your files before you upload videos. Reduct prompts you to categorize new videos into Project-Based Folders so you can keep an organized video library and easily share video projects with other team members.

All your new projects are stored in the cloud and you can edit videos online. Reduct also has a number of collaborative features so you can work on video edits with other team members. That means that when editing with your team you all work on the same file stored within the Reduct platform. You'll never have to upload videos and then download different versions of your files to collaborate with team members or share with external viewers.

Read More: The Best Real-Time Collaborative Video Editor for Teams

After upload, every new video file is automatically transcribed by our built-in video transcription software.

However, you can also opt for our professional transcription service and have a human transcribe your video content if your audio is hard to decipher or you want a higher-quality transcript you can trust. Let's talk more about how to choose between the two options.

transcription-method

Computer Transcription

Reduct's computer transcripts are ready in just a few minutes, so you can start editing your video clips right away.

Computer transcripts are about 85% accurate (matching the highest industry standards): They work best for really clear audio and are more prone to error when you have multiple speakers, cross talk, background noise, and footage with a lot of jargon or industry-specific words. However, Reduct's computer transcripts are fully editable so you can fix any errors as you review and pull clips.

Human Transcription

Our human transcription service is the most affordable fully human transcription service on the market starting at just $1.67 per audio minute. We offer a 24-hour turnaround for any size or length of video footage because we split the videos up into 5-minute sections and distribute them among a team of multiple transcribers. This process also ensures the content of your videos is kept completely confidential because no single person ever has access to more than a single chunk of the recording.

Our human transcripts are around 99% accurate and useful if you need a polished transcript, or captions, for customer-facing video projects.

If you need to start working on your video project right away, you still have the option of starting work using the computer-generated transcript — we provide those for everybody. Once your human transcript is ready, it will update the computer transcript and you can continue working.

See our in-depth article on recording and transcribing interviews for suggestions on how to improve the quality of your recordings with transcription in mind.

2. Review your transcript & highlight to create video clips.

As you review your transcript, use the cursor and highlight text, just as you would in any other text document, to create a video clip (a.k.a. a Highlight). Reduct is extremely accurate at matching where specific words are spoken in your video, so you don't have to worry about cutting clips at the exact right moment — our software does that for you.

You can also tag Highlights to log video footage, categorize video clips, identify patterns between recordings, and improve content analysis. This feature is particularly useful for research videos where you may need to identify and merge video clips that include related themes and concepts.

Read More: How to Transcribe Interviews for Qualitative Research

After your initial review, you can also use Reduct's search to scan back through your content for anything you might have missed — you can search by project or by recording(s) to scan back through your video library. Our advanced search capability lets you search through the transcript by both concept and specific words, allowing you to easily identify, and highlight, related pieces of video clips that you would like to combine.

Once you're finished pulling clips, you can download individual Highlights from Reduct, or you can combine video clips into a longer highlight reel.

3. Drag and drop highlighted text to combine video clips.

To combine video clips into a highlight reel (a.k.a. Reduct Reel), simply drag and drop them into the desired order. Just as our platform automatically pulls clean clips, Reduct also creates smooth transitions between Highlights so you never have to search for exact in- and out-points, or trim and re-trim tiny sections out of a timeline (as you would in Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut, for example).

Reduct Reels can be made up of footage from a single video source or from multiple video files — by using our sidebar, you can set different filters to sort and find the ones you're thinking of (such as by tag, highlighted by the same person, or by the text contained). As you add clips, you can arrange and rearrange as many times as you want until you get it right.

Reduct allows users to add text slides to their Reduct Reels to add intro and outro slides, for example. Additionally, text slides can be used to include images or graphics that add more context to the video narrative.

Note: If you plan to do further edits on your combined video clips in a professional video editing suite, you can also use Reduct to add text slides as placeholders for additional footage (b-roll, for example), information to build context, and notes on further effects (such as background music and filters).

Reduct also adds automatic captions to your reels by pulling transcript text. We offer four styles of captions so you can change how captions are displayed in different video projects. Captions make videos more inclusive by providing a readable version of the audio, as well as allowing anyone who needs to watch with the sound turned off (in a quiet workspace, for example) to follow along. If for any reason, you'd prefer not to include captions, they are optional and can be disabled with one click.

You can also download your video's SRT file if you want to translate your video transcript and create subtitles in additional languages, to increase your video's reach in other geographies.

4. Edit out content you don't want to use.

When you start editing your Reduct Reel you may find you want to edit out parts of your video clips that are irrelevant to the overall narrative and reduce the impact of your final product, such as tangents or side stories, filler words, interviewer commentary, and other unnecessary information.

To do this, select the words or phrases you don't want, and use the Strikethrough function to "delete" — just like when you edit a text document. No footage is ever permanently deleted from the Reduct platform as you do this, and it's easy to undo edits if you want to make new changes later.

5. Share your video or export it to another video editor for advanced touch-ups.

With Reduct, you don't need to physically courier hard drives, or pass on multiple versions of huge video files to anyone via Dropbox or another online repository: You can share videos online with anybody you need by creating a custom share link.

share-in-slack

Reduct generates custom share links for Reduct Reels when you click the share button. To use the link, simply copy and paste the URL into messaging apps, or workplace collaboration tools, like Slack, Trello, or Notion, for example. You can share your final videos with an unlimited number of people since we offer free sharing.

Share links give end-users direct access to your Reduct Reel and the accompanying transcript, hosted on the Reduct site. This is an almost frictionless process, and since share links automatically update anytime you edit a Reduct Reel, you know all of your viewers have access to the latest versions of your video files. Reduct share links enable an optimal viewing experience — people can click a word in the transcript to jump head, enable or disable captions, and control video speed.

To share a video natively on social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn for example, you also have the option of downloading it and then uploading it online.

To work on your video using more advanced video editing software, just click the export button. Reduct integrates directly with Adobe Premiere Pro (via extension) and Apple Final Cut Pro so you can add more advanced video editing effects to your combined video clips.

Learn more about using Reduct to modernize paper edits and speed up rough-cut video editing in our other guides.

Bonus: Online Video Storage & Team Collaboration

As we said previously, Reduct is entirely cloud-based, so every piece of footage is saved and edited online — and this makes it super easy to collaborate with team members on video editing projects.

To work with another team member on a new video project, simply add them as a user to Reduct and assign them with a 'role' that allows them to work on the project in the way you want.

See the permissions table below for the different roles that can be assigned to team members:

RoleAccessCreate projectUpload recordingTag, Edit and Share videoHighlight and Comment
EditorAll projects
Guest EditorSpecific projects by invitation onlyX
CommenterAll projectsXXX
Guest CommenterSpecific projects by invitation onlyXXX

Our Presence tool lets video editors work together in real-time by showing what every user is doing in a given video project simultaneously; this prevents users from doubling up on video editing tasks or mistakenly undoing work carried out by other team members because everyone can see the changes made as they occur.

Reduct: Take the Complexity Out of Combining Video Clips

Reduct's word-based video editing method largely reduces the complexity of combining video clips by making the process as easy as editing text. Compared with traditional video editing software, Reduct makes it much simpler and faster for you to:

  • Create video clips by highlighting transcript text.
  • Combine multiple clips from multiple sources into a single reel just by dragging and dropping text into order.
  • Remove unwanted footage by striking through text.
  • Automatically smoothing out transitions between clips.
  • Share your video unlimited times.
  • Store all your video footage and projects online.
  • Collaborate with your team in real-time.
  • Switch to Premiere Pro/Final Cut Pro for advanced polishing after the flow is built (no more tedious trimming and extracting)

As a word-based video editor, Reduct makes it easier and faster to combine video clips by letting you edit the transcript. To experience our transcription and video editing tools for yourself, get a free trial and start working on your first project right away.