Free editing tools can help you polish your content without spending an extra dime. Since you’re not investing anything upfront, take the time to try some of the more popular tools out there. Features and interface vary by program, so use your practice runs to determine which ones work best for you.
Windows Movie Maker
Available for free to PC users, Windows Movie Maker is a basic editing program that you can use to add music, credits, captions, simple effects and basic transitions to your content. The drop and drag interface makes it easy to string clips together into one video. You’re able to save video locally or upload directly onto Facebook, Youtube and a few other social media websites within the program.
Avidemux is an open source program with ongoing improvements and changes added by actual users. With Avidemux, you’re able to trim and join video clips, apply useful filters, such as sharpen and noise removal and many fine-tune options not available from other free editing titles. Since Avidemux offers a little more, you will have to spend some time learning how it works in order to use the software to its full potential.
Kate’s Video Toolkit
While Kate’s Video Toolkit doesn’t have as many features as Windows Movie Maker, it’s very easy to use. You can merge clips, add soundtracks and convert file formats with just a few clicks.
VirtualDub definitely has a major limitation, as it only works 100 percent with files in the AVI format. But if you’re willing to convert content in other formats to AVI and play around with it a little, you’ll find VirtualDub does have a lot of useful features.
Using VirtualDub, you’ve got an open interface that makes it easy to trim content and access to a lot of filters, including rotation at other than 90-degree angles, color, contrast and brightness controls and resizing.
Available plugins give VirtualDub even more features, but you do have to spend some time learning how it works given the lengthy menu choices.
Lightworks offers an amazing array of editing tools, but unexperienced users may find it difficult to use. The Lightworks program was designed with professional video makers in mind, so the interface can be a bit intimidating to novice users. Features such as a timeline, support for multi-cams and a myriad of controls make Lightworks one of the most advanced free editing tools currently available.