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13 Best Video Editing Software Tools For Beginners (2023)

Video editing is complex and time-consuming. These beginner-friendly tools can help you get started with a video editing workflow.

13 Best Video Editing Software Tools For Beginners (2023)

Video editing has a steep learning curve.

Many of the best feature-complete tools have complex user interfaces (UIs) and require advanced knowledge to use them effectively. They can also be hefty investments.

In evaluating beginner tools, I focused on two core areas: user-friendliness and price.

Some of the tools on the list are a bit more expensive, but they could be worth the price for their features and support.

Others are entirely free but more difficult to use. The higher learning curve could be worth it if you’re willing to invest time in the tool.

It doesn’t make sense to spend much on a tool until you’ve developed preferences for functions and UI elements.

Let’s look at some of the best places to start.

1. Adobe Premiere Elements

  • Price: $99.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS.
  • Experience Necessary: Beginner to intermediate.

Adobe is the gold standard in creative tools, and Premiere Pro is an industry-standard video editor.

Premiere Elements is an easier-to-use program targeted toward non-professional consumers.

The Elements family of software exists outside of Adobe’s Creative Cloud so you can purchase them individually without a subscription.

If you or your business is already subscribed to Creative Cloud, it might make more sense to try out Premiere Pro.

Premiere Elements comes with a price tag but gives you access to powerful features, such as:

  • Automated artificial intelligence (AI) editing functions.
  • Guided edits inside the program.
  • Templates.
  • Audio track library.

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

  • Price: $20.99 per month for individuals, $35.99 for businesses.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS.
  • Experience Necessary: Intermediate.

No list of video editing programs, even a beginner list, would be complete without Premiere Pro.

It has a much higher learning curve than Premiere Elements but does feature built-in tutorials to help you get started.

One of the biggest benefits of using Adobe is the Creative Cloud suite of software. It has an app for pretty much any creative task, and many of them integrate with one another.

You can add dedicated animation software to your subscription and use it alongside Premiere Pro, for example.

Much like VEGAS Pro, Premiere Pro likely offers the most advanced and powerful features compared to other programs in this list.

While it does offer helpful tutorials and videos, it’s quite complex. I wouldn’t suggest going right for Premiere Pro as a complete beginner.

The Adobe suite is, generally, for more advanced users who have honed their creative skills. But if you’re starting a creative journey and want access to various powerful tools, Adobe is worth a look.

If you’re already subscribed to Creative Cloud for another program, you can add Premiere Pro to your subscription to access capabilities  like:

  • Export directly to social platforms.
  • Edit any format of a video file.
  • Automated color matching and correction.
  • AI tools.
  • Speech-to-text automatic captioning.
  • Motion effects and keyframe animation.
  • Robust sound panel for audio editing and effects.
  • Integration with other Adobe creative apps; add animation, image editing, and visual effects software to your plan as needed.
  • Stock images, video, and audio.
  • Motion graphics templates.

3. Animaker

  • Price: From $10 per month.
  • Platform: Browsers, iOS.
  • Experience Necessary: None.

Animaker is probably the most beginner-friendly tool on this list. You can create entire animations with easy click-and-drag functionality, as well as edit live videos.

If you need to produce short-form video content quickly and easily, this might be your go-to.

You can build animated characters, backgrounds, and text with a few button presses. And with lip-synching and motion features, it’s easy to make smooth, professional animations.

Key capabilities:

  • Create animations from scratch.
  • Easy-to-use interface and tools.
  • Apply effects, audio tracks, transitions, etc., to animations and live-action videos.
  • 100 million+ stock image, video, and GIF assets.

4. Clipchamp

  • Price: Free or $11.99 per month.
  • Platform: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome browsers.
  • Experience Necessary: Beginner.

Clipchamp operates inside your browser, which makes it easy to access on the go but limits its power. Professionals will outgrow it quickly.

The core features of the program are free, including audio, video, and image stock.

Access to more advanced stock and editing features is gated behind the subscription. You can still use those features on a free account, but your video will be watermarked.

One of Clipchamp’s coolest features is its integration with different video platforms. It’s easy to create videos pre-formatted for YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest videos, as well as Instagram and Facebook ads.

Key capabilities:

  • Screen and camera recorder.
  • Preformatted exports for different platforms.
  • Templates and video, audio, and image libraries.
  • AI text-to-speech voiceovers.

5. DaVinci Resolve

  • Price: Free or $295.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux.
  • Experience Necessary: Intermediate.

DaVinci Resolve boasts a complete set of professional post-production tools.

It’s used by pros in Hollywood and offers everything from visual effects to transitions, animations, and audio post-production tools.

While it’s flexible with intuitive controls and training courses, it’s likely overwhelming for a beginner.

Trying to learn a complete workstation might not be ideal; Unless you’re jumping into complex video production right away, it probably features many tools that you won’t need.

There is a paid version of the software that you can grow into, but you likely won’t need it unless you’re committing to the platform as an advanced professional.

Key capabilities:

  • Color correction.
  • Node-based 2D and 3D effects.
  • Keyframe animation.
  • Effects and transitions library.
  • Audio editor, plugins, and effects library (including Foley sounds).
  • Audio recording.
  • Cloud collaboration on projects.
  • Complete, advanced video editing suite.

6. Hitfilm

  • Price: Free, $8.99 per month, or $12.99 per month.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS.
  • Experience Necessary: Beginner to intermediate.

Hitfilm boasts ease of use for any skill level. It features enough guided and templated content to make things easy for beginners, plus advanced tools to experiment with as you learn.

Hitfilm’s transitions and presets are easy to drag and drop on your timeline; It leans into intuitive, fast, easy-to-use tools.

You may find it less customizable than some other software in the list, but it’s more powerful than the Apple and Microsoft native tools.

Key capabilities:

  • Stock library, including footage, images, sound effects, and music.
  • Easy drag-and-drop functionality with presets and templates.
  • Color grading presets.
  • Plugins for visual effects, 3D animation, and motion tracking.

7. iMovie

  • Price: Free.
  • Platform: iOS, macOS.
  • Experience Necessary: None.

iMovie is Apple’s answer to a consumer-level movie editor. It boasts powerful features coupled with an interface Apple users will be familiar with.

It’s one of the most beginner-friendly programs on the list, but you might find that you outgrow it quickly.

Key capabilities:

  • Cross-functional between iOS and macOS. Edit the same video on multiple devices.
  • User-friendly effects, templates, filters, and other ready-to-use features.
  • Audio track library.

8. InVideo

  • Price: Free, $15 per month, $30 per month.
  • Platform: Browser, Android, iOS.
  • Experience Necessary: None.

InVideo is another tool perfect for beginners who don’t want to wade into the complexity of timelines, tracks, and advanced tools.

It’s a template-based program that works in your browser. It’s easy to customize templates for your liking, plus it’s got tons of stock and tools to make the process quick.

Being a browser app, it will be much less powerful than the in-depth software titles on this list. But that’s fine if you’re not looking for a tool with advanced use cases.

Like Animaker, it’s integrated with stock platforms to access stock images, videos, and audio.

The templates are organized into specific platforms and use cases, plus you can watch in-depth tutorials on the website.

Key capabilities:

  • Easy-to-use browser and app editor.
  • Many pre-formatted, well-organized templates to get you started quickly.
  • Plenty of shortcuts and quick functions.
  • AI tools.
  • Millions of stock files.
  • Cloud collaboration.

9. Media Composer

  • Price: Free or $23.99 per month.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS.
  • Experience Necessary: Beginner to intermediate.

Media Composer is a powerful tool with several different versions, from a free version for beginners to an enterprise software suite.

This program will have a higher learning curve than others, but the website offers a series of free tutorial videos.

It also offers practice footage that you can download and follow along with, making the learning process smooth.

As with other programs that offer multiple subscription tiers, you can grow into this software.

Start with the free version, and upgrade as you need more features. You’re less likely to outgrow it and have to learn a whole new program.

Key capabilities:

  • Video effects and stabilizers.
  • Audio effects.
  • Upgradable plan.
  • Advanced color correction.
  • Custom keyboard mapping.

10. OpenShot

  • Price: Free.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux.
  • Experience Necessary: Beginner to intermediate.

OpenShot is seriously underrated. It’s open source and free.

It doesn’t feature as much guided automation as some of the other tools on the list, so it may have a higher learning curve. However, it’s much more powerful and customizable – and there’s a comprehensive user guide if you get stuck.

As you get more familiar with video editing, you can learn advanced tools like the keyframe animation framework, audio editing features, and others.

Even professionals should find almost everything they need. This is a program you can grow into and learn new features as you need them.

Key capabilities:

  • Advanced timeline tools.
  • Video effects engine.
  • 3D animations.
  • Keyframe animations.
  • Unlimited layers and tracks.
  • Title templates.

11. PowerDirector 365

  • Price: Limited free version, starts at $4.33 per month.
  • Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android.
  • Experience Necessary: None.

PowerDirector positions itself as a “no experience necessary” video editor. There’s a free version you can try, but you’ll likely need to purchase a license to use it effectively.

This software features a large assortment of AI visual effects tools, blending tools, keyframe tools, and color tools.

It also offers a huge library of stock images, videos, and audio, as well as premade titles, transitions, templates, and animations.

There are also plugins for recording and livestreaming.

If you’re a beginner, you can use pre-made assets from start to finish to create a professional final product. Drop in customizable titles, intro templates, and animations.

Key capabilities:

  • Speech to text in multiple languages.
  • Recording and livestreaming.
  • Easy-to-use templates, animations, and transitions.
  • Huge library of stock.
  • AI audio and visual effects.

12. Shotcut

  • Price: Free.
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux.
  • Experience Necessary: Beginner to intermediate.

Shotcut is open source and free, much like OpenShot.

Open-source tools tend to offer the best customization, but they take a little more work to learn and set up the way you like them. They’re also your best options if you’re a Linux user.

Shotcut features customizable UI layouts that you can save and switch between.

Once you get comfortable with the program, you can create different layouts for different tasks.

You can search for features and edit keyboard shortcuts. After a while, you’ll be able to perform tasks extremely quickly.

Key capabilities:

  • Mix different resolutions and framerates on a single timeline.
  • Supports native editing in many different formats (less converting/importing files).
  • Webcam and audio capture.
  • 4k resolutions.
  • JSON animations.
  • Video effects and filters.
  • Audio filters.

13. VEGAS Pro

  • Price: From $12.99 per month.
  • Platform: Windows.
  • Experience Necessary: Intermediate.

VEGAS Pro is one of the most advanced and powerful tools on the list. Just like Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, and other complex editors, it may not be ideal for a complete beginner.

VEGAS Pro does provide tutorials, and it boasts the best versions of most of the features of anything else in this list.

It features AI filters and tools and a range of supported formats for native editing, effects, transitions, titles, color correction, and video repair. It has all the bells and whistles.

It can also export in social media-friendly formats and upload directly to YouTube and Vimeo.

Key capabilities:

  • Preset filter effects, transitions, and titles.
  • Direct upload.
  • Motion tracking.
  • Color correction.
  • Video repair and stabilization.
  • Complete, advanced editing suite.


Everyone was a beginner once.

Before you pick your video tool, you need to decide what kind of beginner you are.

Do you need a quick and easy solution because you don’t have the time or resources for in-depth editing? Then you may want to pick one of the less powerful tools, even if it comes with a price tag.

Are you a beginner looking for a tool to commit to and that you can grow into as you learn? You may want to pick one of the more powerful tools with multiple subscription tiers.

Are you the kind of beginner who loves to learn how to hack your workflows and customize everything? Try open-source software.

More Resources:

Featured Image: DC Studio/Shutterstock

Andrea Atzori

Andrea Atzori is a digital marketing expert and the co-founder and director of Ambire, an award-winning digital marketing agency based ...

13 Best Video Editing Software Tools For Beginners (2023)

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