Choosing the Best Video Editing Software for Your Needs

Video editing software allows you to turn raw footage into polished videos to share online or with clients. With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky finding the right video editor for your skill level and needs. This guide examines 10 top tools to consider across budgets and experience levels.

Key Factors in Selecting Video Editing Software

When evaluating video editing programs, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Learning curve: How easy is the interface to navigate, especially for beginners?
  • Key features: Does the tool have all the functionality you need like multi-track editing, effects, transitions, etc.?
  • System requirements: Will the software run smoothly on your computer setup?
  • Price: Are you looking for free, cheap, mid-range or professional production software?
  • Compatibility: Does the video editor work on your operating system (Mac, Windows, Linux)?

Balancing these factors will help you zero in on an editor aligned with your goals, skills, and resources.

Overview: Best Video Editing Software Options

Here is a quick comparison of 10 top tools for video editing:

SoftwarePriceSkill LevelOperating SystemStrengths
FilmoraFreemiumBeginnersWindows, MacIntuitive interface, useful effects
Premiere RushFreemiumBeginnersWindows, Mac, iOS, AndroidOptimized for mobile editing
DaVinci ResolveFreeIntermediateWindows, Mac, LinuxExcellent color correction tools
VSDCFreeIntermediateWindowsWide format support, multi-track editing
LightworksFreemiumIntermediateWindows, Mac, LinuxUsed to edit Hollywood movies
KdenliveFreeIntermediateWindows, Mac, LinuxGreat transparency effects
Premiere ProPaidAdvancedWindows, MacIndustry leader for professionals
Final Cut ProPaidAdvancedMacOptimized for Mac, powerful features
Vegas ProPaidAdvancedWindowsRobust audio editing capabilities
Avid Media ComposerPaidAdvancedWindows, MacCollaborative workflow features

The sections below provide an overview of each software’s stand-out qualities. Consider downloading free trials to test tools likely to meet your needs.

Best Video Editors for Beginners


Filmora is a versatile introductory video editor with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Useful features include video effects, animated texts, transitions, and audio separation to refine soundtracks. Their unlimited free trial lets you test all functions.

Key Strengths:

  • Easy learning curve
  • Filters, overlays, titles *Chroma key for green screen
  • Auto beat sync feature
  • Supportive community forums

Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush facilitates quick video edits optimized for social sharing. You can access projects across devices via the cloud. It offers broad compatibility with iOS and Android mobile apps.

Key Highlights:

  • Cloud-based collaboration
  • Mobile-friendly editing
  • Handy templates
  • Direct publish to YouTube or social
  • Strong integrations across Adobe Creative Cloud

Best Intermediate Editors

DaVinci Resolve

The free version of DaVinci Resolve is an exceptional value for ambitious video editing. You get multi-cam editing, Fusion visual effects (VFX), color correction and Fairlight audio tools.

Key Attributes:

  • High-quality color grading
  • 2D/3D visual effects
  • Support for 4K to 8K footage
  • Real-time collaboration


VSDC is a full-featured yet simple non-linear video editing suite. It handles a wide array of video formats. The software is very responsive even with large HD videos thanks to 64-bit architecture.

Major Assets:

  • Multi-track timeline editing
  • Wide format compatibility
  • Masking tools
  • Extensive visual effects
  • Hardware acceleration


Veteran video editor Lightworks offers a free version with pro features like multicam editing and timeline templates. A paid pro version unlocks advanced tools and export options. It has edited Hollywood blockbusters like Pulp Fiction, LA Confidential, Heat and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Core Competencies:

  • Used to cut major movies
  • Intuitive interface
  • Great trimming features
  • Real-time effects


Kdenlive is an open source, freely licensed video editor that works on Linux, Windows and Mac. It supports an extensive range of formats and interfaces well with external audio editors.

Principal Strengths:

  • Multi-track video editor
  • Extensive effects and transitions
  • Good keyframing functionality
  • Screen recording capability
  • Active community support

Best Professional Video Editors

Premiere Pro

As the industry-leading video editor from Adobe, Premiere Pro offers a polished workflow for professionals. Smooth integrations with other Adobe CC apps make it a versatile creative suite for image editors, audio engineers and graphics professionals collaborating on video projects.

Core Proficiencies:

  • Industry standard tool
  • Integration with After Effects and Photoshop
  • Responsive real-time editing
  • Heads-up displays (HUDs)
  • Robust proxy workflows

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro is optimized to harness the power of Mac’s metal architecture for accelerated performance. It facilitates team collaboration with integrated libraries and events. The magnetic timeline helps automatically manage clips and keep everything synced.

Principal Assets:

  • Metal engine optimized for Mac
  • Magnetic timeline
  • Intelligent libraries & events
  • Transcoding engine background processes
  • Third-party extensions available

Vegas Pro

Vegas Pro stands out with its audio editing capabilities. You can edit multi-track audio using amplitude envelopes and pan/crop effects. Great workflow customization through scripting.

Core Competencies:

  • Advanced audio editing tools
  • Support for VST audio plug-ins
  • Efficient ripple editing mode
  • Scripting to automate workflows
  • GPU accelerated

Avid Media Composer

Avid Media Composer facilitates efficient team-based workflows for major movie and TV productions. It is renowned for collaborative editing and meeting the most demanding technical requirements at the enterprise level.

Principal Strengths:

  • Collaboration features
  • Distributed workflows
  • Support for shared storage
  • Used to edit primetime TV shows and box office hits
  • Comprehensive toolset

Key Takeaways on Video Editing Software

  • Evaluate video editing tools on price, features, compatibility, learning curves and needs
  • Beginners benefit from an intuitive interface to grasp basic principles
  • Intermediate users need key capabilities like audio/video effects, multicam editing and transitions
  • Professionals require efficiencies like GPU acceleration, HUDs and collaboration
  • Test video editors thoroughly with free trials before purchasing
  • Experiment with a few tools to determine the best program for your style

With the right video editing software, you can give your homemade and professional videos a polished look to proudly share with the world. Download a few free trials to get hands-on and gain editing prowess over time through practice. Soon you’ll be cutting slick videos like a pro!