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The best video editing software for YouTube provides powerful tools and an interface that doesn’t get in the way of your creativity. Whether you’re producing unboxing videos, product reviews, sketch comedy routines, short films, or news reports, solid editing transforms raw footage into content that gets the views and Likes.  There was a time when…

is the best video editing software for YouTube production

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YouTube’s best video editing software offers powerful tools and an interface that allows you to express yourself creatively. Solid editing can transform raw footage into something that people like and shares, whether you are making unboxing videos or product reviews.

There was a time that professional editing software was too expensive for home users. But today, almost any YouTuber can access systems with enough power and speed to create the next viral sensation.

How we selected the best video editing software for YouTube

In picking our best video editing software for YouTube, we looked at 10 of the top products and evaluated their editing tools, titling and graphics options, how the software handles audio, and selections of transitions and effects. We also paid close attention to the types of files they can import and play, as well as the video formats and resolutions that they output. To determine if any limitations were significant, we examined each software and then assessed their ease of use. If no one knows how to use the software, even the best software, it doesn’t matter what.

Our evaluations are based on direct testing by editors and conversations with industry professionals. To get an idea of the opinions of editors with different levels of experience, we also reviewed reviews from users.

We tested the software as if we were using it on professional projects. We often imported footage from TV and movie productions. These files were then cut into trailers and sequences. We did not skimp on titles and effects. Our files were exported using YouTube’s recommended parameters as well as settings to deliver higher-end videos.

Things to consider before picking the best video editing software for YouTube

Any video editing program can produce professional results. However, not all programs are right for everyone. Before you make a purchase, here are some questions to consider.

Are you a beginner?

If you have never edited video before, you might consider using software that hides or removes advanced features to allow you to focus on the basics. Great content doesn’t require 100 layers of video and an endless supply of effects. Many Hollywood icons were cut with what was basically a razor blade.

Mac or PC?

Make sure that the software is compatible with your system. Many of the most popular programs can be used on both Windows and Mac computers. There are some exceptions, such as Final Cut or iMovie which can only be used on Macs.

Want to edit on your mobile device?

With any modern smartphone, Android or iPhone, you can easily shoot stunning 4K video and upload it to YouTube. Why send it to a computer to be edited when there are many apps that can turn your smartphone into a complete production studio? Editing apps can be lifesavers if you work in the field.

How fancy are your YouTube videos?

Experienced editors will be able to take advantage of multiple layers, complex effects, transitions, powerful composition tools, titling, graphics and advanced output options in professional editing software. The basic programs won’t be enough for you or will cost you more if you need to send it off for advanced work.

What’s your budget?

Most editing software requires payment to unlock all features and remove watermarks. Tiered subscriptions protect your wallet and only allow you to pay for the features that you will actually use. The free options allow you to test before you commit.

The best video editing software for YouTube: Reviews & Recommendations

Best video editing software for YouTube beginners (Windows): NCH VideoPad

Why it made it the cut : VideoPad has the best video editing software to help youtube beginners. It features an intuitive interface, many of the most essential editing tools, and a price structure that keeps it affordable.

Specs

  • Cost: Tiered subscription
  • Mobile or Desktop: Desktop
  • Platform: Windows and macOS (with limited features)

Pros

  • Easy to learn
  • Tiered pricing, including a limited free version
  • Excellent video stabilization

Cons

  • Free version includes repetitive notifications
  • Poor automatic speech-to-text subtitles

NCH Software’s VideoPad Editor stands out as a simple-to-use program that doesn’t skimp on the tools editors use most. While other software may offer more features and functionality, they can be overwhelming for beginners. VideoPad for Windows is an easy-to-upgrade video editor that allows users to add new features.

The traditional layout uses familiar modules. Bins can store clips, still images, and music. The timeline lets you string together the assets. The final project is displayed in the viewer. The viewer displays the final project. You can even edit 360-degree video.

Overlays are graphics and text that use the same drag-and drop system. This makes it easy to add logos and identifications on-screen. Third-party plugins can be added to the Masters Edition, which increases the software’s effects as well as its transition library.

VideoPad creates files in resolutions ranging from 480p to 4K. It can output directly to YouTube and other social media, as well as sites like Dropbox, Vimeo, and Google Drive. Files can be saved to either the desktop or a folder on an external or internal hard drive.

Best video editing software for YouTube beginners (macOS): Apple iMovie

Why it was selected : Almost every Mac and iOS device comes with iMovie. This makes it easy for Apple users, who can start editing video quickly and easily without having to spend a dime.

Specs

  • Cost: Free
  • Mobile or Desktop: Both
  • Platform: macOS, iOS

Pros

  • Included on every new Apple product
  • Simple interface
  • Powerful color-matching and green-screen tools
  • Excellent tools for audio

Cons

  • No 360-degree video editing
  • Only two video tracks
  • No multicam capabilities

If you own a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, you’ve already got iMovie–why not learn to edit on it before diving into deeper waters? Apple’s universal software is the best for video editing. It is simple to use and has intuitive drag-and drop functionality that will help you quickly create your YouTube videos. For anyone who is interested in Apple’s full-featured editing software, Final Cut X it can be used as a stepping stone.

The iMovie interface is simple and only shows the tools you require when you need them. The standard layout has three panes. It includes your source material, video content and a timeline. Although the software has only two video tracks, most editors will be able to use it, the software is easier for beginners to concentrate on the basics of creating a compelling story.

Editing is easy in iMovie. You can easily preview your footage by hovering the mouse over a clip in Media View. Drag a clip to the timeline and it will automatically link up with other clips. Drag their backs or fronts to trim or expand your clips. Clips lock together securely so that you can move entire chunks of material without worrying about losing a part.

Apple offers powerful tools for color correction and green-screen keying. There are also time effects and other esoteric options. iMovie can handle different types of footage, including 4K resolutions. After the editing is complete, it will output all common file formats. Your video can be shared directly to YouTube, Vimeo or your iTunes Library. Or, you can save it to your PC to upload to other websites.

Best YouTube editor for Mac: Adobe Premiere Pro

Why it was selected : Adobe Premiere Pro, an industry-standard editing platform that can cut YouTube videos and Hollywood blockbusters, is our choice for best YouTube editor for Mac.

Specs

  • Cost: $20.99-$31. 49/month (Included with Creative Cloud subscription)
  • Desktop or Mobile: Desktop
  • Platform: macOS, Windows

Pros

  • Interfaces seamlessly with other Adobe Creative Cloud apps
  • Full set of industry-standard, professional editing tools
  • Can output virtually any type of audio or video file
  • Highly adjustable effects and transitions

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Requires a powerful computer

Adobe Premiere Pro is cross-platform, professional editing software that provides all the tools to cut YouTube videos, Hollywood features, music videos, educational shorts, or anything else you can watch on a screen. Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription includes Photoshop, Illustrator and AfterEffects (motion graphics), as well as many other programs that seamlessly interface with Premiere Pro.

Premiere PRO allows you to create unlimited audio and video tracks. The only limit is your computer’s GPU and CPU. Nearly all parameters can be adjusted, including length, speed and scale as well as position, rotation, transparency, scale, scale, scaling, position, rotation and scale. Add text to your clip? You can add text with the included editor, which includes layout and design tools.

The software offers a wide range of effects and transitions. It also has powerful image stabilization and advanced colour correction. It also supports most third-party plugins. You can add effects to individual clips, or adjust layers that transform entire sequences.

Premiere Pro can import and play almost any video file. It also provides media management tools that help you keep track of everything. It can export videos in any format, resolution or size. This makes it possible to optimize your content for playback via YouTube or other streaming services like BluRay or local multiplexes.

Premiere Pro is a difficult program to learn, especially for new editors. The program’s standard layout will make it easy for experienced YouTubers to grasp the basics. Adobe’s website provides detailed tutorials and YouTube is flooded with how-to videos.

Best YouTube video editor for PC: Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 17

Why it was chosen : Professional tools, industry-standard color graders, and a cost of zero dollars make DaVinci Resolve an attractive choice for YouTubers. It is also our choice for the best Youtube video editor on a computer.

Specs

  • Cost: Free
  • Desktop or Mobile: Desktop
  • Platform: Windows, macOS

Pros

  • Full set of professional editing tools
  • Includes Hollywood’s go-to color correcting system
  • The “Cut” page allows for fast edits and quick turnarounds
  • Free version has everything most editors need

Cons

  • Extra effect filters cost money
  • Upgrading to DaVinci Resolve Studio is expensive

Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve started life as a color-grading system used by most TV networks and production companies. The industry was astonished when the company announced that it would be adding a complete suite of editing tools. Now, 17 versions later, that software has become a tool used regularly by editors in and outside of Hollywood.

Resolve is a program that combines all aspects of post-production, including media management, editing, color correction and audio mixing. Although all these tools have a learning curve, Blackmagic has always been focused on user experience. While the interface may not be intuitive, you can easily get used to it after watching some tutorials.

The software has all the necessary editing tools, transitions and effects. It also offers highly customizable speed ramping, excellent tools to create picture-in-picture videos and excellent tools to make them. It’s no surprise that the software’s color-correcting tools rank among the top in the world, given their history. Resolve’s Cut page is one of its most valuable features. It provides editors with a simplified timeline as well as tools to create content faster when deadlines are approaching.

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