OpenShot Video Editor Tutorial - A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

OpenShot Video Editor Tutorial – A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners


OpenShot is one of the best free video editors you can use to create stunning videos for Youtube, social media, or for any other use. There are other alternatives like Shotcut, Kdenlive, iMovie (for Mac), and Avidemux – All free video editors, but OpenShot is what I use most times and I really like it over many other alternatives. This post is a comprehensive guide that will guide you step-by-step from the basics to the high-end features, so you can be able to create your own professional-looking videos in minutes.

Features of OpenShot

  • OpenShot is cross-platform, it supports Linux, OS X, and Windows.
  • OpenShot supports many video, audio, and image formats.
  • Allows you to mix and edit audio.
  • It has 2D animation support (image sequences).
  • Also supports 3D animated titles (and effects).
  • Rich video editing allows for time-mapping and speed changes on clips (slow/fast, forward/backward, etc…).
  • Scroll motion picture credits.
  • Supports SVG files and allows you to create and include vector titles and credits.
  • Combine files, image overlays, watermarks.
  • Features video transitions with real-time previews.
  • Advanced Timeline (including Drag & drop, scrolling, panning, zooming, and snapping).
  • Accurate frame.
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma-key (bluescreen/greenscreen), and a lot more features.

System Requirements

Video editing requires a lot of memory that’s the most featured studded pcs are recommended. But don’t worry, OpenShot system requirements isn’t on the high-side. To get the best experience, PCs with dedicated graphics memory and SSD storage are best. The system requirement of OpenShot are;

  • 64-bit Operating System (Linux, OS X, Windows 7/8/10).
  • Multi-core processor with 64-bit support.
  • 4GB of RAM (16GB recommended).
  • 500 MB of hard-disk space for installation.
  • Optional: Solid-state drive (SSD), if utilizing disk-caching (and an additional 10GB of hard-disk space).


OpenShot is free software and as such you can redistribute or modify it according to the terms of GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License or later versions.

Downloading and Installing OpenShot

OpenShot is a cross-platform application, as such, it can run on Windows, Linus, or Mac. Downloading and installing OpenShot is very straight forward on any of the platforms as stated below. To download OpenShot, simply visit the official site of the software  to download the latest version.

  • If you’re using Linux, you can simply download and install OpenShot by following the steps below;
  1. Visit the project site above and download the AppImg file.
  2. Once the file has finished downloading, right-click on it and select executable
  3. Then double click to install the OpenShot.
  • If you’re on Mac, follow the steps below to download and install OpenShot.
  1. Visit the project link above and download the DMG file.
  2. Double click on it to install the application.
  3. Then, you drag to your application shortcut if you wish.
  • If you’re on windows, follow the steps below to download and install OpenShot.
  1. Visit the project link above, and download the windows installer executable file.
  2. Double click on it and follow the instructions on the screen to finish the installation.
  3. OpenShot icon should show on the desktop if the installation was successful.

Main Window and Overview


Let’s take a look at OpenShot work area and the functions.

OpenShot Interface
This the main window of OpenShot. The table below describes the function of each numbers.





Main Toolbar

The main tool bar contains buttons that allow you to create new project, import, undo and redo actions, save and export a completed project.


Project files window

 All imported files for your project go here.


Preview window

Here, you can preview videos as you edit.


Play buttons

Allow you to play, pulse or skip to start of video.



This is where you can add all your video clips, audio and images. From here you can create transitions, overlap and more.



The playhead shows the time and represent the playback position. It allows you to easily decide where to play video from.


Zoom slider

Allows you to adjust the time-scale for the timeline.


Edit toolbar

Allows you to add more tracks to your timeline.


Function tab

Allows you to switch from project files, to transition or effects



Allows you to filter through the list of files in project files, transition or effects.

Inbuilt Tutorial


Tracks and Layers Explained


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