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Edit Video: Shotcut

Note about this guide

This guide was created in May 2018, using Shotcut 18.03.06. This guide will not be updated for future versions. 

What is Shotcut?

  • Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor.

Download and install:

How to add media to my project?

To import media into Shotcut:

  • Open Shotcut
  • Drag and drop items into the Playlist

To start creating your video,

  • Drag and drop the item into the timeline at the bottom of the window.
  • Make sure your timeline is enabled by clicking timeline at the top of the screen or View > Timeline

How do I edit clips?

Once the clip has been added to your timeline,

  • Click on the clip (highlighted in red)
  • And you can drag the edges of the clip to shorten it (to delete content on either end of the clip).

To edit the middle portion of the clip, you will need to split the clip.

  • Click on the clip.
  • Place the white position indicator to where you want to cut the clip and then click the "Split at playhead" button

Shotcut interface indicating the split to playhead button and the position indicator

How do I add text to my video?

  • Select the clip in the timeline you'd like to add text to
  • Select filters
  • Click the +
  • There are four different filter menus. Select the one that looks like a computer screen.
  • Scroll down and select text.
  • The time code is the default, but scroll down and you can replace the text with whatever you'd like.
  • You can also change
    • size
    • colour
    • font
    • outline + thickness
    • background
    • padding
  • You can drag it around the screen to find the right placement or use the controls at the bottom of the box to reposition the text.
  • When you are finished, click the + again

How do I make the text only appear on some parts of the video

To control when and where text appears in your video, you need to create multiple clips.

  • If you only want intro text for the first 5 second, but your clip is 10 seconds long, you will need to split the clip using the "Split to playhead" button explained above.
  • Once you have split the clip, you can go back into the text filter and de-select the text.
  • You can add new text using the instructions outlined in the box above.

Shotcut interface highlighting the text filter

How do I get my text to fade in and out?

To have your text fade in and out on screen, you need to layer your video clips.

  1. Place the indicator where you'd like your text to begin.
  2. Then split the clip.
  3. Add a new video track by clicking the menu icon and selecting "Add new video track". This track will appear above the first track.
  4. Paste the clip into the new track, and align the clip over the first clip.
  5. Select the clip in Track 2 and add the text filter (see above for instructions on how to add text).
  6. You can get the text to fade in and out, but selecting the clip
    1. Click "Filters";
    2. Click the "+" symbol
    3. Select the * tab at the bottom of the filters tab
    4. Select "Fade in Video"
      1. Then select "Adjust opacity instead of fade to black"

Shotcut interface displaying the fade in options.

How do I add an audio track to my project?

  • You will need to add an audio track to your timeline
  • Click on the three horizontal lines on the left (menu) and select "Add Audio Track"
  • You can then drag and drop an audio track from your playlist into your timeline.

NOTE: if you are editing your video, this will impact the audio as well. You can save your audio by locking it. Click the lock icon on left side of the audio track so avoid inadvertent deletions.

How do I add transitions?

  • Add transitions between clips, by slightly dragging one clip over the other in the timeline.
  • The transition looks like an X
  • You can change the style of the transition by selecting it on the timeline, clicking filter and then the + and testing the options.

How do I create an intro slide for my video?

To create a title slide or still image for your video, create the image in Powerpoint or other presentation tool. Once you have finished the design:

  • Select all the individual objects, right click and select "Group"
  • Then right click and select "Save as Picture"
  • You can then drag and drop the file into the playlist and add it to your timeline.

How do I export my video?

Once you are finished editing your video,

  1. Select Export from the men u bar across the top
  2. Ignore the first column to the left (Custom), and select the file format from the second column (usually mp4).
  3. Click Export File at the bottom and give you file a name (make sure you keep the .mp4 at the end of the file name)
  4. Do not close Shotcut right away. It will take a few minutes for the file to export.

Shotcut interface highlighting the buttons to click to export your video.

Resources to help with creating your video

Link to Guide: Edit Video: iMovieLink to Guide: Make an Animated VideoLink to Guide: Find audio and images for remixing

Suggest an edit to this guide

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.