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5 Best Open-Source Video Editors in 2023

Last Updated on Apr. 28, 2023 – by David Morgan
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Best Open Source Video Editor

Video editing is an essential part of content creation, but not everyone has the budget for expensive software. Luckily, there are several open-source video editing software options available that are completely free and provide professional-level tools. 

In this article, we’ll look at the 5 best open-source video editors for 2023.

Top 3 Free Video Editors Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector - Best Free Video Editor

Despite not being an open-source platform, PowerDirector undoubtedly stands out as the finest video editing software on the market. As PCMag's top-ranked video editor, PowerDirector empowers users to effortlessly produce videos with studio-grade AI tools, customizable templates, engaging animated titles, and eye-catching visual effects. Detailed Review >

Shotcut Logo

2. Shotcut - Best for Green Screen Effects

Shotcut is a versatile, open-source video editor boasting unique features like blending modes, audio filters, and batch encoding. Its exceptional green screen capabilities make it perfect for chroma key editing, setting it apart from other free options. Detailed Review >

OpenShot Logo

3. OpenShot - Best for Intermediate Editors

OpenShot is a robust, watermark-free video editor suitable for intermediate users seeking professional-grade videos. With keyframes, chroma-key effects, transitions, and text tools, its adaptable interface caters to diverse skill levels, offering both basic and advanced views. Detailed Review >

PowerDirector - Best Overall Free Video Editor

PowerDirector 365 Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

PCMag Rating: 5/5

Pricing: Free
*Premium subscription available for $4.33/month

Key Features:

  • Effortless aspect ratio modifications
  • Advanced chroma key/green screen effects
  • Smart object detection and sky replacement
  • Extensive royalty-free stock library

Who It’s For 

PowerDirector is a feature-rich free video editor designed to cater to users of all levels, providing everything needed to produce professional-grade videos right from your desktop or laptop. The software stands out among other free video editing options, offering high-end editing capabilities and rapid rendering in an intuitive interface.

Why We Picked It

With its user-friendly design, PowerDirector enables even novice editors to create stunning, cinematic productions with ease. This free video editor comes packed with a variety of AI-enhanced effects, such as object detection, motion tracking, sky replacement, and more, streamlining the editing process and saving you time.

Bottom Line 

Once you've mastered your video editing skills using PowerDirector, you can opt for the premium version to export your creations without watermarks. Combining an impressive array of features with simple navigation, PowerDirector stands out as the top free video editor available.

  • Easy-to-use interface for beginners
  • Robust, professional-grade editing tools
  • Regular updates and improvements
  • Subscription required for stock content use

Give PowerDirector a try today by downloading and installing the free version below, and experience the versatility of this outstanding editing software for yourself.

5 Best Open-Source Video Editors in 2023

1. Shotcut - Best for Green Screen Effects

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Key Features:

  • Blending modes for creative effects
  • Comprehensive audio filters
  • Efficient batch encoding
  • Exceptional green screen capabilities

Who It’s For 

Shotcut is an open-source, free video editor that caters to users seeking a versatile solution for crafting professional-grade videos on their desktop or laptop. The software distinguishes itself from other free alternatives by offering advanced editing features and an easy-to-use interface.

Why We Picked It

Shotcut's intuitive design allows even beginners to produce captivating, cinematic content with ease. The editor includes various powerful tools not commonly found in free programs, such as blending modes, audio filters, and batch encoding. Its outstanding green screen options make it perfect for those with chroma key effects.

Bottom Line 

Master video editing with Shotcut, and enjoy its extensive features without worrying about watermarks. The software's impressive toolset and user-friendly navigation make it a top choice for anyone needing a free video editor.

  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Advanced, professional editing tools
  • Consistent updates and enhancements
  • No stock content library included

2. OpenShot - Best for Intermediate Editors

OpenShot Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Key Features:

  • Watermark-free video editing
  • Keyframes for precise animation control
  • Chroma-key effects for seamless compositing
  • Customizable transitions and text tools

Who It’s For 

OpenShot is a free, open-source video editor designed for intermediate editors aiming to create professional-quality videos. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, it offers a variety of editing tools to accommodate users with diverse skill levels.

Why We Picked It

OpenShot's adaptive interface enables users to navigate effortlessly between simple and advanced views, catering to their experience level. The editor boasts an extensive range of features, including keyframes, chroma-key effects, transitions, and text tools, making it a versatile choice for video creators.

Bottom Line 

OpenShot delivers a comprehensive editing experience without watermarks, empowering users to craft polished videos. Its flexible interface and wide array of features make it an excellent choice for editors with different skill levels.

  • Intuitive interface for various skill levels
  • Comprehensive editing tools
  • Frequent updates and improvements
  • Learning curve for beginners

3. Kdenlive - Best for Advanced Editing

Kdenlive Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Key Features:

  • Multi-track editing for complex projects
  • Customizable layouts for personalized workflows
  • Advanced color correction capabilities
  • Broad support for file formats and codecs

Who It’s For 

Kdenlive is a free, open-source video editor designed for users seeking professional-grade video editing solutions on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The software offers many advanced tools, making it an excellent choice for complex projects.

Why We Picked It

Kdenlive stands out with its customizable layouts, enabling users to tailor their workspace to their preferences. The editor features a comprehensive suite of tools, including multi-track editing and color correction, and extensive support for various file formats and codecs.

Bottom Line 

Kdenlive is a versatile, professional-level video editor that provides a wide array of advanced features without cost. It's adaptability and powerful editing capabilities make it an outstanding choice for serious video creators.

  • Adaptable interface for customized workflows
  • Extensive editing tools for professional projects
  • Regular updates and enhancements
  • Steep learning curve

4. Blender - Best for 3D Video Editing

Blender Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive 3D animation tools
  • Video editing capabilities for versatile projects
  • High-quality modeling, rendering, and sculpting
  • Ideal for creating 3D animations from scratch

Who It’s For 

Blender is a free, open-source software designed for users interested in creating 3D animations and incorporating video editing features. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, it offers a wide range of tools for crafting stunning visual projects.

Why We Picked It

Blender's unique combination of 3D animation and video editing tools sets it apart from other options. The software provides top-quality modeling, rendering, and sculpting features, making it an exceptional choice for 3D video editing and animation projects.

Bottom Line 

Blender offers a powerful, comprehensive solution for both 3D animation and video editing, delivering professional results without any cost. Its extensive toolset makes it a remarkable choice for users focused on 3D animation and video projects.

  • All-in-one 3D animation and video editing software
  • Extensive toolset for professional-quality results
  • Regular updates and improvements
  • Extremely complex 

5. Olive - Best for Simple Editing

olive Interface

Image from Github

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Key Features:

  • User-friendly interface for effortless editing
  • Basic tools for color correction and text overlays
  • Efficient importing, trimming, and arranging of clips
  • Ideal for fast video editing tasks

Who It’s For 

Olive is a free, open-source video editor designed for users seeking a quick and straightforward editing solution on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Its intuitive interface and basic tools make it perfect for simple video editing tasks.

Why We Picked It

Olive's simple and intuitive design enables users to edit videos with ease, providing essential features such as color correction and text overlays. The software allows for efficient importing, trimming, and arranging of clips, making it ideal for fast-paced projects.

Bottom Line 

Olive is an excellent choice for users who require a fast and easy-to-use video editor without any cost. Its streamlined interface and essential tools make it a reliable option for quick video editing tasks.

  • Easy-to-navigate interface for beginners
  • Essential editing tools for simple projects
  • Regular updates and enhancements
  • Limited advanced features for professional projects

Best Free Video Editors Comparison Chart

Software PowerDirector Shotcut OpenShot Kdenlive Blender Olive
Compatibility Windows, macOS Windows, macOS,Linux Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux
Green Screen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Advanced Editing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Basic
Color Correction Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Basic
AI-Enhanced Effects Yes No No No No No
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download Download

PowerDirector vs


Windows, macOS


Green Screen



Advanced Editing



Color Correction



AI-Enhanced Effects



How to Edit Videos for Beginners

Here's a step-by-step guide to editing videos with PowerDirector, the top-rated free video editor:

  1. Download PowerDirector for Windows or Mac using the link provided and launch the program on your computer.
  2. Click on Import Media Folder in the top left corner and upload the video files you wish to edit.
  3. Arrange your video clips, audio files, and images on the timeline in the desired sequence.
  4. Trim or split your video clips as necessary:
  5. To trim clips, position the timeline playhead where you want to make the cut and click the Split icon above the timeline.
    Splitting clips lets you add transitions, remove unwanted sections, and insert media files between them.

  6. To add transitions between clips, click the lightning bolt icon on the left to access the Transition Room. Drag transitions to the timeline between your chosen clips and preview them by clicking Play in the Preview window.
  7. Include a title at the beginning of your video by clicking the T icon on the left to enter the Title Room. Drag a title template to the title track on the timeline, positioning it above the desired location in the footage. Click the Designer button to customize the text.
  8. Enhance your video with sound effects or background music by clicking the music note icon to open the Media Library Window. Preview various background music and sound clip options, and drag your preferred choice to the audio track section of the timeline. Align the starting point with the desired position for the audio in your video.

Download the Best Video Editing Software for Free

Discovering free video editing software that delivers exceptional results can be a daunting task. Fortunately, each option on our list provides a viable solution to this challenge.

These open-source video editors offer an extensive range of editing tools and features, enabling you to produce top-quality final videos. Once your editing is complete, you can export your work to showcase it exactly as you envisioned.

Though all these programs are open-source video editors, PowerDirector stands out as the premier free option. Boasting a user-friendly interface and professional-grade editing tools, this software empowers both novice and experienced editors to create stunning videos. PowerDirector could become your one-stop editing solution, eliminating the need to explore other free video editors.

Begin crafting professional-grade video content today by clicking the button below.

Open-Source Video Editors FAQ

1. What is an open-source video editor?

An open-source video editor is a video editing software whose source code is made available to the public, allowing anyone to view, modify, and distribute the software freely. This allows for continuous improvement and collaboration within the developer community.

2. Is OpenShot Video Editor open-source?

Yes, OpenShot Video Editor is open-source. Its source code is available to the public under the GNU General Public License, which means that anyone can view, modify, and distribute the software as long as they adhere to the terms of the license.

3. Does open-source mean copyright free?

Open-source does not necessarily mean copyright-free. While the source code of open-source software is publicly accessible, it is still protected by copyright and usually governed by a specific license. This license determines how the software can be used, modified, and distributed.

4. Does open source mean anyone can use it?

Yes, open-source means anyone can use the software, as long as they follow the terms of the license under which it is distributed. Different open-source licenses have varying conditions, but they generally allow for free use, modification, and distribution of the software.

5. Does open source mean no license?

Open-source does not mean there is no license. In fact, open-source software is released under a specific open-source license that sets the rules for its use, modification, and distribution. Examples of open-source licenses include the GNU General Public License (GPL), the Apache License, and the MIT License, among others.

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