10 Best Free Video Editing Software on Mac OS X in 2017

10 Best Free Video Editing Software on Mac

Nowadays, video is around our life. We may record our daily life or memorable moments with camcorder, digital camera, portable devices like iPad, Surface, etc. and even iPhone, Samsung, etc. How to deal with these videos? You may want to edit these videos or make them into movies or trailers for better preservation or sharing. Then looking for a free and easy-to-use video editing software would be very important. Free video editing software for windows would be easier to find, however, if you just have an iMac or MacBook, how to find software to edit videos on Mac? In the following, let's check 10 best video editing software for Mac and learn how to make movies on Mac easily.

Part 1. Best video editing software for Mac introduction

Most of the users like you and me are just an amateur for editing videos and just need some basic functions to make home movies better. The following function would be our most concern when finding a basic video editing tool on Mac:

  • 1. Quick and efficient editing for video clips like improving video quality, adding titles/animation transitions/music and doing some special effects.
  • 2. Support creating those edited videos into DVD/Blu-ray for better preservation or sharing with our family and friends through email, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
  • 3. Simple controls and intuitive interface compare with the professional video editors.
  • 4. And most important, it is FREE!

Here, we get a list of free video editing programs on Mac that can meet most of users' requirement.

No. 1 - iMovie for Mac

iMovie is a video editing software owned and developed by Apple to run in Mac and iOS devices (including the latest iPhone 7 and iPad). With the latest version of iMovie 11, you can even edit 4K videos and create them to Hollywood-style trailers and beautiful movies. Since iMovie has both Mac version and iOS version, you can edit video clips on your iPhone or iPad first and later continue finishing the editing on your Mac. Just get the latest version on your Mac to enjoy home video editing.

iMovie for Mac

No. 2 - Lightworks

Lightworks is mostly known as a professional video editing program that can support videos in SD, HD and even 4K video formats. With its strong editing function, it has been chosen by many films as movie maker. Fortunately, Lightworks offers a free version to common users which may have a limitation of exporting projects in MP4 format to Vimeo and YouTube with maximum 720p resolution. If you try to experience the Oscar nominated editors' chosen video editing application, you can try Lightworks free version.

Lightworks

No. 3 - Blender

Blender is a free and open source video editing application focus on 3D videos. This 3D video editing software can support the whole 3D pipeline covering from modeling, animation, rendering, rigging, simulation, compositing to motion tracking. So video editing is just a small part of this app. You can also use Blender to create your own game.

Blender

No. 4 - Avidemux

Avidemux is an open source and easy-to-use video editor. It is the video editing software designed for simple cutting, filtering (applying visual effects) and encoding. It supports many video formats, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF by using a variety of codecs. If you just want to accomplish a simple editing, you can try Avidemux.

Avidemux

No. 5 - Kdenlive

Kdenlive is an acronym for KDE Non-Linear Video Editor. It is a totally free video editor that integrats many plugin effects for video and sound processing or creation. Moreover, Kdenlive has a powerful titling tool, DVD authoring solution and can be used as a complete video creation studio.

Kdenlive

No. 6 - Free Video Editor for Mac

Free Video Editor for Mac is easy-to-use video editing software for Mac with the main function to crop, split and merge video clips. You can also add effect or watermark to your videos. Sometimes, as the video is recorded with shaky hands, you can also use this free Mac video editor to stabilize the video and enhance the quality. It can let the editing become very easy without complicated timeline for former people.

Kdenlive

No. 7 - Shotcut

Shotcut is a free, open source and cross-platform video editor which can handle a wide range of media formats. The interface of Shotcut is full of function but still well laid out. Its basic editing functions of Shotcut is much like most similar tools, such as cutting, copying or editing sections. It is also said to support the latest audio and video formats.

Shotcut

No. 8 - Jahshaka

Jahshaka is also a free video editor that offers you an immersive media management and playback platform. It has the modules for animation, compositing, editing and special effects. Although it is said to support Mac OS X, it may not support the latest version such as macOS Sierra as on its official website it says it can only support older Mac system. So just check your Mac version before downloading this video maker.

Jahshaka

No. 9 - VideoLAN Movie Creator

VideoLAN Movie Creator is a non-linear editing software for video creation based on libVLC. Its core engine and interface formed by your most familiar application – VLC media Player. You can use this free movie creator to make high-quality videos by merging multiple clips, trimming unnecessary sections, applying filters and inserting soundtracks.

VideoLAN Movie Creator

No. 10 - ZS4 Video Editor & MovieMator Free Mac Video Editor

ZS4 Video Editor is advanced video editing and compositing software with over 150 built-in video effects. It is said to support unlimited number of audio, video and picture tracks and unlimited number of video/audio effects for every track. Maybe it is a little exaggeration, but it is still not a bad idea to give it a try.

MovieMator Free Mac Video Editor is a free video editing tool for Mac with lots of unique visual effects and transitions. This free video editor can allow users to enhance video quality, trim and crop fragments, cut footage into parts, deleted unnecessary video clips, etc. So it contains lots of editing function which lots of users may need.

ZS4 Video Editor

You can check the following comparing chart for better understanding of every free video editing apps we have recommended.

Video Editing Software for Mac Key Features Video Formats Platform
iMovie for Mac • Support editing 4K videos (4K version)
• With Media browser to view home video easily
• Editing tools including theme, adding effects, inserting titles, creating soundtrack, etc.
• Quickly create trailers with Hollywood style
• Support sharing through email, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc.
Input: MP4, MOV, MPEG-2, AVCHD, DV & HDV
Output: MOV
Mac, iOS, Windows
Lightworks • Support SD, HD and 4K video files editing
• Incredible timeline (change clip speed, control clip and track volume, add effects and transitions, etc.)
• With realtime titling effects, realtime effects, advanced multicam editing, second monitor output, etc. functions
• Support sharing to Vimeo (1080p max.) and YouTube (720p max.) in free version
Input: ProRes, Avid DNxHD, AVC-Intra, DVCPRO HD, RED R3D, DPX, H.264, XDCAM EX/HD 422
Output: MPEG4/H.264
Mac, Windows, Linux
Blender • Support live preview
• Mix, sync, scrub and waveform visualize audio supported
• With adding video, image, audio, scene, masks and effects function
• Speed control, adjustment layers, transitions, keyframes, filters and more
Input and Output: AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, 3D Mac, Windows, Linux
Avidemux • Support video conversion and most video formats
• Simple editing functions like crop, resize and processing video including
• Filters available to resize, filp or crop images
• Lightweight and fairly simple
Input: MPEG-4 AV, HEVC, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2
Output: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2
Mac, Windows, Linux
Kdenlive • Support multi-track video editing
• Add titles with design features and text animation are supported
• Dozens of effects and transitions available
• With timeline preview and themable interface
Input and Output: ProRes, H.264, AVCHD, DNxHD, Divx, HDV, QuickTime Mac, Windows
Free Video Editor for Mac • Support cropping, splitting, joining and rotating videos
• Effect and watermark adding available
• Enhance video quality with resolution upscaling, video noise removing and brightness/contrast optimizing
Input and Output: almost all video formats Mac
Shotcut • Native timeline editing
• Webcam and audio capture
• Support for 4K resolutions
• Network stream playback
• Color, noise and counter generator
Input and Output: almost all video formats Mac, Windows, Linux
Jahshaka • Support 2D and 3D playback, animation and compositing
• Media and asset management
• With color correction, editing and effects functions
Input and Output: "virtually" all video formats Mac, Windows
VideoLAN Movie Creator • Support merging, trimming video clips
• Apply filter and music background is also supported
• Timeline realtime preview available
• Only support local exporting
Input and Output: almost all video formats Mac, Windows, Linux
ZS4 Video Editor • Automation control for all track and effect using keyframes
• Full cross integration of audio and video
• Manipulate the flow of time smoothly
• Support grouping video/audio tracks into sub-groups
Input and Output: almost all video formats Mac, Windows, Linux
MovieMator Free Mac Video Editor • Trim, rotate, crop, merge, split videos & photos
• Change the brightness, saturation, contrast, aspect ratio, transition effect and speed of videos & photos
• Support picture-in-picture effect
• Various filters and transitions available
Input and Output: almost all video formats Mac

Extended Reading: If you are looking for the professional editor which can be used on your Windows computer, you can check video editor for Windows.

Part 2. How to edit videos on Mac with ease

As we introduce 10 free video editing software for Mac to you above, we are sure you can find the suitable one to meet your needs. Then next, let's see how we can easily edit videos on Mac. Just take iMovie as an example and check the step-by-step guide below.

Create a New Project

Open iMovie on your Mac and go to File > New Project, and then choose the Project Themes if you like, name the project and click Create to start editing.

Import Video to the Project

You can choose to import video from Camera or directly from your Mac. If your video file has already on your Mac, you can drag and drop it into the iMovie. Just remember that iMovie only support importing video formats like MOV, AVI, MP4, MPG, DAT, 3GP. If you have other video format file, just find a video converter to convert the file first.

Edit Video on iMovie for Mac

Split Video Clip

  • 1. Move the cursor to the timeline and select the clip you want to split.
  • 2. Position the playhead you want to split the video clip
  • 3. Control-click the clip, and choose Split Clip from the shortcut menu.

Join Clip

  • 1. Position the playhead at the point where you want to merge the clip in the timeline.
  • 2. Control-click the clip, and choose Join Clip from the shortcut menu.

Add Effects

  • 1. Choose the clip you want to add effect.
  • 2. Select the wanted effect.
  • 3. You can preview the effects easily on the preview window and adjust them according to your need.

Output the Project

In the main interface, click the "Share" and you can either export the video clip to save on your Mac or you can directly share it to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc.

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July 24, 2017 03:38 / Updated by to Video, Mac, Editor
Follow @Jenny Ryan