This article was published on April 8, 2022

7 things to look for in your first video editing software

Here are some key features you need to look for...


7 things to look for in your first video editing software
Saidat Giwa-Osagie

Whether you fancy yourself as the next Scorsese or want to spruce up your travel vlog, a handy video editor is vital in any digital creator’s toolkit. When you’ve finally captured your footage, and it’s almost ready for the world to see, some quick and simple editing can prevent it from getting lost in the 720,000 hours of video uploaded online every day.

Here we’ll break down what you should prioritize in your search for video editing software and tools.

Compatibility

First things first. You need to consider what type and model of cameras you’ll be using most and whether or not the editing software in question can support these formats. Some video editing tools may not yet be updated to use the latest equipment, whether its cutting edge drone footage, a 360 camera, or simply the fanciest new camera model on the market.

Likewise, make sure your computer is compatible with the video editing software and the effects it has before you invest. For example, if you’re looking for a tool to create FHD videos, first make sure your computer has the processing power to handle it.

Intuitive workspace

One thing unites video editing novices and experts alike: an easy-to-use workspace. When you’re combining multiple video files, trimming content, and making countless tweaks to your video, a simplified interface can significantly speed up the editing process.

Each video editor comes with its own learning curve. When shopping around, consider how much time and effort you want to spend familiarizing yourself with it before you begin the editing process. Of course, industry-acclaimed tools that offer more complex features can give your video the Midas touch, but they can also be a pain to learn how to use.

If taking tutorials on how to use video editing tools isn’t your thing, you can opt for a simpler workspace, just make sure whichever option you choose offers these key capabilities:

Split-screen and Picture-in-Picture (PIP): These options allow you to display several windows at once. This comes in handy when you want to combine video files or review video content while trimming it down.

Hotkeys: Basically keyboard shortcuts — trust us, these will make your life wayyyy easier.

Chroma keys: Allows you to composite two images or video streams together based on color hues.

It should also be easy to use the timeline functions and search through effects, especially if the platform has a large library of options. Some platforms have a handy ‘Favorites’ section where you can easily access your most used effect overlays.

Gom Mix Max home page display
Gom Mix Max home page display

Video effects and budget

A good video editor will help you go from humdrum to captivating content with exciting editing effects. More advanced editing capabilities like clever transitions, color correction, and resequencing upgrade the simplest footage into something that stands out from the countless swathes of videos uploaded across platforms every day.

Naturally, the more video effects and options a tool has, the higher the price tag. Some of the most popular high-end platforms, Adobe After Effects and Apple’s Final Cut Pro, will run you roughly $300 a year.

For those of you who are on a budget, the good news is there are plenty of great video editing tools out there that can give you what you need for less. There is a brand new software called GOM Mix Max that offers over 260 effects including filters, templates, overlays, and transition effects for $39.99 a year which is equivalent to about $3 a month. Check out their two month free trial.

Multimedia sources

Eye-catching graphics, funky music, and special effects can take your videos to another level. Even if your first video doesn’t need all of this now, getting a video editing app that allows you to grow into using such features is a great way to hone your skillset towards creating even better videos each time.

Drawing from varied sources of graphic and audio inspiration enlivens your videos and makes them much more exciting and engaging to watch. A suitable video editor will let you seamlessly add them in, but you also need to be aware of potential copyright infringement with the materials you incorporate. To avoid this, consider opting for an editor that comes with a prebuilt library of songs, fonts, and images to choose from.

Captioning

Part of the beauty of making your videos available online is that anyone in the world can see them, but without accessibility features like captioning, not everyone can understand them. It’s becoming more important and a baseline of good video editing to include captioning as part of the overall video editing experience.

While online platforms can provide captions, they’re not always accurate. By embedding captioning directly into your videos, you can ensure accuracy and accessibility for all and let your videos reach the broadest audience possible.

Gom Mix Max video editing software
Gom Mix Max video editing software

Fast encoding power

So you’ve finished editing your video and you’re ready to share it with the world, right? Wrong. Before you can share your masterpiece you need to encode it, or convert RAW video files into digital formats that can be uploaded to Youtube, Instagram, and other platforms.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait for your video footage to be encoded. With low-power video editing software the wait time can go from minutes to hours. Make sure whichever platform you choose has a high processing power.

For example, Gom Mix Max just upped their encoding time making it three times faster (697MB → 127MB). When encoding, it also allows you to adjust the project default to your preferred social media platform, making it easy to upload without any extra adjustments.

On-The-Go Editing

If you’re the kind of person who needs to be out in nature to create your best work, the good news is that some video editing tools are now offering on-the-go editing capabilities. This means you can access the same features available on a typical computer editor on your phone. Bring the same vitality to your edits through features like multi-layer editing. You can also add text and multimedia to your video and easily share them to your social media accounts.

Video editing tutorials

If this is your first video editing software, it can be great to get a helping hand learning the ins and outs of the process. Some platforms are now offering tutorials so novice video editors like you can learn how to use both the standard and advanced editing techniques. If you’re new to the video producing world, a two-in-one editing software and e-course could be a great option.

With this in mind, it’s time to go forth and create that award winning indie film or cat video you’ve always dreamed of. Happy filming.

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