Open Shot

Open Shot is an easy to use video editor that can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, and various Linux distros. It is available in the software managers of most distros. The Linux version on the Open Shot Website is an AppImage.

While projects are saved in a format that is unique to Open Shot, they can be exported as videos in common formats. This page gives an overview of the application.

User interface

The user interface has five sections:

There are five menus (six for Mac). These menus are the same across all operating systems. However, the Mac version has an additional menu, Open Shot Video Editor. Some of the menu items that are in the other menus in the Windows or Linux versions, are in this menu on a Mac.


This menu has items for opening and creating projects, for importing files, and starting a new project. There are several other items in it as well.


This has four basic items: Undo, Redo, Clear History, and Preferences. The last item launches a Preferences dialog with seven tabs. Mac users will find Preferences in the Open Shot menu.


Two choices, Title and Animated Title, reside in this menu. Both launch dialogs where users can find different text styles to use in their videos.


Through the menu, users can show or hide the toolbar, change the user interface between simple and advanced. The views sub-menu has more choices


There are links to several Web pages in this menu. Contents, Report a Bug, and Ask Questions launch into corresponding sections of the Open Shot Website.

Tutorial launches a series of dialogs that walk users through different parts of the application. There are also items to translate the user interface into another language and to make a donation through the Open Shot Website.

For Windows and Linux distro users, there is an About Open Shot item in the menu. For Mac users, the item is in the Open Shot menu.


The toolbar gives users quick access to frequently used items.

Several items, such as New Project, Save Project, and Open Project, reside in the File menu as well. Other items in the toolbar can be found in other menus. Undo and Redo are in the Edit menu.

Fullscreen is in the View menu.

Simply click the desired item to perform the action or launch the corresponding dialog.

Project Files

This section that is located above the tracks and to the left of the Video Preview. It has four tabs and a textbox for filters.

  • Show All: This shows all video, audio, and image files contained in a project.
  • Video: This shows all the video clips in a project.
  • Audio: This shows all the audio files and music files in a project.
  • Image: This shows all pictures and other artwork contained in a project.

The filter text box is a real-time search. Start typing and files with titles that have the letters you type will remain, and those that don’t will disappear.

Filtered items also can be reduced by media type. Perform the search, then select one of the tabs: Video, Audio, or Image.

That was the first of three tabs in that section. There are two others: Transitions and Effects.


This tab contains 14 pre-designed transitions that you can insert in your video that will play going from one clip to another. Simply click and drag the desired one to the desired location on the timeline.


There are several special effects that you can drag to the timeline to enhance the video.


This shows the video. With it, users can play the different clips and items in the tracks as an entire project. It has standard video playback controls:

  • Play
  • Rewind
  • Fast forward
  • Jump To Start
  • Jump To End

There is a camera icon below the preview and to the right side of the window. Click it to take an image of the current frame in the preview.


The Timeline contains several tracks stacked on top of each other and several items. Videos, images, and audio files are added to the various tracks. This is how your movies is made.

You can place a video on one track, and place a song mp3 on the track below it, if you want the song to play when the video clip fades out, for example.

These three object types can be added from the Project Files, and they can be moved around and edited when they are placed on the tracks.

Timeline toolbar

There are several tools in the toolbar above the tracks. They are as follows:

  • Add Track: Click this to add a track above the highest track currently in the timeline.
  • Snapping Enabled: This makes it easier to associate one clip with another.
  • Razor Tool: Split clip at a specific point. Click the Razor Tool. Then move the cursor to the desired point in the desired clip. Click the left mouse button.
  • Add Marker: Users can set markers at desired points on the timeline. They can jump to each point and go back to a previous point.
  • Previous Marker: This will move the cursor to the nearest marker to the right.
  • Next Marker: This will move the cursor to the nearest marker to the left.
  • Zoom: This has a slider to the right of it. This allows you to zoom in and out on the tracks and the clips on them. There are also a plus sign on the slider and a negative sign on the right side of the slider.

File formats

Below are formats that can be played and viewed in OpenShot. Most video, audio, and image formats can be used in the video editor. The below lists highlight the most popular formats. They are not exhaustive.


  • MP4
  • MKV
  • FLV
  • MOV
  • WMV


  • MP3
  • AIFF
  • OGG
  • ACC
  • WMA


  • JPG
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • BMP

Exported file formats

Videos can be exported in several common formats that can be played on just about every video player application for computers and smartphones.

  • AVI (h.264)
  • AVI (mpeg2)
  • AVI (mpeg4)
  • FLV (h.264)
  • MOV (h.264)
  • MOV (mpeg4)
  • MP4 (Xvid)
  • MP4 (h.264 videotoolbox)
  • MP4 (h.264)
  • MP4 (mpeg4)
  • MP4 (mpeg2)

Operating systems

OpenShot has versions for most desktop operating systems. The Windows version is will work on both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of 7, 8, and 10. A torrent also can be downloaded.

Mac users with 10.9 or later can install the video editor on their systems.

The version for Linux distros that can be downloaded from the Website is a 64-bit AppImage file. There is also a Web page with instructions to install a PPA that work on systems based on Ubuntu 14.04 and later.

Many distros’ software managers contain the application.