OpenShot video editor intro

OpenShot is an easy-to-use video editor that works equally well on Windows, Mac OS, and most Linux distros. There are also portable versions for Windows and Linux distros.

The editor is both powerful and easy to use, with a clean user interface. Add video clips, images, and audio clips in various formats to compose video projects. Then export the project in a variety of common video formats, such as MP4.

User interface

OpenShot’s controls and settings are in five menus (six for Mac users), a toolbar, a timeline, and several parts of the window. The user interface is clean and easy to use. It also offers several settings and filters.

The parts of the user interface are as follows:


There are five menus in the Windows and Linux distros versions. The Mac version has six menus. These menus contain all the items and controls for creating a video project that OpenShot offers.

  • OpenShot Video Editor (Mac only)
  • File
  • Edit
  • Title
  • View
  • Help


The toolbar is located directly below the title of the project in the Mac version and below the menu items in the Windows and Linux distro versions. It can be moved, however, by clicking on the two columns of dots to the left of the first icon in the toolbar.

This allows you to move it anywhere in the window.

There are 9 items in the toolbar:

  • New Project
  • Open Project
  • Save Project
  • Undo
  • Redo
  • Import Files
  • Choose Profile
  • Fullscreen
  • Export Video


The timeline is where you place the video clips, images, and audio files you imported to create a video. By default, five tracks will be part of a newly created project, but tracks can be added or removed.

There is a toolbar for the for the timeline that has seven items, as well as a scale to adjust the amount of time is shown in the timeline.

  • Add Track
  • Snapping Enabled
  • Razor Tool
  • Add Marker
  • Previous Key Point
  • Next Key Point
  • Center the Timeline on the Playhead

Each individual track has a menu that are different from the toolbar.

  • Add Track Above
  • Add Track Below
  • Rename Track
  • Lock Track
  • Remove Track

Center window tabs

In the middle of the project window, there are two panes. The one on the left displays the media that you imported, transitions, and other items that you can directly apply to your project. The right one is a preview of the project that is covered in the section below.

Below the left pane there are four tabs. Click one and the items in the pane changes. There are items directly above the pane that are associated with each tab.

Here are the tabs:

  • Project Files
  • Transitions
  • Effects
  • Emojis

Video preview and controls

The right pane, where the project video is displayed, has controls for video playback, fast forwarding, and rewinding through the project. A frame from the video also can be saved as an image.


Versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux distros can be downloaded from OpenShot’s Website.


The version for Linux distros is an AppImage, which is a portable version that can be placed on an external drive and taken from computer to computer. Versions that are actually installed to an operating system can be found through the operating system’s software library.

It is available as both a Flatpak and as a community-supported application in the libraries.


The Windows version can be installed on 32 and 64-bit systems. There is also a portable version that can be placed on an external drive and taken from computer to computer.


The Mac version is for Intel chips.