OpenShot – Finally, An Excellent Free Video Editor For Linux

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freeware video editorVideo and photo editing tools are a necessity in today’s world of personal media. We have lots of photographs and videos these days that could look even better when presented nicely.

The tool should be powerful yet simple to use so that average Joe can use it easily. Windows and Mac have had good video editing tools for sometime now, Linux had a big void in this area until recently. The void has been filled by OpenShot. It is truly amazing and the best, free video editor out there for Linux, suiting the needs of many.

OpenShot will be available via Ubuntu Software Center starting with Lucid Lynx. Till then you would have to add the PPA to software sources.

Go to System > Administration > Software Sources, on to the other sources and add the following lines:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openshot.developers/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/openshot.developers/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

Then issue the following command:

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sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys B9BA26FA

You are now set to issue: “sudo apt-get install openshot“. Just issue the command and rest will be done for you. Once installed, you can find OpenShot listed under Applications > Sound & Video. Fire it up and lets see what all it can do.

The OpenShot site has a complete list of features, some of the more useful ones that one would expect in a good video editor are the likes of templates, transitions with live previews, audio mixing and editing support, compositing, watermarks and the ever so popular Ken Burns effect (the one you get in most slide shows these days in which the various images are zoomed and panned over)

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The interface is typical of a video editor. You have the timeline at the bottom, a project/resource area to the left and a video preview towards the right. Transitions and effects can also be accessed via tabs on the project/resource area. First off, you need to add the files you want to work on. OpenShot can be used to create a video out of your photos or you can use it to edit existing videos as well.

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Once the files are added, you can then click and drag resources onto the time line. Use drag and drop to arrange and re-arrange the resources as you please. You can simply click and resize the duration for which an object will be visible in the finished video. Hit the space bar and you get an instant preview of how the window will look like. You can also drag and drop transitions and effects on to the timeline. It is as easy as that!

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OpenShot also lets you create title and text that you might want to add to your video. There are a number of styles and templates to choose from. To create a new title go to the Projects menu and choose New Title. OpenShot gives you a new window where in you can choose the template to use and create title/captions for your video.

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When you are done click on File > Export Video and you can choose a format that best suites you. OpenShot uses FFmpeg so a variety of common and not so common video formats are supported!

Overall, OpenShot is an excellent free video editor for your Linux desktop. In fact, I find it easier and more intuitive and won’t mind booting into Linux especially for editing video. It’s my video editor of choice when compared with other available free video editors for Linux.

Know of a better tool or have a tip to share? Well here is your chance, sound off in the comments section!

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