Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software

Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software

Easy to use video editing software image

Over the past few years all of the major video editing software companies have been battling each other in a game of who can come up with the shiniest new features to attract the attention of the public.

The end result has been that the average consumer level video editing software has become incredibly feature rich but in the process, has become quite complicated as well.

You can’t keep adding features without having to add access to those features through the user interface and this inevitably results in complexity.

They all carry the claim of being “easy video editing software” or “simple video editors” when being described by the their respective marketing departments but the truth is they have become progressively more difficult to use.

I have been asked on a number of forums and through this site to recommend some truly simple video editing programs or an easy video editor that anyone can use.

Something that has all the basic features that a user would need without the shiny “bells and whistles” and complicated interface that come with it.

I have listed what I think to be the best of this class below but keep in mind that just because they are classified as simple video editing software programs they are not crippled in any way.

They offer all of the basic features you will need to create your own videos with ease.

If you are just a beginner or really don’t see yourself spending hours alone in a darkened room editing your footage, or you just want to get your video masterpieces out as soon as possible with a minimum of fuss then you would be well served by the ones listed below.

They all cover the basic actions of cutting, slicing and dicing with transitions, audio control and a wide range of output formats.

*My standard disclaimer applies: Please, use the trials first to see how you like it and how it likes you and your computer setup before committing to a long term relationship!

Wondershare Filmora

Wondershare Fimora BoxWondershare Filmora is a recent re-branding of the company’s simple video editing software which comes in versions for both PC and Mac.

Previously it was just called Wondershare Video Editor and although not really an inspired naming you have to admire the efficiency of it!

In terms of ease of use and simplicity without sacrificing functionality I think you would be hard pressed to go past this one.

The guys at Wondershare have been bugging me to take a look at it for a while now and unfortunately I have always put it in the “to do later” file and never got around to it until recently.

To put it bluntly, this little editor is awesome! It’s so… well… easy!

It downloads and installs very quickly and I was up and running within minutes.

The interface is a “non-techie” dream come true with no hidden menus or menu items that you have to know in order to access them, it literally is “what you see is what you get.”

Everything is available through an icon that sits in the little menu bar smack dab in the middle of your screen.

Take a look at this intro video they created using the software itself to get an idea of what you can do with it and how easy it is.

The key to how they made it so good is in the time Wondershare put into the backend of the software rather than the interface.

“Intuitive” is a word that is often bandied about in the software world but what it really means is that within Filmora they have thought about every details of what the average person will be doing with the software and have anticipated those needs.

It doesn’t mean they don’t let you do things, it means they have designed the software so that you don’t have to keep answering endless technical questions about, “Do you want to do this?” or “Do you want to do that?”

If you want to add files to your library Filmora just asks whether it’s from your computer or another device… not which device, not which version of the device, not what kind of file.

It’s just “give us a little clue and we’ll handle the rest!”

The same goes for every step of the editing process and even then the software has a wizard based semi-automatic interface that you can use to make it even more simple.

On the Wondershare website there are 5 videos you can watch and really, if you just watch those you will have already seen just about everything you need to see to get up and running.

Filmora handles all the basic editing functions as far as cutting, chopping, slicing and dicing goes.

There is a range of filters for color correction and effects as well as simple yet effective audio controls.

It can deliver picture-in picture effects and even some still and motion graphics and on top of that can do green screen and capture still images from any frame in your video.

As far as sharing goes it comes with perfectly configured pre-set parameters for output to a wide range of mobile devices, online services like YouTube and FaceBook as well as burning DVDs.

All in all Wondershare Filmora is my new best friend when it comes to an easy video editing software program anyone can use.

Click Here To See Wondershare Filmora

muvee Reveal Finale

muvee Reveal Finale box shotIf you are looking for easy video editing software in the strictest sense of the word “easy,” then it doesn’t get much better than totally automatic! And that is just what this one does.

Hard to believe I know but the fact is that muvee can achieve some pretty remarkable results given that the process is almost completely automated.

By using some very specialized scanning technology it can quite accurately identify various components of your videos and stills and at the same time analyze the speed of your chosen music.

In the end it slaps the whole thing together based on its calculations and voila! Movie magic!

Well ok, maybe not Hollywood magic but pretty darn good!

Although it may sound a little too good to be true there is a very large community of Muvee users who absolutely swear by the product.

Outside of the automated features it still offers a good set of manual editing tools that you can use to make final adjustments.

Click here for the full Reveal Finale Review

Click Here To See Reveal Finale

muvee Reveal Express

Muvee Reveal Express BoxReveal Express is about as easy as video editing software is going to get while you still actually do it yourself!

This is the chopped down version of muvee Reveal specifically designed for those who want to automatically create their videos and only upload to the internet or to mobile devices.

It comes with a bunch of preset styles that you can use to make the video or control the transitions, music, audio and panning and zooming on still images yourself.

Alternatively you can just load everything up in order and let muvee Reveal Express do it automatically. The results of doing it like that may surprise you and before you finish you can step in to make final adjustments.

It can handle WMV, .mov, MPEG4, H.264 and regular DV-AVI files which should cover most of the modern methods of capturing video.

It outputs to formats for all the current mobile devices and can directly upload to YouTube and Facebook.

Click Here To See Reveal Express

CyberLink PowerDirector 15

Left facing PowerDirector 15 Box imagePowerDirector is my top choice at the moment for a fully fledged consumer level editing program and you can read the full review here.

From an “easy editor” viewpoint the CyberLink product contains within it a wizard based simple mode which the user can choose to enter either each time the software opens or as the default opening module.

Most of what I would describe as the “full” editors around today have a similar feature but for some, the implementation works more as an ill-conceived afterthought rather than as a genuine choice for the user.

Of the available choices I would easily rate the CyberLink offering as superior to the rest and part of the reason for this may be that the simple mode was developed as a stand alone concept instead of a hack of an existing program.

Of course any time you want to get out of that simple mode you can instantly switch over to the full editor.

This one is worth taking a look at if you suspect you may at some point get bitten by the editing bug and may want to take your productions up a notch.

You can click here take a look at my full review of the program.

Click Here to Look at PowerDirector for Yourself

Some Other Good Alternatives… and some not so

Some readers may be surprised that I have not included a number of well known products on this page. Here are a few and my reasons for not including them:

Roxio Creator, Nero Multimedia Suite, and Cyberlink Media Suite.

CyberLink Media Suite 14 Box ImageAll of these are multimedia packages rather than just easy to use video editing software.

They are all good products and if you have a use for ALL the features offered by these full program suites then yes, they are great and have good, easy to use video editing capabilities.

They all offer an image organization feature plus reasonably good image manipulation capabilities, audio editing, video editing and disc creation along with some kind of file distribution feature such as uploading to YouTube etc.

My only reservation with all of them is that most likely a dedicated video editor will have these features anyway while offering the full editing experience.

My pick of the bunch would be the Cyberlink offering because of a superior editing feature set, image manipulation and audio control.

You can take a look at the full features by clicking this link

Anything Else?

There are literally hundreds of video editing software programs out there and many that claim ease of use as their selling point.

You can spend the next year checking them out and still be no closer to a decision.

What I do know is that the software on this page is reliable, fits the criteria of easy or simple and will work very well for the majority of people.

Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software was last modified: September 23rd, 2017 by Lance Carr
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140 comments to Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software

  • Good morning…I have a simple need as a Private Detective who documents WorkComp fraud. I video the subject’s activities and then upload such into a video editor. We do NOT record voice, music or sounds of any kind as the end result often goes to court.

    Is there such a thing as a SIMPLE video editor that allows 1) video capture from our digital cameras, 2) editing capability that allows us to delete unimportant frames (Ex. I’m shooting and a UPS truck enters, blocking our shot or we take video of other people not subject matter). I pull the frame down onto a track or story board, deleting from either end of all the frames. 3) movie maker then makes the final video movie. Nothing fancy, just documentary video.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Richard,
      Yes, long story short Filmora, the link is in the right hand menu of this site under Software reviews.
      It is the simplest and most intuitive on the market.
      It even has a separate module you will love called “Instant Cutter.”
      Basically it is a module that bypasses the whole “editor” part and just allows you to load a video, cut out the bits you don’t want then automatically output a new edited file to the exact parameters of the input file. Right up your alley!
      Lance

  • Kcender

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I will go with the Filmora. I’m glad that there is software designed with the casual and in my case, older consumer in mind. Less CAN be more.

  • Bojan

    There are so many comments and I just can’t read them all. I need an simple advice. I started shooting short videos in 4k (I use Lumix G7) and I want to trim and combine them together and make a max 2min videos. So, I don’t need nothing fancy, just to add some music, transition effects etc. I saw your list but my main concern is if I could edit videos on my pretty low laptop configuration. Can you help me with this? Thank you.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Bojan,
      If your computer is underpowered then handling video at 4K may be a problem.

      I understand you needs are not complicated so I would suggest using Filmora.

      It can handle 4K (as long as you computer can) and can do everything you will need.

      Use the free trial first to see how it goes.

  • Chelan

    Hi There,
    I am already an amateur photographer well versed in Lightroom and Photoshop. I just got a gopro for more versatility and originally bought it for stills in, under and around water, and for action vid. I’m wondering what my best option is. I don’t mind paying and already have a Creative Cloud account with Adobe for Lightroom and Photoshop. Should I get the Adobe video editing suite? My concern is it seems complicated. I do want hte ability create more cinematic and artful video, but I don’t want a program that kills me with complexity. Stabilization, fish eye correction, colour correction, noise reduction, slow mo and time lapse would all be important. Thanks.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Chelan,
      To be honest I think going with Adobe Premiere Elements is probably overkill and you are right, complexity you don’t need.

      I would suggest going to the bottom of the food chain first and seeing if there is a simple editor that suits.

      Check Filmora first and see if it has the effects you need.

      If not then move to either Corel VideoStudio or Cyberlink PowerDirector at the base level of those programs.

      Move up to a level that covers your needs and go with that one. You should be looking at around a $40.00 to $70.00 purchase tops.

      Once you have taken a look around get back to me and I will try to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

  • Leda

    Are there programs that can format your movies so that they play on YouTube with the same clarity and without stuttering, as it does on your computer?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Leda,
      Youtube controls the quality at which they serve a video to a user.
      When a video is uploaded, YouTube converts it to a number of different quality levels.
      Then when a user )on their computer) clicks to play it YouTube estimates the ability of the users internet connection and serves what it thinks will stream consistently.
      The only way you can do anything to affect this when you upload videos is to upload at the highest possible quality and from there you are in the hands of YouTube.

  • Matthew

    Lance,
    I’m kind of stuck between lightworks and filmora. I’m going to be using it for youtube videos and highlight reals of local sports teams. I would like to find something that is easy out of the gate but will still give me some room to grow as I become more proficient

    If it makes any difference I will be using a Panasonic DVC20p and Lenovo T420 with an i7 and 8 gigs of ram.

    Any advice that you could share is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    -Matthew

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Matthew,
      A lot of this comes down to opinion and personal experience so here’s my two cents worth.

      First up you are using a mini DV cam which let’s face it, is going the way of the dinosaur pretty soon.

      Lightworks have a ton of problems on their forum with people having trouble with this because it is a format and file transfer system (firewire) that is fast disappearing.

      Filmora is a paid program and is still actively supporting the format but having said that you can cancel both programs out by using a free program called WinDV to transfer on to your computer so really, no winner there!

      Basically for me it comes down to this.

      The free version of Lightworks is fine but quite literally comes with nothing!

      You can import, cut, add some music and do the very basic things and then only export to a YouTube format.

      There is no scope within the program as a free option to expand or develop further.

      Filmora is paid for and comes with an array of editing effects, audio, green screen and a bunch of other tools and features including a screen recorder that will allow you to grow as an editor.

      You pay once and it is your forever, with Lightworks you pay monthly or over $200 for a permanent licence.

      If you go with Filmora it will coast around $40 to $50 bucks and if you work with it daily for a year maybe, just maybe, you may outgrow it… but I doubt it.

      • Matthew

        Thank you! I already downloaded Filmora and your right it is really easy out the box.

        I hear you about the issues with dv cams. I wanted to try using a camera with bigger footprint to see how it felt before taking the plunge into something much more expensive then the $140 I paid for mine. I figure that if this ends up being something that just isn’t for me I won’t be out that much money. You know kind of a no harm no foul type of thing.

        Thanks again for taking the time out to not only help me but all the others.
        -Matthew

  • woods

    All I want is to trim/convert my videos for email sending. What’s the best Vid Ed for that ??

    Keith W

  • Hi Lance,

    Great post!

    I was wondering how do you compare Power Director 15 vs Filemora? In terms of:

    1. User friendliness

    2. Capability and features

    3. Quality of output videos

    4. Computer resource usage

    I´m trying to decide between these two alternatives. My Videos are for culinary programs, and self help online training and tutorials (both free and commercial)

    Given that they both cost almost the same (around 60$). I´m not sure which one is the one to go with.

    Maybe you can provide me some inputs and help me out here.

    Thanks a lot for the help!!

    Cheers!!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Andrés
      1. Filmora is more user friendly because it has less features you need to access.
      2. PowerDirector wins this by a mile but remember they are for two very different types of project.
      3. Exactly the same because the quality is controlled by the quality of the input video and the output settings YOU set.
      4. Filmora is a smaller program so occupies a smaller footprint on the computer as well as requiring less resources because you would be working on simpler projects. PowerDirector is big and resource hungry like all the fully featured editors. However of all the big editors available PowerDirector is the fastest and the winner when it comes to making use of resources.

      For the type of project you are going to be producing you do not need all the bells and whistles from PowerDirector.

      Get Filmora, it does everything you need and is easier to learn and get using.

  • Garry Carter

    Hi

    Im trying to find a simple Video editor without much success. Tried a couple from this site but not got very far. First downloaded Muvee Reveal but got nowhere. Uploaded an MP4 file and got the message file not supported, directed me to a page to download Apple quicktime to my Windows 7 computer. Did that then got the message from Apple needed to download something else so gave up at that stage and uninstalled.Would have thought MP4 was the most used format so cant understand why not supported.
    Now tried Wondershare filmora. On the face of it it looked OK but cant find any good help. No on page help, looked at all the videos and FAQ which gave me a mountain of information on things I don’t want to do. Cant find anything which shows step by step how to do the basics. All Im trying to do is cut out the unwanted parts of some lengthy MP4 footage and combine whats left in to one short video. I struggled for ages with the so called instant cutter but cant figure it. When you highlight an area the only options seem to be the delete button or the button showing a pair of scissors which suggests it will cut the highlighted area. Neither that nor the delete button do anything.

    Maybe you can suggest something that will do the just the very basic editing jobs that has some step by step instructions to follow for first time users of this type of software like me

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Garry,
      OK so let’s go through this point by point.
      As far as the Quicktime thing goes you only needed to download Quicktime and then anything Apple wants after that is unnecessary.
      The reason you probably needed Quicktime is because most likely the MP4 you have was created as a .mov file so needs Quicktime.

      I know MP4 sounds pretty simple and common but it actually depends on how the file as created so I won’t bore you with the details.

      Filmora is absolutely your best shot here so bear with it.

      The problem here is that video editing software has nothing in the real world with which to compare to at least get your foot in the door.

      Even a Word document can present you with what looks like a blank sheet of paper on the screen to get you started, editing software has nothing!

      Forget the cutter module in Filmora, it is for another purpose.

      Open Filmora, load the file on to the timeline.

      Find the bits you don’t want, place the playhead at the start of the unwanted bit and click the little scissors icon. This will make a cut.

      Move the playhead to the end of the unwanted bit and click the scissors again to make another cut.

      Click on the unwanted bit so it is highlighted and hit the delete button.

      The remaining bits will snap together.

      Lather rinse and repeat until all the unwanted stuff is gone then go to Export and create a new file.

      Remember, this is called Non Linear Editing which is a fancy way of saying that the editor NEVER touches or changes your original files.

      It just uses them as a reference to carry out your instructions so you always have to Export or render to a new file.

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