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© Volodymyr Nykolyshyn | Dreamstime

If you miss Windows Movie Maker, try this free alternative

For those who don’t want to pay for software, there are always open-source programs to turn to. Some of them are actually better and more user-friendly than their costly counterparts. But where do you start?

First, decide what program you like, but wish wasn’t so expensive — like Photoshop. This expensive program offers tons of features, but if you’re not a professional, is it really worth the price? Tap or click here for free alternatives to Photoshop.

But Photoshop isn’t the only program that offers free alternatives. If you’re really into video editing, it’s time to step beyond Windows Movie Maker, which was discontinued in 2017.

One app features all the same tools you’ve come to know and love from Microsoft’s classic video editing software, plus includes a few extras. Let us tell you all about it.

What is it?

Shotcut has proven itself to be one the most top-notch video, open-source editor alternatives to Windows Movie Maker to date. And the best part? It doesn’t cost an obscene amount to use. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and is completely free — no ads, bundled adware, or features hidden behind a paywall, either.

It’s great for capturing and editing those special family events and milestones like anniversary videos, vacations, birthdays, etc. Imagine not having to pay for a video-graphed scrapbook of your life events. Tap or click to get tips on how to shoot better movies on Android devices.

If you’re nervous about trying new software, don’t be. Check out Shotcut’s YouTube channel, which is full of tutorial videos that average about six minutes long.

User experience and interface

Shotcut’s interface has been described as smart overall, but sparse; however, don’t let that last part put you off. Clicking the buttons along the taskbar adds modules to the display so you can configure it to your liking. You also get three interface color themes: dark, light and system.

Importing video clips, audio and images should feel pretty familiar if you’re coming from the original Windows Movie Maker. Just select your desired media files, then drag them to the timeline at the bottom of the screen.

You can create multiple tracks for audio and video. Plus, there’s even a snapping tool available that makes it easy to neatly weave clips together in sequence.

Cutting and splitting clips is as easy as positioning the play-head, then clicking a button. Trimming clips is pretty easy as well, and there are copy and paste tools for chopping and changing specific sections.

Furthermore, the history timeline makes it easy to track changes and undo anything you don’t like by simply tapping the Delete key.

You may also like: Tap or click to learn more about other free programs designed to help you edit your videos.

Shotcut’s best feature comes from its extensive library of video and audio filters, which can be completely customized, layered and mixed in a variety of different combinations. Just choose a filter and click the plus icon to apply it, then make your adjustments with checkboxes and sliders. 

Overall, it’s a great system that makes even advanced effects simple to navigate and understand, while you’re having fun creating something new and unique.

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