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The 15 Best YouTube Video Editing Software Options for 2023

YouTube is the second largest search engine and one of the most popular websites globally. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it‘s a highly competitive platform for content creators. Having high-quality, eye-catching videos is key to standing out. That‘s why using a powerful YouTube video editing software is essential.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll be exploring the top 15 software options for editing YouTube videos — from beginner friendly to advanced tools packed with features.

An Overview of YouTube Video Editing Software

YouTube video editing software provides a timeline-based interface to arrange, trim, transition, add effects/elements and export your video projects. The right editing program can take your raw footage and transform it into polished, professional-looking content ready to captivate audiences.

While basic editing can be done natively on YouTube, most creators use third-party software for finer control and more advanced capabilities.

Here are some common features of top YouTube editing programs:

  • Intuitive timeline editor
  • Library of templates, effects, transitions
  • Tools to trim/split/arrange clips
  • Audio editing tools
  • Color grading and correction
  • Export presets optimized for YouTube
  • Direct YouTube publishing

Choosing the right software depends on your skill level, platform, budget and specific video editing needs.

We‘ve compiled 15 of the top options across various categories to help you find the best fit:

Comparison of Top 15 YouTube Video Editing Software

Software Starting Price Platforms Key Features Learning Curve
Adobe Premiere Pro $21.99/month Windows, macOS Industry standard professional toolset Steep
Final Cut Pro X $299 one-time Mac only Powerful timeline editor with excellent performance Moderate
Davinci Resolve Free Windows, macOS, Linux Great color grading and effects with some limitations Moderate
Filmora $7.99/month Windows, macOS Intuitive and easy to use with good library of effects/assets Beginner friendly
VSDC Free Windows, macOS Lightweight editor good for basic trimming and exporting Beginner friendly
Wondershare Filmii Free iOS, Android Excellent mobile editing app for phones/tablets Beginner friendly
InVideo $7.99/month Web only Impressive AI features and collaboration tools Beginner friendly
Kapwing Free Web only Easy template-based editing with good asset library Beginner friendly
Renderforest Free Web only Template focused creation with auto content generation Beginner friendly
Animoto $9/month Web, iOS, Android Quick video creation from images/clips with styles and effects Beginner friendly
Adobe Premiere Elements $99 one-time Windows, macOS Lower cost version of Premiere Pro with friendly interface Beginner to Intermediate
HitFilm Express Free Windows, macOS Lots of visual effects tools and compositing capabilities Intermediate
Vegas Pro $299 one-time Windows only Fast rendering performance even for complex projects Intermediate to Advanced
Cyberlink PowerDirector $99 one-time Windows only Excellent value with intuitive interface and good effects/tools Beginner to Intermediate
Corel VideoStudio $99 one-time Windows only Highly customizable overlays, masking and tracking Beginner to Intermediate

Next, we‘ll explore seven of these options in more detail.

Top YouTube Video Editing Software Options

Adobe Premiere Pro

As part of Adobe‘s Creative Cloud suite, Premiere Pro is an industry standard professional video editing program used widely by YouTubers to agencies and studios.

Adobe Premiere Pro interface

Key Highlights

  • Extremely fully-featured professional toolkit
  • Excellent ecosystem integration with other Adobe apps
  • Stable performance even with 6K+ footage
  • Advanced color, audio and graphics capabilities
  • Steep learning curve but abundant tutorials/resources
  • More expensive subscription-based pricing

Premiere Pro has all the tools needed for incredibly precise editing. While beginners may be overwhelmed, intermediate to advanced creators can leverage its expansive capabilities for nearly endless creativity.

Final Cut Pro X

Developed by Apple exclusively for macOS, Final Cut Pro offers blazing fast performance leveraging native silicon optimization.

Final Cut Pro X interface

Key Highlights:

  • Optimized for Apple silicon Macs
  • Powerful organizational library with automation
  • Intuitive new timeline paradigm
  • Excellent ecosystem integration with Apple apps
  • Simplified effects and color grading
  • Mac ecosystem lock-in
  • Expensive one-time cost

For Mac users, Final Cut Pro represents one of the fastest and most capable NLEs. And with recent updates, it‘s easier than ever for beginners to create professional level content.

DaVinci Resolve

Boasting an incredible color grading toolset leveraged by Hollywood studios, DaVinci Resolve offers outstanding capabilities for free.

DaVinci Resolve interface

Key Highlights:

  • Professional grade color correction tools
  • Excellent audio mastering options
  • Fast rendering engine and performance
  • Free version has some limitations
  • Fairly steep learning curve
  • Windows, Mac and Linux support

Backed by excellent community resources, the free DaVinci Resolve version is an appealing choice for value-focused editors wanting pro-grade tools.

Filmora

Filmora by Wondershare is a popular software for beginner and intermediate creators wanting an intuitive and affordable video editor.

Filmora interface

Key Highlights:

  • Easy to learn timeline interface
  • Great library of templates, effects and assets
  • Useful built-in screen recorder
  • Handy auto video creator tool
  • Affordable subscription pricing
  • Limited to 6 video/audio tracks

With Filmora, creators can easily trim clips, layer effects, add overlays/animations and more to take projects from start to finish without complexity.

VSDC

Offering capable tools for free, VSDC is built to be a lightweight and easy-to-use video editing solution.

VSDC interface

Key Highlights:

  • Completely free with no watermarks
  • Supports all key editing fundamentals
  • Multiple visual effects included
  • Hardware acceleration for good performance
  • Limited to 4k and no proxy workflows
  • Fewer advanced capabilities

For basic editing needs like trimming footage, adding transition/effects and finalizing video, VSDC is a great free option.

Wondershare Filmii

Filmii stands out as a well-designed mobile YouTube video editing app for phones and tablets.

Filmii interface

Key Highlights:

  • Impressive tools optimized for touch
  • Handy video templates and guides
  • Intuitive timeline editing process
  • Useful video filters and overlays
  • Limited track count and no LUT support
  • Price increases for more cloud storage

For creators needing to edit great looking videos directly on mobile devices, Filmii provides an excellent experience.

InVideo

InVideo is a compelling cloud-based option with impressive AI automated editing capabilities.

InVideo interface

Key Highlights:

  • AI automated video creation
  • Huge library of templates and media
  • Useful collaboration features
  • Affordable subscription pricing
  • Requires good internet connection

For beginners wanting automated help during editing, InVideo makes it easy to create great looking videos. And with capable manual editing tools too, it can grow as you build skills.

Factors for Choosing the Best Software

Beyond features, there are a few key considerations when determining the best YouTube video editing software for your needs:

Learning Curve – Assess your current skill level. Options like Filmora or VSDC are more beginner friendly versus steeper tools like Premiere Pro or Resolve.

System Requirements – More capable software demands more processing power and storage for larger video files and projects.

Platform – Choose software that works across your devices like Windows/Mac support or mobile apps.

Pricing – Subscription tools offer more frequent updates but can cost more over time versus one-time purchases.

Support – Having tutorials, docs and technical support can help overcome learning obstacles.

New Feature Pace – Faster update cycles means you get the latest editing capabilities quicker.

Balancing these factors will help narrow your options. As a good rule of thumb, start basic as you build expertise. You can always upgrade to more advanced software as needed.

Tips for Beginners Just Starting with Video Editing

Here are some top tips beginners should keep in mind:

  • Master fundamentals first – Focus on essential skills like trimming footage, arranging clips, adding transitions and text overlays.

  • Use templates – Leverage pre-made templates and guides in your editing software to create projects faster.

  • Pay attention to audio – Use background music and clean up audio tracks to massively improve production quality.

  • Study other videos – Analyze what engagement tactics top creators in your niche use.

  • Use free resources – Sites like Pexels and Pixabay offer media to elevate your edits.

  • Stay organized – Structure your source footage in folders by date or project right from the start.

Making quality edits may seem intimidating as a beginner, but getting the fundamentals down goes a long way. Then you can incrementally add skills over time.

Wrapping Up

As YouTube continues to be more competitive, using the right editing software is crucial for creators to produce captivating content efficiently.

The good news is high-quality options now exist across budget ranges, platforms and skill levels. Whether just getting started or taking your channel to new heights, there‘s an editor that can grow with you.

Focus on fundamentals first and invest time mastering your tools. By combining software capabilities with your unique creativity, the possibilities on YouTube are unlimited.