Advanced Editing Tips for Kapwing

Advanced Editing Tips for Kapwing

So you're familiar with Kapwing's basic editing features - what's next?

Kapwing actually has a ton of features that were created to make editing more precise and quick - allowing for more advanced editing. The great news is that you don't have to be an expert to use these features! After this article, you'll be a master of all things Kapwing.

  1. Zooming on Timeline
  2. Timeline Dropdown
  3. Multi-Select
  4. Detach Audio
  5. Undo & Redo
  6. Ripple Mode
  7. Snap to Timeline
  8. Snap to Grid
  9. Placeholders
  10. Grouping
  11. Moving Layers on the Canvas

Zooming on Timeline

The Timeline view allows for more flexibility in editing multiple layers. Sometimes getting precise edits can be tricky if layers look too small while the time increment is too large. There's a fix for this!

You can zoom in or out of the Timeline by clicking the (-) or (+) magnifying glasses or dragging the seeker between the (-) and (+) magnifying glasses at the top of the Timeline view. If you want all of your video to fit in the Timeline so that you can see the entire duration of your layers within the Timeline, click the "Fit to Screen" button next to the magnifying glasses.

A screenshot of the Timeline that shows the plus and minus magnifying glass symbols on a slider that indicates the ability to Zoom in and out.
A GIF demonstrating how the Timeline zooms in and out, enlarging or reducing the size of the assets, when the user clicks or drags the Zoom slider.

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Timeline Dropdown

While editing in the Timeline view, right click to open a dropdown menu that offers advanced editing tools, such as cut, copy, paste, and delete.

A screenshot of the Timeline dropdown menu open, which shows the options to Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Ripple Delete, Split or Detach Audio.

These common actions have similar keyboard shortcuts that you may already be used to:
Cut
⌘ + x (Mac) |  ctrl + x (Windows)
Copy
⌘ + c (Mac) |  ctrl + c (Windows)
Paste
⌘ + v (Mac) |  ctrl + v (Windows)
Delete
delete (Mac) |  delete (Windows)
Split
s (Mac) | s (Windows)

Splitting is commonly used to cut sections out of videos. Instead of clicking the "Split" button in the Timeline, or using the "Split" option from the right click drop-down, you can use the keyboard shortcut "s" for a quick way to streamline your editing workflow.

Some other helpful shortcuts include:
Move Seeker ~1 frame
Right arrow key to move right (Mac) | Right arrow key to move right (Windows) Left arrow key to move left (Mac) | Left arrow key to move left (Windows)
Move Seeker to beginning of nearest layer
Up arrow key (Mac) | Up arrow key (Windows)
Move Seeker to end of nearest layer
Down arrow key (Mac) | Down arrow key (Windows)
Play/Pause
Space bar (Mac) | Space bar (Windows)

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Multiple Select

We also have a Select All feature that allows you to select all of the layers in your Timeline. This makes it easier to move, reposition, or edit all of the layers in your project at once.

To select all, use the keyboard shortcut:
⌘ + a (Mac) | ctrl + a (Windows)

If you don't need to select all of your layers at once, but you do need to move or edit more than one layer at a time, you can click one layer, then hold down the ⌘/ctrl button while clicking to select other layers in the timeline.

Multiple select and select all works for all layers in your Timeline, regardless of what type of media they are.

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Detach Audio

Detaching audio is an advanced tool that is most helpful for detailed audio editing. Detaching the audio from your project allows you to:
- re-sync audio that is out of sync
- get rid of the original video audio so that only newly added audio layers play
- make more precise edits to your video's audio

A GIF screen recording that shows how a user can right click on a video asset in the Timeline to open the dropdown menu, then select "Detach Audio" to separate the audio from the video, to edit each independently.

You can detach your audio by clicking "Detach Audio" from the Timeline dropdown menu, or with the keyboard shortcut:
shift + ⌘ + A (Mac) – shift + ctrl + A (Windows)

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Undo and Redo

We all make mistakes or change our minds, especially whie in the midst of editing. Undo and Redo are core features. That's why we made sure both are available on Kapwing.

When you're ending a video, you can find the "undo" and the "redo" buttons along the top of the timeline:

A screenshot of the Timeline in Studio that shows a backwards arrow button and a forwards arrow button, for the Undo and Redo actions respectively.

For images and for users who don't like to always scroll up to click the buttons, the keyboard shortcuts are:

Undo
⌘ + z (Mac) |  ctrl + z (Windows)

Redo
shift + ⌘ + z (Mac) |  shift + ctrl + z (Windows)

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Ripple Mode

In its usual editing mode, Kapwing makes no assumptions about whether you want to shorten the duration of your project while deleting content. Gaps are maintained when you trim, split, and delete sections. If not filled, this can result in an empty space in your project, like so:

A GIF screen recording that shows when a portion of video is deleted from the Timeline in the normal editing mode, it leaves behind an empty space and white canvas in the project.

Turning on "Ripple Mode" allows you to trim, cut, and delete sections from your video, without keeping that gap in time between your layers.  Gaps are automatically removed when you trim, split, and delete sections, allowing for quick and seamless editing.

A GIF screen recording of Ripple Mode, showing how shortening or deleting a video layer leaves no gap behinds, so all assets are always set to play one after another.

You can find the "Ripple Mode" button in the top bar of the Timeline view.

A screenshot of the Timeline, showing the Ripple Mode button which is symbolized by two triangles with a vertical line in-between.

Or you can turn it on and off in your project settings:

A GIF screenshot showing a user clicking the "Settings" button in the upper right corner of their Studio project, to open the Settings modal, where they can click "On" or "Off" on Ripple Mode.

If you don't need Ripple Mode on the entire time you're editing, you can instead use Ripple Delete in the right click dropdown menu in the Timeline

A screenshot showing "Ripple Delete" as an option in the Timeline dropdown menu.

Or use Ripple Delete with the keyboard shortcut:
⌘ + delete (Mac) – ctrl + delete (Windows)

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Snap to Timeline

Found next to the "Ripple Mode" button, is the "Snap to Timeline" button. Turning on the "Snap to Timeline" feature allows for finer adjustments in the Timeline by automatically aligning clips within your project.

A screenshot of the Timeline, showing the "Snap To" button to turn on and off snapping while editing. It's symbolized by two side-by-side rectangles with alert lines.

When the Snap to Timeline function is off, the layers move freely when you drag them from one timestamp to another, along the Timeline. This can be helpful when needing to make micro-adjustments to the start or end time that shouldn't align with any other content (like fixing audio sync issues).

A GIF recording of a user moving an asset on the Timeline, with Snap To turned off. The asset does not automatically align to the start or end time of other clips, so the timing of different assets can be staggered easily.

When Snap To is on, you can see how the asset being moved will try to automatically align to the start or end time of other layers in the Timeline.

A GIF screen recording showing a user dragging a text layer in the Timeline. As it approaches the start or end of another asset, the track automatically aligns to the same time when Snap To is on.

Snap To will be on or off based on whether it was used in the last project you edited. You can turn it on or off as you need.

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Snap to Grid

Snap to Grid allows for quick alignment while resizing or repositioning elements on the canvas. Unlike Snap To in Timeline, which focuses on aligning the timing of elements, Snap to Grid focuses on aligning the positioning of elements visually.

A GIF screen recording that shows a user dragging a text layer on the Canvas. As it approaches the center, both vertically and horizontally, red guide lines appear and the asset auto-aligns with the center, to assist the user with quickly positioning the asset.

You can turn this function on or off in the project settings by clicking the gear icon at the top right near the "Share" button.

If you would like to keep Snap to Grid on, but need more dynamic and unrestricted movement of a single layer, you can hold down the ⌘ (Mac) or ctrl (Windows) button to turn off align lines on the canvas while you work on a single layer. Releasing the button will cause the lines to return.

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Placeholders

Templates are essential for content creation, whether it's to create a common frame or format for repeated uses in different projects (for branding or for a series), or if it's to create a fun template to send to other creators to make their own content.

You can create your own templates on Kapwing and by adding Placeholders to your project you can ensure you are adding your media to the right spot each time. To add a Placeholder:

  1. Go to Templates (1) then click
  2. "+ Add placeholder" (2),
  3. You can move and adjust your placeholder on the canvas (3)

You can resize and position your Placeholder. To replace the Placeholder, and click the center of the placeholder upload your media and it will replace the Placeholder with the image or video of your choice. When you add the replacement image or video, the new layer will retain the size and position of your Placeholder.

If you export your project with an empty Placeholder, you will see a gray square in your project.

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Groups

When you have several elements or images that you want to keep together on the canvas, the best way to do this it to group them together.

To group:

  1. Select all the layers you want grouped together. You can do this by holding ⌘/ctrl while clicking each item on the canvas or the timeline.
  2. On the right side panel, you will see the option to group the layers (as well as duplicate, lock, and delete them)
Screenshot of the side panel with the selection to group layers boxed in red

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Moving Layers on the Canvas

When you add items to the canvas, they are automatically placed at the "top" of the canvas until you add/upload a new layer or manually adjust the layer. To adjust layers, view the right side panel after selecting the layer you want to move either from the canvas, timeline, or layers tab on the left sidebar.

  1. Forward brings that layer "up" one layer.
  2. Backward brings that layer "down" one layer.
  3. Front brings that layer to the "top" of all other layers.
  4. Back brings that layer to the "bottom" of all other layers. (i.e. if you want that layer to be your background, this is what you'd want to click)

Note: If one of the layer options is grayed out, that means that layer cannot be moved to that position as it is already there (For example, if your background image is already the bottom layer then "Back" and "Backward" will be grayed out and un-clickable.)

Screenshot of layers section with forward, backward, front, back numbered to match the explanation above

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Looking for more help?

Check our Release Notes for tutorials on how to use the latest Kapwing features!