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 editor 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. Version History
  7. Ripple Mode
  8. Snap to Timeline
  9. Snap to Grid
  10. Placeholders
  11. Grouping
  12. 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.

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Timeline Dropdown

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

These common actions have similar keyboard shortcuts that you may already be used to:
⌘ + x (Mac) |  ctrl + x (Windows)
⌘ + c (Mac) |  ctrl + c (Windows)
⌘ + v (Mac) |  ctrl + v (Windows)
delete (Mac) |  delete (Windows)
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)
Space bar (Mac) | Space bar (Windows)

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Multiple Select

Multiple select allows you to click on several layers at a time rather than dealing with editing them one by one. 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.  

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

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.

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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

You can detach your audio by right clicking the layer and selecting "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 while 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 editing a video, you can find the "undo" and the "redo" arrow buttons along the top of the timeline.

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

⌘ + z (Mac) |  ctrl + z (Windows)

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

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Version History

Kapwing auto-saves your projects as you edit, but you can also view your edit history and manually save the current version of your project with this feature. This makes it easier to test out different drafts and revert back to older versions at any time.

To find it, click outside the canvas, then select the "Versions" tab on the right. If you want to save the current state of the project as a version, select "Save Current Version to History". To revert to or duplicate an older version, click the three dots icon next to the version and select your desired option.

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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.

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

You can turn it on and off in your project settings or 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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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.

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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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  
  2. Click "+ Add placeholder"
  3. You can move, adjust, resize and reposition your placeholder on the canvas

To replace the Placeholder:

  1. Click the center of the placeholder
  2. 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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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)

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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.)

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Looking for more help?

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