The Best Simple Video Editor for Beginners

Kapwing is a simple, intuitive online video editor that allows anyone to edit videos conveniently. I'll go over all the main editing tools provided in the Kapwing Studio.

The Best Simple Video Editor for Beginners

The internet changes fast – it seems like every week there’s a new trend to keep up with, a new feature added to your favorite website, or a new platform that everyone is using. It can feel like you’ll fall behind if you’re not constantly chasing the newest thing.

If you don’t want to try new programs every time you open your computer, it’s nice to know the easiest and most reliable online tools for everything you do. For creating and editing videos, there are dozens of softwares you can find, all with different strengths.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to use Kapwing, a simple, intuitive online video editor that allows anyone to edit videos conveniently. I'll go over how it works in 5 sections:

  1. Uploading videos to the Kapwing Studio
  2. Editing videos in the Kapwing Studio
  3. Using the Timeline editor
  4. Adding text & audio
  5. Downloading and sharing videos from Kapwing

1. Uploading Videos to the Kapwing Studio

A screenshot highlighting the main functions to get started in the Kapwing Studio.

To get started in the Kapwing Studio, first head over to in your browser – you can use a computer, phone, tablet, or any device that can access the internet. Here, click "Start Editing" in order to enter the Studio – you don't need to create an account or do anything else. Once you're in the Studio, you have several options to upload videos and images from your device or the web:

  • Click "Upload" and select the file you want to upload from your system
  • Click the "Record" option in the upper toolbar, where you can record a video using your device's camera, record audio using your device's microphone, or record your screen.
  • Drag and drop a file (either onto the Studio canvas or onto the Workspace)
  • Copy and paste the URL of a video from YouTube, Google Drive, GIPHY, etc. to import directly
  • Copy images to your clipboard and paste them onto the Studio canvas
  • Use the "Images" search tool: Look for images on the web from inside Kapwing

You can upload as many videos, photos, GIFs, and audio files as you want for your project. All of the options can be used for any additional uploads: drag & drop, the Upload button, Image search, pasting links, and the Record tool. Plus, you can add scenes on the left side of the screen to make a photo montage or multi-scene video.

2. Editing Videos in the Kapwing Studio

Once your content is uploaded to the Studio, you can start making your edits. Kapwing's tools are intuitive, and you can pretty much find them all in the same place. If you don't have anything selected on the canvas, you'll see all your background editing options on the right side of the screen: canvas size, padding options, and background color.

A screenshot highlighting the main video editing tools in Kapwing.

When you click on one of the layers you uploaded, you'll see far more editing options in the right-hand toolbar. Here's what you can do to every layer you add:

Trim and cut sections out using the Trim tool
Add animations to the layer's entrance or movement
• Change the layer's brightness, contrast, saturation, and blur with the Adjust tool
• Remove the background from the video of a person or remove any color from the video using the Effects tab
• Crop any layer using the Crop tool
Rotate or flip the video using the buttons under "Rotate"
Change the video speed with the plus and minus buttons under "Speed"
• Add an outline with any color and width

3. Using the Timeline Editor

For an even more streamlined editing experience, you may prefer the Studio's Timeline editor. You can get there in two ways: the Timeline button in the upper toolbar or the one in the bottom right of the window.

A screenshot demonstrating how to use the Timeline editor in Kapwing.

In the Timeline editor, you have only a few edits that you can make, but the interface is simple and easy to learn. You'll see all the layers you have in the scene you've selected, displayed at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can move them around on the Timeline, trim them from either end, split them anywhere in the middle, and change their timing down to a hundredth of a second. But if you want to make any of the other edits listed above, you'll need to return to the Studio view.

4. Adding Text and Audio

There are two really important things that you can add to your videos that I haven't gone over yet: custom text and audio. I'll start with text.

There are two ways for you to add text to your video: text boxes and subtitles. For labels, titles, names, and information, you should use single text boxes. To do so, click the Text button in the upper toolbar and enter your text into the box. When you've typed your text, you'll see all the text editing options on the right side of the screen: font, color, outline, style, position, angle, and background style and color. Additionally, you can add ten different animations to your text box using the "Animate" tab, plus a drop shadow with custom position, color, and blur using the Effects tab.

A screenshot showing layer editing options in the Kapwing Studio.

You can also add subtitles to your video for viewers to follow along with anything spoken in the video. Select Subtitles in the upper toolbar to open the Subtitle editor, where you can add captions manually or use the Auto-Generate tool for a head start. You're able to change your subtitles' font, color, size, position, and background style. And if you're auto-generating your captions, you can even have them automatically translated into over 50 different languages.

Now I'll go over how to add and edit audio for your video project. First, you can click the Audio button to import an audio file from your computer or paste a link to any audio online, including YouTube videos. You can also drag audio clips directly onto the Timeline, which allows you to add as many clips as you want, or record an audio clip in the Studio by selecting the Record button in the upper toolbar.

There are only a few edits you can make to audio files once they're imported or recorded: trimming, adjusting the time they're playing, and decreasing their volume. You can do all of these in the Audio editor, or change your Audio layers' timing in the Timeline.

5. Downloading and Sharing Videos with Kapwing

By now, I've gone over all of the main functions of the Kapwing Studio, but I'm not quite done yet. Once you've created your video project, there are a couple more steps: downloading it and sharing it with people. From the Studio window, click the red Export button in the upper right and give Kapwing some time to process your video. Longer video projects can take several minutes, but you won't have to wait long for most projects. Once it's done processing, click the Download button and your video will be saved straight to your device.

A screenshot showing the main options on the Kapwing final video page.

Kapwing can also help you share your video project with anyone you want. From the download page, you'll see options to share your video directly to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Easier yet, you can copy the video's link to send to anyone you would like, so they can view and even edit your video themselves.

If you want to share all your video projects with someone, you can invite them to your Workspace. All this requires is creating a free account on Kapwing with an existing Google or Facebook account. When your account is created, a Workspace will be made for you – there, you can click the Share button to invite anyone you'd like to become a member of your Workspace, where you can collaborate on projects, view each other's work, and even make edits to the same video in real-time, no matter where you are.

I hope this article helps you get started with Kapwing, an easy and intuitive online video software that anyone can use. For more editing tutorials like this one, plus product updates and content tips, check out our YouTube channel Kapwing App. In the meantime, here are some related articles to help you get started with Kapwing:

The Best Photo & Video Sizes for Social Media
How to Edit Videos with Kapwing
Kapwing Help Center Tutorials