The Mac is hugely popular among creative professionals, so it’s no great surprise that there are lots of video editing tools available for it. Whether you just want to add titles, transitions and a soundtrack, or you want to add Hollywood-style effects and access to professional color correction there’s a Mac application that will do the job.
The really great news is that many of these programs are free. You might expect that free video editing software would have fewer features or produce less professional results than expensive software, but many of the free tools featured here are more than good enough to produce professional-looking movies. The only downside is that they tend to have a steep learning curve and they don’t walk you through the process of editing. However, there are plenty of video on YouTube to help you get started. Here are the best free and paid-for video editing applications for the Mac.
When choosing the best video editing software, you need to consider many things. For example, consider the computer you’re using, file transfers (inputs), editing features like filters, transitions, video, and audio settings, and video file rendering (outputs). Here are my picks for the best video editing software: 1. Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Jan 08, 2020 Video editing software for Mac comes at various price points, with some even being open-source. Our favorite, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, is the most complete solution available. For this, however, you're going to pay monthly. With this, you'll also receive Premiere Rush, which lets you capture footage on all your devices.
Best free video editing software for Mac
Apple’s consumer focused video editing tool used to only be free if you bought a new Mac. But now everyone can download it free from the Mac App Store. It’s a brilliantly easy to use application. One of its best features are the movie trailer themes that allow you to create amazing cinema-style trailers in a few minutes.
If you want to create your own movies, there are tons of effects, transitions, sound effects and title styles to help you. And it’s easy to import your own audio tracks and photos and add them to your production. If you’re looking for a free video editor for Mac, iMovie could be the only tool you’ll ever need.
2. DaVinci Resolve
If iMovie isn’t for you, give DaVinci Resolve a try. It’s the free version of DaVinci Resolve Studio, but being free doesn’t mean there aren’t many features. It’s loaded with professional tools like some of the best color correction and image stabilization there is. In the free version, you can work at frame rates up to 60fps and export your movie in SD, HD and Ultra HD.
It has a full digital audio workstation for sound editing, meaning you won’t have to leave the app to get the audio just the way you want it. It’s available on the Mac App Store, but if you want the full features of the free version, download it from the Blackmagic website.
While DaVinci Resolve gives away lots of its high end features in the free version, the same can’t be said of Lightworks. There’s still plenty here though, including: effects, multicam editing, titling, and a timeline with multiple layers.
There’s also access to royalty-free video and audio content for you to include in your projects. However, output in the free version is restricted to 1080p on Vimeo and 720p on YouTube. And there are no detailed export options for H.264 or MP4. Also, if you want to use the free version for more than seven days, you’ll have to register.
OpenShot is an open source video editor with a user interface that’s much simpler than most. That doesn’t mean it’s short of features, though. It has templates for creating titles, effects, the ability to remove the background from your video, and slow motion and time effects. You can also create 3D animated titles and effects, there’s support for unlimited tracks, and for more than 70 languages. The interface isn’t the slickest you’ll ever use, and there have been question marks over its reliability in the past, but it’s definitely worth trying if you want a free video editor for the Mac.
5. Video Editor MovieMator
Video Editor MovieMator allows you to trim, split, move, and merge clips from a variety of different sources. It handles every consumer file format you’re likely to need and can import directly from your iPhone or GoPro. There are lots of built-in effects and transitions, and, of course, you can add titles too.
The interface is simple enough for most people to get to grips with quickly and the real-time preview makes it easy to see exactly how your video is coming along. There is a significant limitation on the free version of the app — exports are listed to videos that are up to five minutes long. Also, there is only one transition and a handful of effects in the free version.
Best paid-for video editors for Mac
1. Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro has come a long way since it was overhauled a few years ago and lost several features that caused lots of criticism to be directed at Apple. The fact that it’s designed by Apple means that it takes full advantage of hardware on the Mac, particularly the Mac Pro and iMac Pro. It pushes their multi-core CPU and GPUs to the maximum.
Features like the Magnetic Timeline 2 and Enhanced Timeline Index may be beyond the needs of most of us, but if you edit videos for a living, you’ll appreciate them. Support for up to 64 camera angles with automatic audio syncing is another feature that makes video professionals lives much easier. And of course, it supports the formats you would expect of a serious video editor including ProRes, RED, and XAVC, as well as H.264 from digital SLR cameras. When it comes to Mac video editing, Final Cut Pro X has all the bases covered.
2. Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Like all of Adobe’s professional products, Premiere Pro is only available as a subscription package and subscribing for a year will cost you almost as much as buying Final Cut Pro X outright. However, if you prefer your video organisation tools and especially the timeline to look and work like a traditional non-linear video editor, you may prefer Premiere Pro over Final Cut’s Magnetic Timeline.
In other respects, Premiere Pro is very similar to its Apple rival, offering a full range of audio editing and color correction tools, as well as effects, support for multiple formats (including Apple’s ProRes) and all the output options you’re likely to need.
One area where Mac users will notice a difference is in rendering performance, particularly on a high-end Mac like a Mac Pro or iMac Pro. Adobe’s application is designed for Mac and PC and so optimized or for the Mac’s multi-core CPU and GPU the way that Final Cut Pro is.
3. Adobe Premiere Elements 2018
The simplest way to describe Premiere Elements is that it is to Premiere Pro what iMovie is to Final Cut Pro. But Elements and iMovie are two very different apps. For a start, while iMovie is free, Elements costs $100. The other main difference is that Elements is set up to automate much of the process of creating your movie masterpieces. So, for example, Quick mode takes the clips and other media you’ve imported and throws them together on the timeline, you can then re-order them, trim them and add transitions and other effects. Even here, however, the emphasis is on letting Elements do the hard work for you. So, press the Fix button and it will apply image stabilization and other ‘fixes.’ If you want to be more involved, a guided mode prompts you with onscreen tips. Of course, if you’d rather work completely manually, you can. Elements doesn’t make it as easy to import media as iMovie does, and you’ll have to download much of its additional content, like music scores, individually.
FIlmora allows you to import clips from your Mac’s hard drive, a camera, and even from social media accounts. It has a somewhat quirky interface, that may take some getting used to if you’ve used other video editors. But it has plenty to commend it including lots of effects, titling options, and audio controls. It’s neatest feature could be the lighting preset options that allows you to emulate the look of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, or House of Cards at the click of a button.
How to make space for video on your Mac
Working with video editing software means you need lots of free space on your Mac’s main drive — video clips use several gigabytes of space for every hour of content, and that’s before you export the final version. You should also make sure your Mac is running at its optimal speed, you’ll need every ounce of power to render video.
One quick and easy way to both improve your Mac’s performance and clear space on its hard drive is to use CleanMyMac X. CleanMyMac identifies “junk” files that sit on your Mac’s drive, taking up space and slowing it down. It makes removing the files very easy and could claw back tens of gigabytes of space. You can download it free here.
The best video editing software for Mac is, ultimately, the one that does what you need to do in a way that you enjoy working. There’s lots of Mac video editing software, and much of it is free. Take time, try out as many applications as you can and choose the best one for you.
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What should you look for in video editing software for Mac? That is a question you may ask when looking for an application to edit your videos. But the better question is–where do you plan to use your videos? The answer can help you choose, as some solutions are simpler than others, allowing for the quick creation of professional-quality presentation or tutorial videos. Other platforms are the more advanced types, with an array of high-tech tools suitable for use by commercial video/film producers and editors.
You’ll be surprised at the diverse range of video editing software for Mac in the market today. If you research all of them, you’ll need to take a few days of leave from work. Don’t worry; we have done the heavy lifting for you and came up with a lineup of the 12 best video editing software for Mac. These best video editing tools are either intuitive to casual users or powerful for pros, while some are scalable so that they can be used by both types of users. We also highlight the key features of each software to make it easier to compare them.
What are the best 12 video editing software solutions for Mac?
Employees prefer Mac for work because it increases productivity, a survey found. Also, workers believe that Mac computers boosted their creativity and collaboration. What’s more, they say that Mac enables them to be self-sufficient.
Workers choose Mac for better productivity
Source: Apple InsiderDesigned by
Since workers across a broad stream of departments prefer to use Mac, it is a natural course for software vendors like video editing software companies and developers to take their product right at Mac’s doorstep. As one of the 100 million Mac and MacBook users worldwide, you’re on the right track upping the ante of your video quality (our apologies, PC users), not just with the right machine, but with any of the software on our list. If your requirement is not Mac-specific, you can read our 20 best video editing tools for more options.
12 Best Video Editing Software for Mac
1. Final Cut Pro
First on our list of 12 best video editing software for Mac is Final Cut Pro. It is Apple’s premier professional video editing software for macOS users. The application is built to tap into the robust processing core, graphics card, and VRAM that power the latest Mac machines. With the software harnessing multi-core and multi-thread hardware capabilities of Macs, together with a huge set of cutting-edge editing tools, the result is smooth and accelerated post-production work from start to finish.
Final Cut Pro gives you the ability to import, share, and edit videos from a variety of cameras and devices with support for multiple formats. It has numerous tools for editing and timeline, trimming, effects, audio enhancement, color correction, closed captions, multimedia management, and project workflow. It can handle VR headset playback and 360-degree video editing, as well as HDR and ProResRAW sources. The software allows you to integrate dozens of third-party tools, devices, content, and plug-ins to give you an extendable platform.
The software is a standalone, on-premise solution priced at $299 (one-time payment). While it is locally deployed, the software allows you to upload, organize, and download files from online storage and stock media sites for project collaboration and sharing. It is designed for iMac and MacBook computers with macOS 10.13.6 or later versions of the operating system.
- Advanced tools for video/audio editing, motion graphics, and delivery
- Built on 64-bit architecture for handling complex projects and effects
- Extendable workflow via integration with dozens of external tools
2. Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing software for professionals and enthusiasts. Its claim of being “a cut above the rest” has an element of truth about it. That’s because it has become a popular tool for filmmakers, videographers, TV editors, and YouTube content creators. It has evolved into an industry-standard not only in video editing but also in workflow automation and media asset management. It supports all kinds of cameras, all types of formats, and any platform, including Mac and PC. This would make an excellent platform to use in conjunction with content marketing software, which could assist you in reaching out to your audience.
From its extensive R&D and the suggestions of its horde of users, Adobe Premiere Pro is a continually improving product with new features rolled out for every new release. It offers a new Freeform view for organizing and viewing storyboard and media files; rulers and guides for the precise layout of clips, text, and graphics; auto-Ducking for adding ambient sounds into your audio mix; faster mask tracking; and a dozen other enhancements on audio and video.
Of course, all the other features Adobe Premiere is known for are still there, including precise color grading, motion graphics, and animation, instant audio improvement, and integration with hundreds of partner technologies. The software also works seamlessly with its sibling Adobe products like After Effects, Audition, Photoshop, InDesign, and others. The software is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which means it is accessible online from any connected device. It has several packages for business, students, and schools. For individuals, the plan is pegged at $29.99/month or $239.88/year.
- Established industry leader
- Multi-platform, multi-format, compatibility
- Regular roll out or updates and new features
iMovie is another Apple product designed for macOS and iOS platforms. It is an entry-level video clip editing tool to help you produce visual stories from photos and videos. It gives you access to themes, templates, and tools for adding music, titles, and effects. It makes it easy for you to capture and cut photos directly from your iPhone, transfer them automatically to your iCloud Drive, then download them to your Mac or iPad, where you can add music, transitions, and fades, special effects, and other final touches.
iMovie, however, is not a barebones application. It can handle 4K videos and is loaded with dozens of design styles for creating animated titles and credits. You can also apply cinematic filters and effects on the entire video or the selected clip. In addition, it lets you control video speed (speed up or slow down), include green screen effects for changing backgrounds, put in picture-in-picture or split screens, and add or edit audio elements. iMovie is free and can be downloaded from the App Store.
- Zero-cost solution video editing tool for Mac and iOS devices
- Easy to navigate and simple to use with intuitive features
- Allows for quick creation of short videos and sharing them online
Safe Video Editing Software Free
WeVideo is a cloud-hosted video editing and sharing software that can support multiple formats and multiple platforms, including Mac, PC, Chromebook, Android, and iOS devices. The software makes it a breeze for you to capture, create, view, and share your videos even at up to 4K resolution. Its advanced editing features and simple interface allow you to produce professional-level videos without the needed expertise and without having to pay for expensive tools.
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With WeVideo, you can edit anywhere on any device with full control over tools for video editing and processing, motion titles, green-screen effects, screencasting, picture-in-picture, voiceovers, collaboration, and sharing, and media management. It utilizes Jumpstart technology that lets you start editing without waiting for your video to upload, allowing you to create movies in minutes. It has a storyboard, timeline, pre-built templates, and advanced text editing features to further speed up your video creation.
WeVideo has a free plan, and four paid plans that start at $3.74/month. Its higher-priced plans give you access to a library containing thousands of video, music, and image files that you can use for your video projects. But if you prefer an all-around solution, you can look at digital asset management software instead.
- Provides file and media management, collaboration, and sharing tools
- Supports more than 600 video, audio, and video formats
- Maintenance-free cloud platform
Filmora is designed to simplify the video editing process through an online solution that can be accessed through any connected device. It can be used by all kinds of video creators, whether for creating personal movies or for coming up with business presentations, product demos, or marketing videos. It allows you to incorporate overlays, filters, custom titles, and transitions as well as adjust audio, remove background noise, and set keyframes. Aside from basic editing tools, you also have compositing tools for imaginative videos using green-screen effects and layering clips.
Filmora supports 4K video editing, multiple footage, and multi-format sources. It is capable of importing multiple videos and using up to a hundred layers of multimedia materials for creating complex stories, without having to pour in hours of work. Once you’re done with your video project, you can quickly transfer it to DVD or sharing directly to Facebook or Vimeo right from the Filmora platform. The software offers various pricing plans for schools, individuals, and businesses and has dedicated plans for Mac and Windows users. Its Filmora plans for Mac are priced at $49.99/year for a one-year subscription for one Mac; $59.99 for a lifetime license; and $179.97 for a lifetime license of up to five Macs.
- Simplified professional-level video editing
- Dozens of creative filters and special effects
- Dedicated packages for Mac users
6. DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is a professional, on-premise editing solution that brings together tools for 8K editing, visual effects, color correction, and audio editing in one package. It is built to streamline post-production workflows and enable multi-user collaboration. It allows for one-click shuttling between tools for editing, effects, color, and audio. These capabilities enable members of a post-production team – producer, director, video and sound editors, graphic artists, and others – to easily work together on completing the project, whether it is a TV show, music video, or full-length feature film.
DaVinci Resolve is a complete color grading program for film and video editing. It offers color correction and finishing tools that editors and colorists can use to create cinematic results regardless of whether the project is intended for theater, TV, or online viewing.
DaVinci Resolve is available in just two plans. First is a free one with all the tools for editing, motion graphics, visual effects, color correction, and audio enhancement. The second is a paid plan at $299 that adds several 3D tools, plugins, special effects, and collaboration capabilities.
- Affordable high-end video/audio post-production platform with advanced features
- Over 250 tools for compositing, keying, compositing, rotoscoping, text animation, etc.
- Optimizes CPU and GPU for smooth and responsive playback
7. HitFilm Express
HitFilm Express is a free online video editing and visual effects software that gives you all the tools you need to prepare you for professional filmmaking. You can create Hollywood-style movies right from your home studio without the need to hire professional video editors. The software supports both Mac and Windows and is ideal for indie filmmakers out to make theater-ready movies. It gives you a revolutionary workflow that can combine timelines, customize the interface, work with various formats, configure export settings, and more.
With HitFilm Express, you get video editing tools for adding animations, enhancing composite shots, add unlimited video/audio tracks, modify layers, make precise cuts, and add smooth transitions. You also have at your disposal tools for color correction and grading, keying and extraction, 3D modeling, simulating objects and particles, and an array of other special effects.
HitFilm Express requires a high-end system such as that of MacOS 10.11 or higher. While the software is entirely free, you have to buy add-on packs and modules ranging from $10 to $50 each, which extend the software’s functionalities and give you more specialized effects to work on.
- Offers extensive, regular tutorials for recreating FX footage from hit movies
- Cost-effective, feature-rich editing/special VFX software
- Dedicated technical support team and active online community
Wideo is an online animated video platform accessible by Mac, Windows PC, and other connected devices. It is intended to help businesses come up with fun and engaging promotional, explainer, and marketing videos. Creating presentation videos through Wideo is fast and easy, with 80 ready-made templates. You can create, edit, and share videos using the drag and drop interface. You don’t have to start from the ground up since there are ready-made templates that allow you to create animations in no time, even without any video editing background. And while you are at it, you can keep these 13 video marketing trends for 2020 in mind to ensure that your efforts hit the mark.
There are several template categories you can choose from to match your business and industry, including those for ecommerce, marketing, product demos, startups, school projects, company presentations, and more. The process is simple – sign up to create your account, then choose from the ready-made templates or, if you prefer, upload your own. You can then customize your video by adding transitions, apply effects, change the animation speed, copy or remove keyframes, and preview your work before uploading them online and sharing interactive links.
Only paid plans allow branding, longer videos, and full HD downloads. There are three paid plans offered, starting at $59/month or $19/month if billed annually.
- Over 80 video templates built by professionals
- You get premium support, priority downloads, privacy control, and monetization rights
- Easy drag-and-drop video creation and editing
VideoPad is a full-featured digital video editor built with a simple user interface and intuitive tools. It is suitable for use by individuals and businesses looking to create professional-quality videos minus the complexity and high cost. With the software, you can create and edit videos simply by adding clips through drag-and-drop function, apply video effects from a library of over 50 transitions and effects, and burn your videos on DVD or upload them online. The software supports all major video formats such as avi, wmv, mpv, and DivX, regardless of the video source.
VideoPad comes with video optimization tools to fine-tune colors, adjust video speed, and add images to sequences, and do 360-degree or 3D editing. The on-premise software is available in several pricing plans, including a lifetime license at a discounted price of $34.99. Several add-on tools for capturing, converting, recording, labeling, and more, are offered at additional cost. There are also separate editions available for Mac OS X, Windows, iPhone/iPad, Android, and Kindle devices.
- Has a dedicated edition for Mac users
- Utilizes pure digital editing tools
- Equipped with complete video optimization capabilities
Movie Editing Software For Mac Os X
10. Lightworks Pro
Lightworks Pro is a big player in the video editing industry, having been used in blockbuster films like Pulp Fiction and Heat. The software is a complete video creation, and editing package for work intended not only for big-screen projects but also for TV, social media, video sharing sites, and for professional-level business projects. Lightworks is loaded with features that include an intuitive interface, easy timeline editing, and trimming, audio and video effects, multi-format support, up to 4K video export, and access to royalty-free video and audio content.
Whether you’re making a short video or feature-length films, Lightworks got you covered with all the professional-grade tools you need to do precise edits and enhancements like color grading, blending, transitions, keyframing, and adding special effects. The video editor integrates with Blackmagic Fusion, an image compositing tool for creating VFX for movies, commercials, and TV shows. Also, you can utilize plug-ins from Boris, a vector-based titling tool, for adding filters, graffiti, and graphics. The online platform offers a free version with limited features and three premium editions with prices starting at $24.99. You can also get a full license with no expiration for $437.99.
- Runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux systems
- Enhanced VFX with Boris FX plug-ins and Blackmagic Fusion tools
- A vast set of tutorial videos and vibrant online user community
macXvideo is a free, next-generation video processing application dubbed as the best tool for 4K video processing. Despite its name, it is not an Apple product but is designed to leverage the computing capabilities of Mac machines for efficient and effortless compression of 4K (up to 8K) videos without loss of quality. The software is simple to use with intuitive tools that do not require video editing expertise for editing, decoding, encoding, and compressing ultra-high-definition 4K or higher resolution videos.
macXvideo offers a number of video editing features for transforming raw videos into high-quality movies. It comes with tools for video trimming/cutting, splitting, merging, variable playback speed, captions/subtitles, and audio enhancements. It also has capabilities for adjusting and correcting colors, saturation, gamma, contrast, and hue. The software supports videos from whatever source and is compatible with all types of audio/video formats, codecs, size, and quality.
- Entirely free on-premise video editing solution
- Superior and fast processing for UHD video materials
- Next-gen video compression technology while retaining near original video quality
Rocketium is a cloud-based video creation and editing software that makes it easy to produce business videos. Targeted at marketers, publishers, and agencies, the software provides a simple and hassle-free way for businesses to tell their stories or relay their messages through promotional videos, product or company presentations, or ad campaigns. It offers powerful and professional design and editing tools for video scene trimming, cropping, and adding multimedia elements like music and images. You get single-click styling, colors, fonts, animation options, and timing, and positioning, among others.
Rocketium is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. It gives you access to millions of royalty-free video footage, images, and soundtracks so you can easily complete your video with all the components you need. You can likewise customize your video to reflect your brand and use the software’s “workspaces” to collaborate with colleagues on your project. Rocketium is available in four paid plans starting at $9/month.
- Access to huge multimedia content
- Trello-like task boards for managing projects
- Built-in video content translation tool for 100+ languages
Use Free Trials to Find the Best Video Editing Software for You
Reading up on a video editing software and watching demos and tutorials may not be enough. For you to find which application works best for you, you need to have hands-on experience with a platform. But subscribing to each program on your shortlist could be unnecessarily expensive. Fortunately, vendors now offer free trials of their products. You can take advantage of these to test drive tools and features.
Speaking of finances, it is an easy choice to go for the most expensive video editing software from a well-known developer. This is because you can be sure it packs a punch, feature-wise. It may not be suitable for your budget, though. Still, there are other solutions on the list that could serve as an alternative to your first choice. With those, you have the powerful tools you need that will still enable you to create the best videos.