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Kdenlive Review – Is It The Best Video Editor?

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published May 25, 22, updated Jun 12, 24

When you look for an open source video editor online, you will come across several popular video editors. One of them has to be Kdenlive video editor that is available free and compatible across all desktop operating systems. The video editor claims to be suitable for beginners as well as for professional video editors.

Starting from multi-track video editing and support for different file formats to loads to effects and flexible interface, Kdenlive video editor seems to be truly powerful. But is it comparable to premium video editors and is it suitable for standard and advanced video editing? Read our Kdenlive tutorial and review for everything you need to know.

Part 1. Key Features of Kdenlive

If you need to edit videos occasionally, a free video editor is what you will be looking for. Unfortunately, most free videos have very basic video editing tools and they are suitable for editing personal videos only. On the contrary, Kdenlive comes with all the standard as well as some advanced video editing features. Here are all the key features of Kdenlive video editor that you should be aware of.

Multi-track editing – Kdenlive comes with a versatile timeline where you can have multiple tracks consisting of video clips, audio files and different effects and objects. You can lock the tracks as well as mute them so that you can experiment as you edit your video.

Effects and Transitions – Even though limited, there are eye-catching effects and transitions available. You can also go for color correction as well as minor adjustments in your audio. Besides, the titler lets you create amazing 2D texts and titles.

Proxy Editing – Kdenlive uses proxy editing technique to lower the resolution of high-resolution videos while you edit them. This takes away the pressure on the CPU resources, but when it renders, the original resolution gets restored back. That is why Kdenlive has been effective in low-end computers as well.

Flexible User Interface – Kdenlive comes with a customizable user interface. This means you can arrange the layouts of your workflow as per your requirements. Besides, there are configurable keyboard shortcuts. There are also different themes available for the user interface.

Keyframing – One of the advanced features of Kdenlive is that you can keyframe any effect. This means you can change the parameters of the effects with time using curves. Besides, the software supports green screen effect.

Miscellaneous – The software supports almost all types of audio and video file formats.  There is an option for automatic backup which is highly useful in any video editing software. The software also supports online resources and add-ons.

Part 2. Basic Editing with Kdenlive

Kdenlive is available for free and you should definitely try it out. Thereafter, you decide whether it is perfect for you or not. After Kdenlive download, here are all the steps for basic video editing with Kdenlive.

Import a clip:

Step 1: Launch Kdenlive on your computer and make sure you have the video clip ready on your hard drive.

Step 2: Go to Project menu option. Click on “Add Clip or Folder” option. You can include all the video clips on any folder.

kdenlive import a clip

Step 3: The imported clips will then have to be dragged and dropped on the timeline from Project Bin.

Trim and Export:

Step 1: Import the video clip on Kdenlive and drag and drop the clip on the timeline.

Step 2: Put the timeline cursor over the point on the video clip from where you want to trim it.

kdenlive trim and export

Step 3: Click on Scissor icon to start trimming. Thereafter, move the red timeline cursor to the point where you want the trimming to end.

kdenlive scissor icon

Add multiple tracks:  

There is enough number of tracks already available on Kdenlive timeline. However, when you are editing a large video project, you may need more tracks that already present.

Step 1: Go to Timeline menu option.

Step 2: Go to Tracks> Inset Track option.

kdenlive add tracks

Step 3: Enter a name for the track and select the type of track and click on Ok button.

kdenlive ok button

Adjust brightness and contrast:  

Step 1: Go to Effects> Color and Image Correction.

kdenlive correction

Step 2: Drag and drop Brightness or Contrast directly on the video clip.

Step 3: Click on Brightness that you just placed on the video clip and adjust the parameter from its slider.

kdenlive brightness

Speed up or slow down:  

Step 1: Right-click on the video clip that is on the timeline and click on Change Speed option.

kdenlive change speed

Step 2: Adjust the slider to increase or decrease video clip speed and click on Ok button.

kdenlive adjust slider

Part 3. Advanced Editing with Kdenlive

Now that we have discussed the basic editing Kdenlive tutorial, let us focus on a couple of useful advanced editing features of Kdenlive.

Use green screen effects:

You must have the video clip with green screen background on the timeline. Below the green screen clip should be the background image with which you want to replace the green screen background.

Step 1: Go to Effect> Alpha, Mask and Keying option.

Step 2: Drag and drop “Chroma Key : Advanced” on the video clip where there is a green screen.

kdenlive advanced editing

Step 3: Click on video clip and adjust the parameters to soften the edges and make it as natural as possible.

kdenlive adjust parameters

Add audio:

Adding audio files and music files to the video is as easy as adding video clips. You should have your audio file ready on your hard drive.

Step 1: Go to Project menu option. Click on “Add Clip or Folder” option. Select the audio file or folder from your hard drive.

kdenlive add clip or folder

Step 2: The imported audio files will have to be dragged and dropped on the timeline from Project Bin.

kdenlive drag drop to timeline

Part 4. Best Kdenlive Alternative to Edit Videos

Kdenlive has several drawbacks that prevent it from becoming the best video editor. Even though the features are sufficient for beginners, it is not suitable for professional editing. There is a lack of advanced options such as motion tracking or faster video production. Besides, the effects are very limited in number and so are the text and audio effects. That is why we recommend Wondershare Filmora as the best alternative to Kdenlive Mac and Windows.

Filmora is a premium video editor with video capturing feature. You can record your screen and webcam video. There is no dearth of effects, filters, elements and royalty-free media files. The user interface is cleaner and hence, it is suitable for both beginners and professionals. Here are the key features of Filmora.

filmora video editor

Try It Free

For Win 7 or later (64-bit)

Try It Free

For macOS 10.12 or later

  • 4K video editing and exporting without lag.

  • Noise removal, color tuning, and video stabilization.

  • Standard editing like trim, crop, split, join, rotate etc.

  • Advanced text styles, audio mixing options, and audio equalizers.

  • Wide range of stock media files. Supports different file formats.

  • Capture screen and webcam video with internal and external audio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kdenlive a good editor?

Kdenlive is a good editor if you are getting started in video editing or you are editing your video for personal usage. However, for professional and even social media videos, a premium video editor will be better. We recommend Filmora over Kdenlive because Kdenlive lacks advanced video editing options.

Does Kdenlive cost money?

Kdenlive Windows, Mac, and Linux are available free of cost as it belongs to the open-source software category. There is also no premium version available, and hence, all the features are unlocked in the free version.

What can you do with Kdenlive?

You can trim your video, add music, add effects, adjust speed, correct colors, and add green screen effect. Besides, you can add multiple video clips and audio files to the timeline. There are options for keyframable effects as well.

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