What is the simplest way to edit a video to one short time segment?

(Colin Paul Adams) #1

I’m not sure if video is on topic here or not.

Anyway, I don’t normally shoot video. But I have a clip of which I want to show only a few seconds. What’s the easiest software on Linux for doing this (without having to spend hours trawling through the manual - i’ve already tried that for a couple of programs - it all seems far too complicated)?

(Silvio) #2

Hello Colin_Adams,

It is difficult to reply because you have loads of softwares to cut a video on Linux (e.g. Kdenlive) :slight_smile:

I suggest you give a try to Shotcut [1], which also works on Windows in case you need it on this platform as well.

In short:

  • open your video (Ctr+O);
  • press I , on you keyboard (at the beginning of your cut), and O (end of your cutting);
  • export you video.

There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube [2] regarding Shotcut.

At the very beginning of every month a new version is released, mostly with bug-fixing stuff.
If you are not pressed for time, I highly suggest you to wait a few days in order to install the upcoming December version, with the last fix [3].

[1] https://www.shotcutapp.com/
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbeuUvkn_Gc
[3] https://github.com/mltframework/shotcut/commits/master

(Colin Paul Adams) #3

Thanks. That sounds just right.

(Jonas Wagner) #4

Cool, didn’t even know that existed. I usually use kdenlive for simple edits and blender if I want to have a bit more fun.
There is also openshot. In the past all I got from it was crashes.

(Mica) #5


Avidemux is quite simple and very easy to use.


ffmpeg would be as bare bones as it gets, probably the fastest way too


If you want to cut /trim (with in out points) while watching,I could not recommend mpv enough, using the excerpt user lua script. There’s also the slicing script which creates a log (at least 4 me) and then one can batch trim all the files from terminal; both need ffmpeg =)

BTW case you take mpv’s route, ashfinal just posted an alteration to excerpt’s script so that resulting excerpts can mantain source file’s name (as many as you decided to cut). I’m so happy

local file_prefix = mp.get_property("filename/no-ext”)
local fname = “”
for i=0,999 do
    local f = string.format(file_prefix .. "_excerpt_%03d.mp4", i)

(Colin Paul Adams) #7

That was really easy.


(Colin Paul Adams) #8

Now I have a different requirement - I want to be able to step through frame-by-frame, starting from a particular (approximate) offset (near the end of the video). I can’t work out if i can do this with shotcut. is there a better app for this?

(Colin Paul Adams) #9

Never mind. ffmpeg does exactly what I need - it gives me a series of stills, which i can examine.

(Morgan Hardwood) #10

Took about 30 seconds to find the answer.


I will throw in my tuppenceworth. Already mentioned. Avidemux

You can have video, open, chopped up, and saved before kdenlive / openshot / Premiere (for win users :wink: loads the track.

(Colin Paul Adams) #12

Hm. I can’t find it. What did you search for?

(Morgan Hardwood) #13

Ctrl+f for “backwards”

(Cyril LAPORTE) #14

Wow, that guide is archaic :slight_smile:

I’m not sure I understood all, but since July 16, Shotcut can export the frame you are on :

This editor is fantastic. It did a very impressive progress (color keying, speed up and down clips, Luts…) since I use it. It only lacks keyframe and reverse clip…


Today I was using ffmpeg to trim an ear from an mkv and realized that the command I left above is not working. For trimming a batch of videos with visual feedback there’s nothing that comes close to the speed of mpv with either excerpt (better one IMO) or slicing scripts. A bit cumbersome but ffmpeg’s comand working ( 4 me) to cut a slice of a video file:

ffmpeg -ss 00:08:00 -i INPUT -ss 00:01:00 -t 00:01:00 -c copy OUTPUT

seriesoftubes user explains it well

The first -ss seeks fast to (approximately) 8min0sec, and then the second -ss seeks accurately to 9min0sec, and the -t 00:01:00 takes out a 1min0sec clip.

And a warning
If you use -ss with -c:v copy, the resulting bitstream might end up being choppy, not playable, or out of sync with the audio stream, since ffmpeg is forced to only use/split on i-frames.