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Best video editing software of 2021

Best video editing software of 2021
(Image credit: Adobe)

Using a video editing application will allow you to turn raw footage into stunning, professional-looking videos that you’ll want the whole world to see. 

With good video editing software, you can improve the quality of your footage, trim it, add special effects, and package it ready to be shared on different online platforms.

Nowadays, you don’t need a massive budget or lots of technical expertise to edit videos. 

That’s because the best video editing software is feature-packed, cost-effective, compatible with a range of different devices, and can be used by everyone. 

But as so many different video editing solutions exist, it might seem like a daunting and timely task to choose one that will suit your needs. To help you find a video editor that works for you, we’ve rounded up the best options for 2021 in this guide.

(Image credit: Adobe)

1. Adobe Premiere Pro

The best professional video editor

Smart AI capabilities
Available for Windows and Mac
Powerful editing tools
Expensive to buy outright

Adobe Premiere Pro has long been the video editing tool of choice for professionals working on television shows, Hollywood movies, advertisements, YouTube videos, and other content types. 

Available on both Windows and Mac devices, Premiere Pro enables users to edit video in formats such as high-definition, 4K, 8K, and even virtual reality. It also offers advanced tools for editing colors, audio, and graphics. 

What’s more, you can trim footage, edit multi-cam videos, add graphics, titles, and sound effects, use a range of pre-designed motion graphics templates from Adobe Stock, and import videos from pretty much all file formats. 

And if those features weren’t enough, Premiere Pro also continues to grow smarter. More recently, Adobe added the ability to add cuts, markers, and adjustments automatically. 

Another innovative feature is automatic video reformatting, so your videos will always be the perfect format for all platforms. Once you’ve finished editing your footage, you can upload it straight to FTP and social media platforms.

(Image credit: Adobe)

2. Adobe Premiere Elements 2021

A great video editor for everyone

Easy to use
Great automation capabilities
No multicam or 360 editing

Adobe also offers an easy-to-use and affordable video editing tool called Premiere Elements 2021. It allows people of all creative backgrounds and skill levels to film, edit, and upload professional-looking videos online. 

What’s great about Premiere Elements 2021 is that it’s suited for both amateurs and experts. If you’ve not used a video editing app before and aren’t sure where to start, you can use the Guided Edits Mode to learn how to edit your videos in this app. 

Or there’s Expert Mode if you want to really drill down and make the most of the more advanced functions. Premiere Elements 2021 also uses automation to refine video quality, remix music files, change the direction people are looking in, pull out stills from your footage, trim videos, and lots more.  

There are a few downsides, though. Mainly, Adobe hasn’t provided support for multi-camera or 360-degree editing in the latest version of Premiere Elements. But these aside, it’ll still be perfect for a lot of people. In terms of pricing, Adobe Premiere Elements 2021 costs $99.99. 

(Image credit: Apple)

3. Final Cut Pro

The best video editor for Mac

Magnetic Timeline
Excellent multi-camera capabilities
Very expensive

If you’re a Mac user and are looking for the best video editing software around, look no further than Apple’s very own Final Cut Pro X.

We’re big fans of the Magnetic Timeline, which makes it super easy to move and cut your video footage. Thanks to Compound Clips, you can easily organize your videos into groups. And with Clip Connections, you’re able to add any B-roll footage, songs, and audio effects to videos.

Final Cut Pro also offers impressive multi-camera editing capabilities. Namely, it provides auto-syncing for a maximum of 64 camera angles. Other great features include noise reduction, a range of personalizable effects, integrated audio editing, color grading, different ways of organizing your footage, the ability to publish videos to platforms like YouTube, and lots more. 

As you can expect from a professional-grade app like Final Cut Pro, it’s certainly not cheap at an eye-watering price tag of $299. But you can sign up for a 90-day free trial to test it out before purchasing.

(Image credit: Apple)

4. Apple iMovie

The best free video editor

Completely free
Easy to use
Available on iOS and Mac
Some people might find it too basic

For anyone who owns an Apple device but doesn’t want to spend $299 on Final Cut Pro, Apple offers another highly capable video editing app in the form of iMovie.

While Final Cut Pro is aimed at seasoned video editors, iMovie is at the opposite end of the scale. It’s geared towards people who are new to the world of video editing, and that’s reflected in the ease of use of the app.

Using iMovie, you’re able to edit videos from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. And what’s great is that Apple has added support for 4K video editing. You can easily add special effects, trailers, titles, transitions, music, credits, and more to your videos so that they look highly professional.

And when you’re happy with your video, you can easily upload it to YouTube and Vimeo. But possibly the best thing about iMovie is that it’s completely free, so you won’t end up out of pocket.

(Image credit: CyberLink)

Easy-to-use, feature-packed video editing software for creatives

Lots of editing features
Access to Shutterstock
More advanced options available

CyberLink PowerDirector is a premium video editing software that provides everyone with the ability to make their videos look highly professional without breaking the bank, costing $69.99 as a standalone purchase.  

With PowerDirector, it’s pretty easy to trim, enhance, use special effects, and share your creations with others. Some of the standout features of PowerDirector include multi-camera editing, 360 editing, green screen editing, motion tracking, keyframe control, professional special effects, a huge audio library, pre-designed themes that mark different occasions, professional effects, and lots more. 

Another highlight of PowerDirector is its Action Camera Center, which provides a range of speed effects and video enhancements that you can implement in a single click. And you can add stock video clips, images, and audio to your videos thanks to access to Shutterstock. Power Director 365 is available on Windows, Mac, and Android.