Do you remember the Windows Movie Maker? Well, it is a video editing program that Microsoft officially discontinued back in 2017. But there’s a “hidden” video editor in Windows 10 that many people don’t realize. The Windows 10 Video Editor is a feature that comes with the Photos app.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to create, edit, trim, and add text or audio to your videos, then this is the perfect free video editor for you. Even if you hope to become a professional editor someday, this app can be the launching pad for your career.
Finding and Launching the App
To get started, you need first to find and launch the Windows 10 video editor. Since it’s unlikely that the app is sitting on your desktop or pinned to your Start Menu, you’ll need to search for it (at least for its very first use). You can do that by typing “video editor” in Windows 10 search box and then click on the app icon.
You have the option of pinning the icon to the Start menu or the taskbar to make it easier to find next time. You can also launch the program by running the Photos app and selecting New Video option.
Once you launch the video editing app, you can start a new project by clicking on the New Video option and choosing a name for your project.
Next, you are going to add some media (video and pictures) to your project.
If you know how to drag and drop, then adding media to your project is just a piece of cake! You can drag and drop images and videos right from any opened folder onto your project library. Alternatively, you can click the Add button and select a location (your computer or the web) from where to choose your media.
With all your media in the project library, you can go ahead and start dragging and dropping them in the Storyboard. The Windows 10 Video Editor allows you to insert text, audio, video effects, and even split and rearrange videos. As soon as you add media to the Storyboard, you can work with the following basic options:
- Add title
- 3D Effects
Note that the options will change depending on the media selected (video or picture). Also, if you do not see an option on your screen, you can click the ellipses (…) to reveal more options. Now, let’s briefly go through how to use the Windows 10 Video Editor starting with the Add title card option.
Adding a Title Card
Title cards are texts displayed for a specific period when your video is playing back. It’s a good idea to begin your video with an explanatory text. Click on the Add title card option to insert a title card to the Storyboard and add a short text to describe what your video is about. To do that:
- Right-click on the title card
- Click Edit from the list of options
- Select the Text option
- Type in your new title
- Select an animated text style if you wish
- Click the Done button to apply the changes
You can also adjust the duration of a title card by right-clicking the card, selecting Duration, and choosing preset duration or enter a time you prefer. This method can also be used to adjust the display duration for the images you add to your Storyboard.
Trimming, Splitting and Resizing Videos and Images
One of the cool things about Windows 10 Video Editor is its flexibility to edit videos and images you add to the Storyboard. The app offers several simple yet efficient editing options. If a video is too long, for example, you can trim it or split it.
Trimming removes part of the video you’ll rather not have shown. Splitting divides the video into two separate clips. You can keep the part you want and delete the other, or keep both but rearrange them on the storyboard. Also, you can resize images or pictures that don’t fit the screen properly.
Now, here’s how to do all these:
To trim a video:
- Click the video you want to trim
- Click Trim from the options that appear in the Storyboard
- Move the video marker to the new position where you want your clip to start and stop
- Click the Done button to apply your new setting
To split a video:
- Click the video you want to split
- Click Split from the list of options in the Storyboard
- Move the video marker to the point where you want to divide the video
- Click Done
Now, you can delete the unwanted part or reorder the clips.
To resize an image:
- Click the image you want to resize
- Click the Resize option from the Storyboard
- Click Remove black bars
Applying Filters to Media
You can give your video a unique look and feel by adding special effects to your content using the Filters option. You don’t need to have a predetermined filter in mind before using this option. Just play around with it and see if anything fits.
Applying filters is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:
- Select the video or picture
- Click the Filters option from the Storyboard
- Select a filter of your choice (Adventure, Arcade, Brassy, Classic, Denim, Energy, Pearl, and so on)
- Click the Done button when you find a filter that suits your content
Adding Text to Clips
Apart from title cards, you can also add text to pictures or video clips. Your text could be just one word or a sentence. It should give more information about your video or image. Keep in mind that your clips are neater with shorter texts. To apply text:
- Select the clip (video or image)
- Click the Text option from the Storyboard
- Type in your text
- You can make the text start from a specific position on the clip by adjusting the text marker
- Click the Done button to apply the changes
Applying Motion Effect
When you add images to the Storyboard, Windows 10 Video Editor automatically applies motion effect to some of these images. But you can also choose and manage the type of motion and its direction. Even your videos, too, can have some dynamic effects applied to them.
To apply the motion effect:
- Click on a video clip or image
- Click the Motion option from the Storyboard
- Choose from the list of motion effects and see a preview of the effect
- Click the Done button to apply the changes
Adding Music and Custom Audio
In some cases, you may want to add background music to play for the duration of all the clips on your project. This means you will have to remove the original sounds on the individual videos in your project.
Fortunately, adding music or your own audio recording to your project is quick and easy in Windows 10 Video Editor. If you are creating a slideshow of your recent family vacation, for example, adding music is an excellent way to make your project more entertaining. Here’s how to add built-in background music:
- Click the Background music option at the top of the video editor
- Choose from the list of built-in music that is displayed
- By default, the duration of your video clips will synchronize with the selected music. Uncheck the option if you don’t want this to happen
- You can adjust the music volume if desired
- Click the Done button to apply the new settings
If you prefer to add your own music track or a recording you’ve made, perhaps a voice-over, then use the Custom audio option instead of the Background music option. To do that:
- Click the Custom audio option at the top of the Windows 10 Video Editor
- Click Add audio file and select your preferred audio file from your computer
- Adjust the audio file to start playing from any position on the project
- Click the Done button to apply the setting
Insert 3D Effects
Windows 10 Video Editor offers the option to add 3D effects to your project. But unlike the Motion effect that works for both videos and images, the 3D effect works with video clips only. The effects enable you to add adjustable animations to your video clips. That is to say, you can resize, rotate, move, and add animation to selected 3D effects.
The effect also comes with a volume bar that you can use to adjust or mute the volume of the effect. Some of the available effects include Autumn leaves, Dust explosion, Confetti shower, Breaking new, Bubbles, Campfire, and so on.
Follow these simple steps to insert 3D effect to your video:
- Select the video to which you want to add a 3D effect
- Click the 3D effects from the options on the Storyboard
- Drag any 3D effect you want to add to your video clip. You can browse the 3D library to see lots of available options to choose from, including images of animals, insects, and emoticons
- Move and drag the effects bar to adjust the position and duration of the effect when the video plays back
- Click the Done button to apply the effect
As you explore the options above, you’ll discover several shortcuts and alternatives for performing the same tasks. Essentially, these options are some of the most important features you’ll need to create great video projects. The functions might appear simple (and quite easy to use), but that doesn’t mean they are any less powerful. Now that you’ve learned some basic editing functions, it’s time to learn how to save your project on Windows 10 Video Editor.
Duplicating Your Project
Sometimes you may want to have more than one version of your project. Perhaps you want to keep the original sounds of your video clips in one version of your project, and another with background music or custom audio. Whatever the reason for making more than one version, Windows 10 Video Editor offers you the option of duplicating your project. You don’t have to finish working on your project to duplicate it. You can make a duplicate copy of your project at any stage of editing and work on it at a later time. To do that:
- Click the Duplicate project from the top of the app
- Type in a name for the copy of your project
- Click the OK button, and a copy of your project is saved
With a copy of your project safely tucked away, any new addition or editing is affected only on one copy of the project.
Saving Your Project
When you’re happy with your project, you can save it on your computer or any other location. To do this:
- Click the Finish video option at the top right corner of the app
- Choose the resolution or quality with which to export (save) your video
- Click the Export button
- Select the location (folder, drive, or USB) to save your project
- Click the Export button, and your project is saved
The Windows 10 Video Editor may not have all the sophistication of other video editors. However, it comes with enough features and necessary customizations that allow you to accomplish a lot and create awesome home videos. It’s a simple way and the perfect tool to get started with video editing. Users who enjoyed the old Windows Movie Maker are likely to love the Windows 10 Video Editor too because it is faster and better than the previous video editor from Windows.
Go ahead and try your hands on the editor and see what you can come up with. Who knows, you might rekindle your creativity with this app!