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Video Editing Software User Interfaces

An important point to take into consideration when deciding on video editing software is the user interface but it needs to be in the context of the whole package.

Computer software attempts to copy whatever action you would be doing in the real world. A Word document looks like a blank sheet of paper and a database looks like a card file system.

The lack of something you as a consumer are accustomed to creates the difficulty for home video editing software. If it wasn’t for the software existing you never be doing this!

To get around this most consumer video making software tries to follow the steps that the average person would most likely take in creating a video project.

Most often they start out with getting your files imported somehow into the program. Followed by editing, video effects and filters, audio editing and title creation.

Finally comes the rendering or creation of the project in the video file format you want. This is the order of the usual steps that software designers are referencing when making the interfaces you see. There is a logic to this layout but for some it results in other confusions.

The cause confusion is that anyone who is new to video editing software expects the software to behave similarly to other software programs they have or have used.

Simply saving your work is a common point upon which this occurs. If you were to click “Save” in Word then naturally the changes are saved. The file itself is now rewritten to reflect the changes. If you do the same thing in video editing software it appears that nothing has happened.

That’s because in video editing software the original files are never touched. This is the source of the confusion. You want to save your changes but the software is designed to never change your originals for safety. Projects files were created as the solution to this problem.

A project file keeps a record of what you want to change or intend to do. Which video file, where the file is located, what part of the file to use, what filter to apply where and on and on. When you select that save button no video file of any description is being created at that point. All that is being saved are your editing choices up to that moment in time as a project file.

When you have finished editing only then do you come to the point of actually creating the final product. That takes shape in the form of a newly created video file based on your original files and the edits recorded in your project file. Some programs name it Creating, some use Rendering and other use Sharing.

This is the whole point when choosing video editing software.

If this is the first time you have ever used video editing software then all of them will appear a little confusing at first. It doesn’t matter which you choose as you will have to become familiar with the interface before you can use it effectively.

If you are changing to another video editor you will have the layout of the old program in your mind constantly. This will cause you to slow down until the new interface becomes familiar to you.

Either way be sure to fully explore the user interface of any video editing software you are considering by making full use of free trials. Explore it thoroughly, open and close things, mess around with it until it makes sense… or not!

One final thought. Who know what gems of information one can come across in the user manual!

Lance is not very good at writing about himself in the third person. He is an expatriate Australian living in Taiwan running a business consulting company. His grasp of the Chinese language ranges from poor to laughable and in most circumstances his actual use of the Chinese language results in laughter.
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