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Need great video editing software? Kapwing is FREE!

Posted 12/13/2020

Over the past few months, I’ve been making short videos (under 3 minutes) for a specific customer. One of the company’s requirements is that my videos have to be formatted to be watched vertically on a cell phone. That means they have to be 9 x 16.


Other video production software that I’ve paid good money for (I won’t mention any names) doesn’t offer me the option to make a vertical video. But a friend introduced me to Kapwing, and—lo and behold—with a single click, I can format my videos in any of five different standard sizes (including 9:16). A sixth option lets me format my video to my own custom size, measured in pixels. The custom size button also helpfully tells me, in case I ever need to know, what the pixel sizes are for Facebook cover posts, Instagram posts and Instagram stories.


Kapwing has proven very easy to use, and it works intuitively—so my learning curve has been very short.


For instance, if you’ve got video footage that you’ve taken on your phone, or created with animation software, you can simply upload it to Kapwing and position it easily into the format you need. I’ve had as many as three separate videos running simultaneously in my newly assembled Kapwing video, making it look as though I was engaging in a three-way conversation with my two dogs (see screenshot).


You can also upload still images and superimpose them wherever they’re needed. The timeline feature allows you to determine how long each image is seen, with precision measured in hundredths of a second. There’s also a button that lets you synchronize the beginning time or ending time for any image to the spot where you’ve currently paused your video. This makes it a cinch to make your images appear and disappear at exactly the right moment.


While writing this review, I even discovered a previously unexplored button called “image search” that allows you to find images in Kapwing’s own library. For instance, I just tried searching “poodle” and came up with 76 high-quality images of poodles, young and old, to use in future videos. I had previously been using other image libraries, but from now on, I’ll definitely try Kapwing’s library first before I go elsewhere again.


Kapwing also supplies a dozen standard shapes (rectangle, arrow, circle, star, thumbs up, etc.) that you can use to adorn your video. Snap the shape in with a single click, resize it easily by dragging the corners, then set the colour to one of more than 70 pre-set options. Or add your own custom colour using a hex code. More shapes are coming soon, the platform says.


Another feature I LOVE because of its flexibility and simplicity is Kapwing’s captioning or subtitling feature. After I assemble my video with all the bits and pieces, I click the “Subtitles” button and paste my subtitles in chunks from a Word document. You can place the captions anywhere on the screen, resize them, colour them, center them—the flexibility that this software offers is exceptionally good. As with images, you can easily start and stop your subtitles at the right one-hundredth of a second with buttons that say “Set to current time.”



There are a few downsides to Kapwing’s free version. One is that you have to make your video and download it within two days. You can’t leave it hanging around for a week awaiting further editing. If you want longer storage, you have to upgrade. As well, the free version limits you to videos of less than 7 minutes’ duration. Pro lets you make videos of up to an hour.


However, if you’re making short videos like I’ve been doing, it’s not a problem. Because Kapwing is so easy to use, I’ve been getting my videos done in a couple of hours, so I haven’t needed long-term storage.


But I’ve been so impressed with Kapwing’s flexibity and ease of use that I’m planning to upgrade as I expand my business into longer videos. I’m sorry I wasted my money on other software that is nowhere near as easy to use.


I hope this was useful to you. Here’s the link if you want to try Kapwing yourself.

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