Have a YouTube video you want to clip? Or a video you filmed on your phone you want to shorten? Maybe you need to meet Instagram or Twitter's maximum length requirements?
There are a few video editing techniques you can use to make a video shorter:
- Speed up the video that it plays in less amount of time.
- Trim off a few seconds from the beginning or end of your video.
- Cut content out of the middle of your video to reduce the overall duration.
In this article, I’ll show you how to make your video shorter online using these three techniques. Instead of installing heavyweight desktop software, I recommend using this free online editor called Kapwing to make your video shorter.
Once you make your video shorter, it's easier to share a specific section of a video with friends or on social media.
How to shorten your video
Step 1: Upload your video
You can load your video from your phone or computer, or you can paste a URL from YouTube to import it directly. It should take a few seconds for your video preview to load.
After the video uploads, it shows up in the Kapwing editor. You can use the "Speed" control on the left-hand side to make your video go faster and shorten the overall duration.
Experiment with 1.15x, 1.25x, or 1.5x speed if you don't want to make a dramatic change, or go all the way up to 4x speed to make your video much shorter.
Step 2: Trim and Add Cuts
Once your video uploads, select the video layer and click "Trim."
In the trimmer view, slide the start and end time sliders to take time off the beginning and end of your video. Your video will be trimmed down to the highlighted section.
You can also choose to add a cut, meaning a section to remove from your video. Click the "+ Add Cut" button to insert a cut at the current cursor. Cuts are marked in red to remind creators that this section will be deleted.
You can preview what your shortened video will look like in the Kapwing editor and adjust to capture the exact clip you want. To help you meet maximum length requirements, the exact duration of the output appears on the right-hand side as you make edits. Once the video preview looks right, click the “Done Trimming” button.
Step 3: Publish and share
After you're done editing, click "Publish" to process the shortened video. Kapwing will take a few moments to process your cut video in the cloud. Because you've changed the start and the end time, the output MP4 will be shorter than the video you started with.
After your shortened video is processed, you can download it to share the MP4 with friends or publish on social media. The video file is hosted on Kapwing, so you can also share the URL of the trimmed video page instead of downloading the file.
For example, I cut a 24 second clip out of a longer 4min YouTube video below. Kapwing's trimmer helped me share one specific highlight from the NBA finals instead of sharing a whole compilation of videos.
About Kapwing: Benefits and limitations
Kapwing is an online video editor, meaning it works on any device (phone, tablet, and computer; iOS and Android) and doesn’t require any app installs.
- Cost: Kapwing is free to use! There will be a small Kapwing watermark in the corner of your video, but you can sign in to remove the watermark for free.
- Upload size limit: Right now, Kapwing only supports videos that are up to 250 MB in size for free users or 1GB for Kapwing Pro.
- File types: The Kapwing trimmer supports all major video types (MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, etc). Kapwing’s other features – like the add text and meme maker tools – support images and GIFs too. Once you trim your video, the output will be an MP4 file.
I hope this article helps you trim down your video to emphasize the best content! Clip out the best, funniest, most interesting and informative parts to share with others. In the future, we want to make it possible to trim “out” a section of the video by merging trimmed pieces together, enter a precise time stamp, and collaborate with colleagues on the video length.
As always, feel free to reach out with questions and ideas for improvement! Happy shortening.