Edit Videos With the YouTube Editor

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Create a New Project in the YouTube Video Editor

YouTube provides an impressive set of video editing features free for users of its service. Access the YouTube Video Editor at www.youtube.com/editor. You'll need to be signed in to your YouTube account to use the video editor.

  • Go to your YouTube channel and log in.
  • Click Video Manager.
  • Click Create in the menu at the left of the screen and select Video Editor.
  • Create a new project in the field at the top of the screen. This is also where you access previous projects or delete projects.

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Select a Video to Edit

Click the video camera tab to display thumbnails of all the videos you have uploaded to your YouTube account. Mouse over the center of any thumbnail, and you'll see a play button that lets you watch the video. When you find one you want to work with in your new project, drag the thumbnail to the work area labeled "Drag videos here." You can add as many videos as you need to the timeline.

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Select Creative Commons Videos

You can also use the YouTube editor to edit videos with a Creative Commons license. Many major producers use the Creative Commons license so their videos can be remixed and shared. These are accessible under the CC tab next to the video camera tab on the screen. Browse the Creative Commons videos or use the search box to find videos from specific producers or about specific subjects. Drag these videos to the timeline, just like you dragged your own videos.

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Adjust Videos in the Timeline

Drag and drop videos to rearrange them within your timeline or click on the X in the top right corner to remove them from the timeline. To change the length of the clip, click on either side of the thumbnail and move it to lengthen or shorten the video.

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Adjust Video Clips With the Quick Fixes Tab

Click on a video thumbnail on the timeline to select that particular video and you'll see options appear next to the video screen. Click on the Quick fixes tab to change the brightness and contrast, switch to slow motion, rotate the image, pan and zoom or stabilize the video. 

Rotate the video clip if you shot it in the wrong aspect ratio. As more people use their cell phones to shoot video, you see more videos that are sideways. Fix this with the rotate tool.

Additional tabs are Filters, Text and Audio.

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Adjust Video Clips With the Filters Tab

The YouTube Video Editor includes many filters that can be applied to a selected video, including black and white, old-fashioned, documentary, HDR-ish and many others. Be careful to unselect any filters you don't want, because they apply one on top of another.

Turn on the side-by-side preview to compare your adjustments with the original clip.

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Edit Text on Video Clips

The Text tab is self-explanatory. In this tab, you can enable text on your video, choose a font, style, size, color and alignment, set the banner color, height and opacity, and enter text. You'll see the changes as you make them in real time on the selected video.

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Make Audio Adjustments

The Audio tab has only a few controls: Volume, Pan, Base and Treble. Each is equipped with a slider for adjustments. The controls apply only to the selected video. Make your adjustments and click off the selected video to return to the home screen.

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Add Music With the YouTube Video Editor

YouTube provides a library of free music that you can use in your video as background music. Access all the songs through the Music tab, next to the Creative Commons tab. You can search by genre, artist or song name.

Add the music to your timeline by dragging it to the timeline where it says "Drag audio here." Select an audio thumbnail on the timeline to reveal options to adjust the volume of the music so it favors either the song or the video clips.

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Add Transitions

Access the transitions by clicking on the Bow-Tie tab next to the Music tab. Transitions range from the basic dissolve to cheesy hearts and stars. Select the one you want and drag it to the timeline between any two clips.

Adjust the length of any transition by clicking on it after it’s been added to the timeline. lengthen or shorten the duration of the transition by pulling on left or right edge of the transition in the timeline.

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Publish Your Video

Once you’re finished editing, you can publish your video by clicking the Create Video button. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and re-edit a project once it’s been published, so make sure you’re completely done editing.

It’ll take a little while for YouTube to process and publish your edited video. You can go back to your YouTube Video Manager and view your completed project as soon as it is ready.