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Kdenlive vs. OpenShot

Kdenlive vs. OpenShot

Community-supported video editors are great alternatives to those premium and expensive ones.

The open-source multi-platform programs Kdenlive and OpenShot are popular among many. Which one should you use? Let’s figure that out in the Kdenlive vs. OpenShot comparison.

The main difference

Kdenlive Overview

There isn’t much difference except the interface because both support multi-track editing, workspaces, video, audio, and transition effects.

Ease of use

OpenShot Overview

Both are difficult for beginners, but OpenShot is a bit more beginner-friendly. It’s easy to navigate with the right amount of panels on the main interface.

The right side has the video preview, and the left contains files, effects, and emojis.

Although the editor’s features confuse some users, as discussed in the OpenShot review, the right person can benefit from this program.

Kdenlive has a couple of unnecessary panels. It has two video previews: one for the timeline and the other one for the selected clip.

It also has large audio, subtitles, and effect panels. The main video preview is smaller than on OpenShot.

One of the things I face with OpenShot is that it sometimes crashes without any warnings, which is painful because it does not auto-save the project.

Winner: Tie


Kdenlive Interface

Video editing programs have workspaces to help you work efficiently. Each workspace activates the required sections and hides the rest.

For example, you see options related to colors in the Color workspace.

Kdenlive comes with workspaces, whereas OpenShot takes a different approach. The workspaces on Kdenlive are:

  • Editing (the primary workspace)
  • Logging
  • Audio
  • Effects
  • Color

OpenShot, instead of workspaces, uses views. It has a simple view and an advanced view.

The simple view has essential options on the main interface, whereas the advanced view contains more panels for advanced editing.

Winner: Tie

Related: Kdenlive vs. Premiere Pro


Both are cross-platform editors. Kdenlive works on Windows, Linux, and macOS, whereas OpenShot works on Linux, Windows, OS X, Chrome OS, and macOS.

Editing tools

Both have a wide range of tools, including:

  • Multi-track editing
  • Audio volume adjustment
  • Razor tool
  • Video snap
  • Markers
  • Project saving and opening
  • Basic caption editor

Kdenlive has a few unique features:

  • Audio mixer
  • Color analyzer
  • Basic audio editor
  • Project notes option
  • Effect keyframes
  • Audio recorder

There are a couple of OpenShot-specific tools:

  • Emojis
  • Animated titles (Blender needed)

Winner: Kdenlive


Video effects

Video Effects in Kdenlive

Kdenlive has a lot of effects; over 200 if you want an estimate. Some of the common ones are:

  • Mask
  • Blur
  • Color adjustment
  • Brightness
  • Image adjustment
  • Video stylize
  • VR360 and 3D effects

Those make Kdenlive a perfect video editing tool if you need effects for your videos. OpenShot comes with 18 video effects as of writing this article. Some of those are blur, hue, brightness, and stabilizer.

Winner: Kdenlive

Editor’s note: Shotcut is also an open-source video editor like those two. Check out its comparison with OpenShot.

Audio effects

Audio Effects in Kdenlive
Audio Effects in Kdenlive

Like video effects, we see more audio effects on Kdenlive. Some of the categories of audio effects are:

  • Audio
  • Channels
  • EQ and filters
  • Pitch and Time
  • Volume and Dynamics

In total, the app has 67 audio effects. OpenShot, on the other hand, has nine audio effects. These include echo, noise, distortion, etc.

Winner: Kdenlive

Transition effects

This round goes to OpenShot because it comes with 412 transition effects. From classic slides to dancing twirls, you have a plethora of options.

Kdenlive comes with 38 composition effects. Among those 38, only three are transition effects.

Winner: OpenShot

Text effects

Kdenlive has a few text titles. The power of Kdenlive is its advanced text editor. It gives you control over what to create. The software also has over 20 downloadable titles.

The title editor has rich text editing options, including fonts, size, color, alignment, letter spacing, line spacing, shadow, background, animation, and patterns.

In comparison, you find 47 text titles in OpenShot. Text titles are not effects, so you find the option in the main navigation.

Also, the titles have basic options, including the text and background color, but to unlock the advanced features, one must download the free Inkscape software.

Importing and exporting

Both support the common to advanced video formats, including MP4, MWV, and MKV. Kdenlive converts the video’s codec if the format is not supported.

Regarding exporting, both provide many options. Kdenlive comes with a handful of presets, including:

  • HD for For web
  • Mobile Phone
  • Old TVs
  • DVD
  • Audio only
  • Image sequences
  • HD normal

Each option comes with its own settings. You can take the matter into your own hands and create a custom preset.

OpenShot also has presets: Device, BluRay, Web, and all formats. You can choose the specific option to see the recommended file formats. The all-formats option displays all the available formats.

Some of the profiles come with video resolution and quality settings. The app supports audio and image options as well.

Winner: Tie


Kdenlive automatically extracts audio and adds it to the timeline. This lets you split and edit audio. Additionally, you can lock and hide layers in the timeline.

In OpenShot, audio and video track separation is a manual process. Moreover, you cannot hide timeline tracks.

Winner: Kdenlive

Additional features

Emojis (OpenShot)

Emojis in OpenShot

This section of Kdenlive vs. OpenShot is unique to the latter. We get about 935 emojis to add to the project. This is a massive number if you are a fan of emojis.

Online resources (Kdenlive)

Kdenlive lets you download free sounds, photos, and video clips from Pexels and Pixabay within the editor. Just right-click inside “Project bin” and select “Online Resources.”

Speech-to-text (Kdenlive)

With the help of Vosk and Python, you can auto-generate subtitles for videos in over 30 languages.

You must have Python installed and a language pack download added from the Vosk website. The guide on the website explains the process very well.

Which one is for you?

For those looking for a beginner-friendly program, OpenShot will suit them better. If you have experience in video editing and want to learn about effects and stuff, Kdenlive is the one you should choose.

Kdenlive vs. OpenShot: Links


OpenShot used to crash, but I have not encountered this issue recently, which is good news. Both are excellent, and you won’t be disappointed with either.

What do you think of both? I covered the most critical factors in this Kdenlive vs. OpenShot review. I would appreciate it if you could take a minute to share your thoughts below.