Frequently Asked Questions
Why does it crash on Windows upon launch?
It might be happening because you have installed Jahshaka, which is an old MLT-based app. It creates a MLT_REPOSITORY system environment variable, and that environment variable affects all MLT-based apps including Shotcut. Moreover, it points to a folder of MLT plugins provided by Jahshaka that are old and incompatible with Shotcut. Even after you uninstall Jahshaka, you might have to delete system environment variables that start with "MLT_." How to access environment variables is a little different with each version of Windows. So, please search the web if you do not know.
One Windows 8.1 one user reported he needed to change the following in the Compatibility tab of the Properties for the Shotcut icon/exe: Run in compatibility mode for "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)", and "Run this program as administrator." However, not every one needs to do that, and we are not sure why he needed it.
While some systems have a video adapter driver with at least version 2.1 OpenGL, there may be some incompatibility between the OpenGL code in Shotcut or Qt and the driver that causes a crash. There is really no fix for that even though we do make some checks and try to show an error message. You can try to upgrade to the latest driver for your hardware, but if you use Windows Update, then you probably already have the latest. Sometimes, the chip maker (e.g. Intel, AMD, NVIDIA) has a newer driver that is not yet Microsoft certified. That might work. The Shotcut developers have made decisions about technologies to use that make cross-platform development and delivery easier and that also provides a nice user experience on recent or compatible hardware/drivers. However, that may not provide the most compatiblity. Quite simply, we do not target the lowest common denominator.
Of course, there can still be other reasons we have not yet discovered. If you believe none of the reasons above applies to you, then you can locate your shotcut-log.txt file in AppData (see other question below for more information) and paste it into a bug report
I have trimmed my video and/or created my project, now how do I save or share it?
If you just want to save your changes to re-open it later in Shotcut, you can save your project as a MLT XML file by clicking Save
on the toolbar at the top of the window. If you want to upload the video to a web site or somehow share the result with someone as separate video file, then click Encode
on the toolbar, which opens or raises the Encode panel. In the Encode panel, there are 3 basic steps:
- choose and click a Preset,
- click Reload to load the current video settings, and
- click Encode File at the bottom of the panel.
If you have made a playlist Encode
uses the Playlist
unless you have put something into the Timeline
, in which case, it uses the timeline. Otherwise, it will encode the clip or live source (stream, device, screen, etc.).
Which Encode preset should I use?
It all depends; that is why there are so many of them! But here are some suggestions:
- Upload to a video-sharing web site: H.264 Main Profile
- Extract the audio: Ogg Vorbis or MP3
- Save to an intermediate file to use with another tool: DNxHD or lossless/ProRes - really depends on what the other tool accepts
- Put onto my own web site: WebM and/or H.264 Main Profile
- Screen recording (Linux only): lossless/MJPEG
- Capture from SDI/HDMI: lossless/ProRes if your system can handle it, otherwise lossless/MPEG-2
How do I add text? Is there a titler?
On Linux and OS X, when GPU Processing is disabled
, you can use the Overlay HTML filter - see the video tutorial
about this. When using Windows or when GPU Processing is enabled
(regardless of operating system), you must create text as an image with an alpha channel and composite it. To composite, you add a video track n the Timeline to use as a layer. Then, click C
in the new track's header to enable compositing. Finally, you open an image, set its Properties to adjust duration or enable an image sequence, add it to the new video track, and further adjust its position and duration as-needed. At this time, there is no way to adjust the size and position of the upper track/layer when compositing. This means, you should create your images with the same resolution and aspect ratio as your video/project and control the size and positioning in the image creation tool. The image file formats that support an alpha channel are PNG, SVG, and TGA. You can also use Quicktime Animation format. There are many tools that can create images with alpha channels for this purpose. Some of them include GIMP, Inkscape, Krita, Paint.NET, Photoshop, etc. For animation, consider Blender and Synfig. If you are able to use HTML5, then some animation tools include Google Web Designer, Sencha Animator, Adobe Edge, and Mixeek.
Why is seeking so slow?
Some formats and compression methods simply make it take longer. In the Settings
menu set Interpolation
to Nearest Neighbor
. This setting not only affects the quality of image scaling but also the accuracy of seeking. Please be aware that this setting may cause seeking to become less accurate resulting in some frames repeating when stepping frame-by-frame backwards or the first several frames in the forward direction immediately after a seek.
Why is stepping frame-by-frame repeating the same frame?
In the Settings
menu set Interpolation
to something other than Nearest Neighbor
is recommended. When the interpolation level is set to nearest neighbor it relaxes the accuracy of seeking to make the responsiveness of the video player faster.
Are there keyboard shortcuts for editing?
There is now a page wih all of the keyboard shortcuts.
These shortcuts are available without holding Ctrl, Alt, or Command (OS X) unless otherwise noted:
- i and o set the in and out points respectively (when a clip is open in the player)
- Esc switches the player between the player between the source (clip) and program (playlist or timeline) views
- Shift+X, del or backspace removes the selected item
- Shift+C appends a clip to the playlist
- Shit+V inserts a clip before the selected playlist item; appends if no item is selected
- Shift+B updates the selected item with the clip in the player
- Enter opens the playlist in the player and seeks to the selected cut
- Up and Down changes the current/selected item
- Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down moves the selected item up or down
- 1 through 0 selects the Nth item ( 0 is ten)
- z, Del or Backspace lifts the selected shot from the timeline without affecting the positions of the other shots on the track
- x, Shift+Del or Shift+Backspace removes the selected shot in a ripple fashion such that following shots on the track shift to the left
- c appends a clip to the current track
- v inserts a clip at the playhead position on the current track, splitting the shot under the playhead if necessary, and acts in a ripple fashion shifting all shots following the play head to shift to the right
- b over-writes on the current track with the clip in the player without affecting the positions of any shots following the duration of the clip
- Up and Down changes the current track
- 0, -, = adjusts the zoom level of the timeline (0 resets to default, center position on slider; = zooms in and is the same key as + without needing to press shift)
Just like j, k, and l for playback transport control, the bare i, o, x, v, b are very common shortcuts use by other professional video editing software from Apple, Avid, Lightworks, and others.
P.S. While it is rather obvious to use cursor left and right keys for single frame stepping, there is another technique so you do not have to remove your fingers from the JKL: while holding down K, tap J to step left or tap L to step right.
The keyboard shortcuts do not seem to be working.
Sometimes the keyboard "focus" might be captured by something in the GUI causing the shortcuts to not function. In that case, click the video preview region to return focus to the player. The timeline zoom shortcuts require that the timeline window has focus.
Shotcut will not start on Linux...
Some file managers do not like the launcher icon provided with the binary download from this site. The launcher icon was tested successfully on GNOME Nautilus and KDE Dolphin.
- open a terminal/console window
- cd to the location where you have extracted Shotcut
Please do not try to run bin/shotcut; always use the wrapper script in the Shotcut.app folder!
If it still does not start, then it should report that some libraries could not be loaded.
All I see is white or green instead of video, and I know there is video in this file....
First, use Properties
to see if the Video
tab is disabled. If it is disabled, then Shotcut is not compatible with this format or codec. If the video tab is enabled, more than likely OpenGL is not working on your system, or it is too old. First, make sure GPU Processing
is disabled in Settings
. GPU processing requires OpenGL version 3.2. When it is disabled, you only need OpenGL version 2.0. For Windows users, the onOne website provides good information on how to check your OpenGL version
and upgrade it
Can I have multiple versions installed at the same time?
Yes. Simply rename your existing program folder to put the version number in it or move it out-of-the-way to another location. You see, on Windows, the installer is mostly just a fancy zip extractor that also adds a start menu item. So, you can install the new version to a different location, or rename the existing folder to prevent it from being overwritten. Then, you can just navigate to whichever program folder you want in Explorer and run shotcut.exe. On Mac OS X, you do not need to copy Shotcut to the /Applications folder - that is merely a suggestion. Simply drag Shotcut out of the .dmg to wherever you like and rename the app bundle to put the version number into it. Or, rename the existing version to move it out of the way before copying Shotcut from the .dmg. The same concepts apply to Linux, where Shotcut is simply delivered as a compressed tar archive. However, on Linux, it is important to understand that the launch icon always looks in Shotcut.app; so, either version the folder containing the launch icon or have multiple, versioned Shotcot.app folders and run the launch script
that is inside of it.
How do I cut or trim a clip without encoding or transcoding it?
This is not supported, and there are currently no plans to support it. We recommend that you use VirtualDub or Avidemux for that.
Why do I not have the __ filter?
- Some filters such as Stabilize and Invert Colors are not available when GPU Processing is enabled in Settings. You must disable it and restart Shotcut to use those filters.
- The Overlay HTML filter is not available on Windows because it is incompatible and known to cause it to crash.
- Sometimes a MLT plugin may fail to load due to a missing or incompatible library. Shotcut downloads provide all dependencies for Windows and OS X, but it may rely upon some libraries provided by distribution packages on Linux.
Shotcut for Windows crashes when GPU Processing is enabled.
This was fixed in version 14.02.11 for systems with OpenGL 3.2+. Please upgrade, but there is still no guarantee it will work.
If your system is using a hybrid GPU such as NVIDIA Optimus, then you must use the control panel to force Shotcut to use the discrete GPU
Where can I get more transitions?
16-bit grayscale PGMs give the best results.
What are some sources of royalty-free images?
What are some sources of royalty-free videos?
What are some sources of royalty-free music?
Where are the log, presets, database, and settings stored?
Currently, the database is used to store thumbnail and waveform data, but it will likely grow to include more things over time.
The log, database, and presets are stored in %APPDATA%\Meltytech\Shotcut\. The correct way to lookup %APPDATA% is to open a Command Prompt and enter "echo %APPDATA%" followed by Enter. If you would rather hunt around a little in file Explorer, usually APPDATA is something like C:\Users\____\AppData\Roaming, then look for Meltytech\Shotcut.
The settings are stored in the registry at key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Meltytech\Shotcut\.
The log, database, and presets are stored in ~/.local/share/Meltytech/Shotcut/ where '~' is your home directory, of course.
The settings are stored in ~/.config/Meltytech/Shotcut.conf, which is a text file in INI format.
The log, database, and presets are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/Meltytech/Shotcut/, where '~' is your home directory, of course.
The settings are stored in ~/Library/Preferences/com.Meltytech.Shotcut.plist, which is a binary plist