Revision as of 10:09, 30 December 2020 by Merlimau (talk | contribs) (added: Note about can't apply same-track-transition.)


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Editing is done in the Timeline. Add a clip by dragging it from the Project Tree or the Clip Monitor. Once a clip is dropped on a track, it can be moved (drag and drop it) to another place on the same track or onto another track.

With 19.08.0 editing with keyboard shortcuts was introduced. This will speed up the edit work and you can do editing steps which are not possible or not as quick and easy with the mouse. Working with keyboard shortcuts in 19.08 is different as in the former Kdenlive versions. Mouse operations have not changed and working as before. See 3 point editing.

Seeking through your project

The timeline cursor shows your current position in the project. The positions of the cursors on the timeline ruler and Project Monitor are always in sync. Position can be moved in the following ways:

  • Keyboard shortcut: right / left arrows for one frame, Shift+ right / left for 1 second
  • Clicking/dragging in the Timeline ruler or in an empty area of the timeline.

Cutting a clip

To cut a clip, the easiest way is to place the timeline cursor where you want to cut the clip, then select the clip (left click in it) and use the menu Timeline -> Current Clip -> Cut Clip (default shortcut: Shift + R).

Or Right Click -> Cut Clip

Alternatively - use the Razor Tool.

Resizing a clip

A clip can be resized from its start or end by dragging its left or right edge. If you want a more precise resize, you can place the timeline cursor wherever you want the resize to end and use the menu Timeline->Resize Item Start (default shortcut: 1) or Timeline->Resize Item End (default shortcut: 2)

To even more precisely control the length of a clip, double click it in the timeline and adjust its duration using the Clip duration dialog. You can have frame-level accuracy with this method.

Kdenlive timeline current clip duration02.png

You can also resize a clip by cutting it with the Razor Tool and then deleting the bit you do not want.

Removing Space Between Clips

Right click in the space between the clips and choose Remove Space. Be aware however that if you have clips on multiple tracks in the timeline and they are not grouped, then removing space may disturb the alignment of the clips between the different tracks — the space is only removed from the timeline where you clicked. Under this situation it may be safer to use the Spacer Tool.

Kdenlive right-click in timeline space.png

Middle Tool Bar

There is a toolbar between monitors and the timeline that controls various aspects of the editor.

Middle Toolbar ver 17.04

1. Track Compositing drop down.

1a. None

1b. Preview

1c. High Quality

2. Timeline Edit Mode Drop Down

Note with ver 17.04 this mode is selected via a dropdown rather then toggle buttons.

ver 17.04

2a. Normal Mode

2b. Overwrite Mode

2c. Insert Mode

These same settings can be found under the Tool menu.

Tool Group (one of these 3 can be active)

Active buttons are grey.

3. Selection Tool

4. Razor Tool

5. Spacer Tool

6. Position indicator - displays the time point or frame number of the location of the hovering mouse. Click on the widget to change the display between time and frame number

7. Total length of the project

8. Insert Clip Zone in Timeline. See Insert & Overwrite Advanced Timeline Editing on Kdenlive Home page.

9. Overwrite Clip Zone in Timeline. See Insert & Overwrite Advanced Timeline Editing on Kdenlive Home page.

10. Extract Timeline Zone

11. Lift Timeline Zone

12. Favourite Effects

13. Start Preview Render

14. Stop Preview Render

15. Add Preview Zone

16. Remove Preview Zone

17. Remove All Preview Zones

18. Automatic Preview

19. Disable Timeline Preview

20. Manage Cached Data

Items 13-20 are covered by Timeline preview rendering article on the Kdenlive Home Page

21. Smaller Tracks (see track resizing icon)

22. Bigger Tracks (see track resizing icon)

23. Use timeline zone Kdenlive Use timeline zone for insert.png / Don't use timeline zone Kdenlive Dont Use timeline zone for insert.png for insert ( toggles). See Insert & Overwrite Advanced Timeline Editing on Kdenlive Home page.

Bottom Tool Bar

Bottom toolbar ver 17.04

24. Split Audio and Video Automatically

25. Automatic Transitions

26. Show Video Thumbnails

27. Show Audio Thumbnails

28. Show Marker Comments

29. Snap

Zoom Tools

30. Fit Zoom to Project

31. Zoom Out

32. Zoom Project

33. Zoom In

Button Descriptions

Track Compositing - None

When Track Compositing is set to None you will not get tracks with alpha channel information to composite with the other tracks unless an explicit composite or affine transition is added between the clips. This is the behavior that Kdenlive displayed in older ( <= ver 0.9.X).

Track Compositing - Preview

When track compositing is set to Preview tracks with alpha channel information will be automatically composited with the other tracks using an algorithm that is somewhat faster than the algorithm used with Track Compositing - HighQuality but which slightly degrades the colors.

Track Compositing - HighQuality

When track compositing is set to High-Quality tracks with alpha channel information will be automatically composited with the other tracks using an algorithm (qtblend) that is somewhat slower than the algorithm used with Track Compositing - Preview but which retains higher fidelity color information.

Timeline Edit Mode - Normal Mode

In this edit mode, you can not drag clips on top of other clips in the same track in the timeline. You can drag them to another track in the timeline but not into the same track at the same time point as an existing clip. Contrast this to overwrite mode.

Timeline Edit Mode - Overwrite Mode

In this edit mode, you can drag a clip onto a track where there is an existing clip and the incoming clip will overwrite that portion of the existing clip (or clips) covered by the incoming clip.


In the "After" screenshot above, you can see that the clip which was dragged from the upper track has replaced a portion of the clip on the lower track.

Timeline Edit Mode - Insert Mode

With this mode selected and you drop a selection into the timeline the selection will be inserted into the timeline at the point where the mouse is released. The clip that the selection is dropped on is cut and clips are moved to the right to accommodate the incoming clip.

After. Incoming Clip inserted. Clips after the insert point are shifted Right

Selection Tool

Use this to select clips in the timeline. The cursor becomes a hand when this tool is active.

Razor Tool

Use this to cut clips in the timeline. The cursor becomes a pair of scissors when this tool is active.

Spacer Tool

Use this tool (Kdenilve Spacer tool icon.png) to temporarily group separate clips and then drag them around the timeline to create or remove space between clips. Very useful. Experiment with this tool to see how it works.

Kdenlive Spacer tool crop.png

In the above example, these clips are not grouped. However, the spacer tool groups them temporarily for you so you can move them all as a group.

Fit Zoom to Project

This will zoom the project out so that it all fits in the timeline window. This is the same function that is triggered by Timeline Menu item, Fit Zoom to Project.

Zoom project

The magnifying glasses zoom in or out on the timeline. The slider adjusts the zoom by large increments. These same settings are controlled by the Timeline menu items, Zoom In and Zoom Out.

Split Audio and Video Automatically

When this is on and you drag a clip to the timeline, the audio in the clip will end up on an audio track and the video on a video track. You can achieve the same result if you select the clip, right click, Split Audio. When this is off and you drag a clip onto the timeline, both the audio and video tracks are combined into one video track.

Automatic Transitions

When active any transitions added to the timeline will have the automatic transition option checked by default. See Automatic Transitions

Show Video Thumbnails

When on, the video clips in the timeline will contain thumbnails as well a filename. Otherwise, they just have the clip filename.

When the timeline is zoomed in to the maximum, the video track will show a thumbnail for every frame in the clip. When the timeline is not on maximum zoom, the video track will show a thumbnail for the first and last frame in the clip.

Show Audio Thumbnails

When on, the audio clip will have a wave representation of the audio data as well as a filename. Otherwise, they just have the clip filename.

Show marker comments

This toggles on and off the display of the comments saved within markers (the text with the gold background in the example below) and within guides (the text with the purple background).

Kdenlive Markers and guides crop.png


When this feature is on, dragging the beginning of one clip near to the end of another will result at the end of the first clip snapping into place to be perfectly aligned with the beginning of the second clip. As you move the two ends near to each other, as soon as they get within a certain small distance, they snap together so there is no space and no overlap. Note that this occurs even if the clips are on different tracks in the timeline.

Clips will also snap to the cursor position, markers and guides.

Cutting Footage from multiple aligned tracks - Ripple Delete

This is available on the Timeline menu under All clips->Ripple Delete [1].

Seems missing in Kdenlive 17.04 & 18.04
Mark In and Out points in the Project Monitor, then choose Timeline->All clips->Ripple Delete (or Ctrl-X). Kdenlive deletes all footage between the In and Out points in unlocked tracks, slides everything else back to fill the gap, and puts the playhead on the In point.

Same track transitions

Since Version 20.12.0


The same track transition improves the editing workflow.


Same track transitions can only be applied if there are half a second of frames available at the end of each clip. If a clip is not adjusted in its length you have to do that first.

There are 3 ways to add transitions:

  • Mouse
  • Double click the border between 2 adjacent clips or
  • Selecting a clip and press the U key.
  • Keyboard
  • Jump with Alt+arrow between the cut and press U.
  • Icon
  • Selecting a clip and click on the "mix clips" icon in the timeline toolbar.

Adjust the length of transitions

Grab the end of a transition with the mouse and lengthen or shorten it as needed.

If the same-track-transition can't be applied by the shortcut u or by click on the "mix" icon or on the bottom left the message appears "Not enough frames at clip end to apply the mix”: The clips need at the cut position a half of a second spare frame. So shorten the clips on both sides at the cut by half of a second.

To apply only transitions on either the video or audio track just lock the track on which you don’t want a transition to be applied and add transitions by one of the above ways on the other track.


Since Version 20.12.0


The subtitling tool allows you to add and edit subtitles directly in the timeline on a special subtitle track or by using the new subtitle window. You can also import (SRT/ASS) and export (SRT) subtitles.

There are 3 ways to add subtitle:

  • Menu
  • Project -> Subtitle -> Add Subtitle
  • Keyboard
  • Shift+S adds a subtitle.
  • Icon and Mouse
  • Click the "subtitle" icon in the timeline toolbar to open the subtitle track in the timeline.
  • Double-click in the subtitle track to add a subtitle.

Adding and editing text

Add or editing text either directly into the subtitle clip or in the subtitle window.

Adjust the length of subtitle

Grab the end of a subtitle with the mouse and lengthen or shorten it as needed. Set subtitle in/out can be achieved with the same shortcut as to set clip in/out (left/right parenthesis shortcut).

Subtitle window


  • The subtitles window allows easier editing and also makes it possible to easily navigate between subtitles with the left/right button.
  • With the plus sign, you can add subtitles.
  • The scissors are mostly here for divide subtitle: let's say your subtitle text is too long and you want to make it 2 different subtitles. Put the cursor in the text widget where you want to cut and click the scissors, it will split the text between 2 different subtitle items. The scissors are only working when the playhead is over the subtitle itself.
  • The tick adds the text to the subtitle.

Import and export subtitle

Importing SRT and ASS subtitle file: Project -> Subtitles -> Import subtitles file

Exporting SRT subtitles only: Project -> Subtitles -> Export subtitles file

Changing the style of the subtitles using html tags like <font color=#ffff00> for setting the font color to yellow. Alt+arrow jumps from subtitle to subtitle.

3 point editing

Since version 19.08.0

3 important points to understand the 3 point editing concept (with keyboard shortcuts):



On the left of the track head the green vertical lines (V1 or A2). The green line is connected to the source clip in the project bin. Only when a clip is selected in the project bin the green line show up depending on the type of the clip (A/V clip, picture/title/color clip, audio clip).



In the track head the target V1 or A1 is active when it’s yellow. An active target track reacts to edit operations like insert a clip even if the source is not active.

The concept is like thinking of connectors

Connect the source (the clip in the project bin) to a target (a track in the timeline). Only when both connectors on the same track are switched on the clip “flow” from the project bin to the timeline.

Be aware

Active target tracks without connected source react on edit operations.

Example of advanced edit

Here is a brief introduction to the 3 point editing system.


1. Select a clip in the project bin with an up/down arrow

2. Navigate the clip by the JKL keys or by the left/right arrows and set the IN and the OUT point by the I and O keys.

3. Hit T to change to the timeline

4. Select a video or audio track in the timeline (up/down arrow key) and set it as source with Shift+T.

5. Activate the track as a target with shortcut A (this connects the track to the source)

6. Hit V (insert) or B (overwrite) to add the clip at the play-head position or to fill the selected area in the timeline if it is active. If you need to activate it use the G key.


In the following example, we want only insert the audio part of a clip in A2 and we want to create a gap in all the other video and audio tracks:

1. Activate all the target tracks which contain clips (yellow buttons).

2. Activate just the audio source on A2

3. Press V (insert).

  1. available on bleeding edge versions > 0.9.10 (Jan2015)

This page was last edited on 26 April 2021, at 17:27. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.