Editing Videos

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Editing a video can add polish and professionalism to your clips, but it takes additional time. Determine whether you’d like to spend time editing your clips.  There is nothing wrong with using an unedited video. However, if a video will be useful across a variety of purposes, it could be worthwhile spending more time on making it look polished.  

Best Practices

  • Consider first: Does this video need to be edited? Would an explanation accompanying it where it is posted suffice? How much effort should you invest in this particular recording? Will it be reused throughout several semesters?
  • Keep cut screens simple. A black background with white text is high contrast and accessible. Busy patterns or colour screens is a challenge.
  • Some people like to add on-screen callouts or drawings to focus people’s attention. Keep these simple, and use sparingly.
  • Limit background noise. Use a microphone to reliably amplify your voice. Avoid or minimize background music or sounds.
  • Sustain attention. Typically, you can hold a watcher’s attention for 30 seconds to 1 minute. After this, a cut screen will help to refocus attention and give a sense of progress.


If you do decide to edit, here are some recommended apps to try:


Learn some basic editing skills in Panopto.


If you’ve created a cloud recording in Zoom, you can trim the video, which effectively sets a playback range. In the cloud recording preview, use the Scizzors icon on the video to set the playback range.

A Zoom cloud recording preview, with the "Set Playback Range" option indicated.
Zoom cloud recording, with the option to set a playback range.

Trim from either end of the video to remove extraneous conversations or sections of the video. Please be aware that this does not remove or delete the excluded portions of the video, only set a playback range that excludes them. To prevent viewers from accessing the excluded portions, you may also want to remove the option for a viewer to download the video. Learn more about how to work with the cloud recordings, including how to set or remove the download option.


PowerPoint is a video editing lightweight, but can be a handy tool for this purpose. You can easily trim and edit simple videos using this popular app. Or, take it further by using timed transitions and animations, narrated slides and inserted screen recordings to build custom videos for your course. All this, without learning complex video editing software!

Teaching and Learning in collaboration with Online Learning Center. (2020). Using PowerPoint as a Video Editor [Video file]. Retrieved June 23rd, 2020 from https://youtu.be/Ms0Z9CROAsg.

On a Mac (OS X)

If you’re ready to explore video editing in more depth, try out iMovie. Learn some simple editing using iMovie on a Mac. Take it further by learning more about how to use iMovie.

Conestoga Online Learning Center. (2020). Basic Editing: iMovie [Video file]. Retrieved June 23rd, 2020 from https://youtu.be/c0R8Qvftlkg.

On a PC (Windows 10, 8.1, or 8)

Learn a few quick tips about using the Microsoft Photos app to edit and trim videos. Take it further by learning more about the Microsoft Photos app.

Conestoga Online Learning Center. (2020). Basic Editing: Microsoft Photos [Video file]. Retrieved June 23rd, 2020 from https://youtu.be/jdukXvR0znE.

Any device (including mobile)

Learn a few quick tips about using Adobe Spark to edit and create videos. Take it further by learning more about using Adobe Spark.

Conestoga Online Learning Center. (2020). Basic Editing: Adobe Spark [Video file]. Retrieved June 23rd, 2020 from https://youtu.be/Ux8ED0EYUqw.

Jess Wilkinson

Jesslyn is an Educational Technology Consultant at Conestoga. An Ontario Certified Teacher, and holding a M. Ed. and B.Ed., Jesslyn researches and promotes new technologies for faculty to enhance pedagogical practices. She brings to the role her experience as a Google and Microsoft certified technology trainer and as a classroom teacher in South Korea, Mongolia, and Ontario, focusing on special education and assistive learning technologies. She is available for workshops, consultations, and support with using technology in higher education contexts.

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