Creating square format video (1:1) optimized for social media

Not sure if I’m allowed to post a Tutorial or not, but I thought I would give this a try. You might want to create a video that goes beyond what your phone and the IG app can do. I’ve seen a few suggestions for creating video in 1:1 format from your 16:9 video, and optimized for social media (Instagram, in this case). I was sort of messing around in Shotcut and came up with this.

  1. Open up your video in Shotcut and drag it to the timeline.
  2. Go to Settings → Video Mode → Non-broadcast, and find the Square 1080p 60fps option (or 30fps, if you prefer).

  1. Apply the Size and Position filter. Use the Distort mode and change the width to 1920. I prefer to leave the Y axis position value at 0 and just change the placement along the X axis.

  1. Apply whatever other filters, cuts and edits that you want to. Maximum length for an Instagram video is 60 seconds.

  2. On Export → Advanced, make sure your resolution is set to 1080x1080. Export as an .mp4.

You will wind up with a 1080x1080 square video, edited to your specifications, that takes advantage of the full height of your original video file. You can upload to your social media platform from there.

Thanks, and let me know if you have questions, or if anything in here isn’t clear.


A tutorial like this is very valuable and useful. Thanks for posting!!! :+1:

Thanks. When I clicked the “Tutorials” category it specified that it was for “staff and senior forum members”. I didn’t know how strict that community guideline was. I’m just a beginner with Shotcut and a complete newb when it comes to video editing in general.

Nice and clear ! May I suggest that you include square and 1:1 in your title ? I think it would make it easier to find for people just looking for a way to convert their videos to a square format (without specifying social media in their search keywords)

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Great idea; I’ll do that.

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Update Nov 2020: Is there a reason why this wouldn’t work in 20.09.27? When I start with a 16:9 video, then click on Settings Video Mode 1:1, it’s still showing me a 16:9 preview screen. In previous versions, it would show a square 1:1 screen. Thanks.

Great tutorial!

Start with setting the Video Mode first.
Open the video.
Apply Crop: Source, check box Center.

Version 20.09.27

Version 20.10.31 (Latest version at this time)


Thank you, I guess I didn’t realize there was another release a few days ago. I’ll be sure to upgrade.

I guess the problem is I already have the .mlt file as a 1080p (16:9) video format, now I want to export is as a square format, just doing the above instructions. When I first did this, I could start with the 16:9 and easily change it to 1:1.

That still works for me in both 20.09.27 and 20.10.31. In any case Crop: Source > Center is the better approach for this because Size, Position, & Rotate often resamples the image whereas crop will simply remove rows or columns of pixels as needed. Also, any time you choose distort you risk changing the aspect ratio of the image if you are not careful.

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Thanks Dan. I’ll approach it that way.