How to highlight words or images in a video


A very new user here. I am making demo videos (how-to) and I would like to highlight certain parts of the video…like a word or where to enter information. The video is a screen capture of a desktop application and I wanted to highlight things…similar to drawing squares in animations in powerpoint. can this be done?

thanks for any assistance.

Hi @GWolf

Many ways to achieve that, it all depends on how fancy you want to get.
If you just want a simple on/off effect with no fades or keyframes, then just create a small coloured block or download a png in the color of your choice.
You then place this block on a video track above the screenshot of your application.

You then use the position and size filter to scale the block and the opacity filter to allow some transparency.
Repeat as required.
You will also see I used the white balance filter, not required, I simply used it just to change the red slightly.


Final result below as a mp4 (zipped).
Hope it helps. (98.5 KB)

A screenshot of a single frame below, the red highlited part.
You can also use arrows, other shapes and so on.

1 Like

Thank you very much!!! that was so helpful!!

would there be any way of making the highlight bar something other than a solid brick that needs to be changed to see through? like making it a see-through highlight rectangle around the words/menu choices in the video.

Hi @GWolf

Absolutely, just make an outline of a block/square/rectangle and save it as a PNG with alpha channel then put it on the video track above.
Then use the size and position to adjust it.
Make sure that the “DISTORT” option is enabled in the size and position filter.

An example PNG attached below.
The inside is transparent so you just have to “stretch” it around the area you want to highlight.

Square-Red-Thick-Borders (1.3 KB)

1 Like

thank you very much again!!!

Great posts, @Paul2! :smiley:

You are very welcome.

Thank you.

An alternative approach.

V1: main video
V2: Open Other/Color with Alpha Channel set at 155
Color on V2, with Mask filter.


I’m sure the yellow highlight would look better with a white background.

Shotcut 18.10.08

Make your own square box with 4 video tracks, 1 mask each.
To fine tune each position, click next to % and use the scroll wheel.
You caln also use Keyframes shotcut_2018-11-13_18-44-46 with the filter.

This was made with Shotcut. Feel free to download it and use it.

Here is the MLT file: avbox.mlt (11.9 KB) if you wish to download it and use the above image. Just make sure both are in the same directory/sub directory.

Shotcut 18.10.08

You can also try to highlight the area of interest by dimming the surrounding area.

Use 2 tracks. Image/video on V1. Color clip with mask filter using subract operation and opacity filter on V2.

Thank you so much for this information!

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