Noob - I have some ideas for easier usage

This or the new one needs to be permanently pinned to the top


Shotcut is also a moving target as new features are released almost monthly.

I had started working on a couple of documentation items, as part of my own learning process. Explaining things to others helps you to learn.

I am currently waiting for the next version as it does changes a number of things before having another go.


That’s how I got started making tutorial videos…

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It has been the first link on Shotcut - How To Articles for a couple of months now, and that page is now in the app menu as Help > Topics with the standard shortcut F1.

I didn’t realize the User Manual link went to Documentation and I was specifically looking for it. :no_mouth:

I am conditioned to the word “Documentation” after spending time in the wiki, and didn’t correlate it to User Manual. The phrase “under construction” might also be scary to a new user, like there may be a good chance they won’t find what they need because it isn’t built yet, so why bother looking.

Stuff like FAQ and How To are pretty important. Perhaps more people would find them if they were directly on the forum top menu bar instead of under the “More” submenu. Or simply rename the More submenu to “Documentation” and leave most of the links under it alone.

The raw ingredients are there. No complaints. It seems like the hard part now is making sure everyone finds it.

Honestly, when I first started learning I went straight to YouTube. I’m sure you can find them all here, but as a newbie, I didn’t even know what it was called to be able to type it in. Keywords matter, so I hung around YouTube starter videos until I got some of the vernacular down to actually search for it.

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We have several talented tutorial creators in the forum (yourself included of course). Would there be value in identifying 20 of the most common and super-basic Shotcut actions, and making a walk-thru video of each one as a new user orientation? The topics could describe a simple and progressive workflow from importing clips to exporting the result (nothing too fancy yet), and introduce vernacular along the way so viewers learn what to search for when they want more information. Then, as updates happen in Shotcut, maybe only a few videos would need to be updated at a time. If we spread the load around several people, hopefully it could be kept up to date. I could offer to do the export settings section, for instance. You and @Hudson555x and maybe @sauron and @jonray and @DRM and others could take other sections so nobody is overloaded.

The major thing missing from YouTube snippet videos is “how does it all tie together for a start-to-finish workflow”. We could finally answer that question.

Just an idea.
Any interest?


Heh, the problem is there is so many ways to refer to the same thing in English. For example, see also “User Guide,” “Online Help” or simply “Help,” “Handbook”, and “Instruction Manual.”
I am sure we can think of or find more. One problem is that it is a little more reference than guide currently even though I think “User Guide” is the most common.

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Exactly haha. We can add Topics to the list because it’s actually official under the Help menu, as you mentioned.

Hence, my interest in building a guide that flows from start to finish. Then new users can search Documentation / User Guide / Instruction Manual / Topical Index / Product Encyclopedia for whatever buzzwords they picked up along the way should they want more information.

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Here are the topics in Documentation > English > Workflow

The topics are not organized, and it is not really possible. Eventually, I will make a Table of Contents page and list topics in a shallow hierarchy. Also, I hope to write a script that can crawl the links in the table of contents and generate a PDF using the content only (no web site decorations or replies).

Sounds like a huge undertaking. Why don’t we first identify existing videos we can repurpose so that we’re not reinventing the wheel. There are a ton of existing videos that are really good, but just need to curate them. I don’t think we have a content problem, we have a curation problem. If we classify every usable tutorial based on chapters, we can begin organizing into modules and prerequisites. Maybe it can be done by degree of difficulty or organized like a curriculum like 101 - 401-type classes. I bet they’re all here already. If not, then we backfill…

Something like this:
100 Series

  • How to add a video clip to the timeline
  • How to snip a video clip
  • How to add videos to your playlist

200 Series

  • How to use the Default Transitions

300 Series

  • How to Keyframe Filters
  • How to Use a Green Screen

400 Series

  • …something that would need HTML
  • How to Do a Timewarp Transition
  • How to Walk Through a Wall
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All those terms basically refer to the same thing. That’s what initially made it hard to navigate. Let’s just dump everything in the “Education Center.”

When I first started, I didn’t know if I should start with How Tos, FAQs or Tutorials.

100% agree. I was thinking in your case specifically you might be able to tie in videos you had already made and not have to create anything new. It’s just ordering what we’ve got into a beginner-friendly guided tour rather than dumping a new user into a pile of random tutorials with no idea what to study first. Sorry I wasn’t more clear about that. I was expecting some backfill would be necessary.


Yeah. I would just rely on the regulars to then vote on what goes in where… That could be a chosen beta group that would choose the slot. then we can get rid of the navigational elements FAQ, Tutorials and How Tos and only have one navigational item like “Education Center” or “Training”

I disagree. The tutorials are also for marketing as they are like video screenshots, and many people like to look before taking a leap. So, it gets own link in the main navbar. People also frequently look for a FAQ.
Shotcut - How To Articles also links to FAQ and Tutorials.
Shotcut - Tutorial Videos and Shotcut - Frequently Asked Questions also links to HOW TOs.
HOW TOs (aka How To Articles) is already your education center, and “Education Center” is too long. I had to shorten “How To Articles” into “HOW TOs” to make if fit in the menu. I am open to changing the name of “HOW TOs/How To Articles.” Adobe has something called “Help Center” if people think that is better. “HOW TOs” is a common convention for Unix, Linux, and Internet projects. “How-to” is even defined by Merriam-Webster.
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

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Hey it’s your site man. Do what you want

Wow! that’s some response! Sorry, look, I know I’m new and I know that joining a forum and making criticism isn’t the way to make “friends.” I didn’t come here to be an asshole. I think this software is bloody amazing and anyone who spends time creating this sort of stuff for free deserves immense respect.

I simply joined to point out that as a newcomer, things could be easier. Not all of us went to college/university or are big media fanatics that spend all their time with this kind of program. I’m just a dabbler, just trying out something I knew was going to be a major pain to learn. I’ve had these video files for around 7-10 years and have wanted to sort them out for so long. I knew it would be a steep learning curve for me, but you look at some video software and it’s easy to use, but wholly ineffective for my needs.

It seems all the programs that do what I require are seriously lacking in ease of use for the layman. Understandably, these are meant for more experienced, even professional users, I just don’t see why they are so needlessly difficult to “pick up” for those new to the arena.

My apologies if I offended anyone with my comments, I admit I’m not the best at explaining my intentions… :blush:

I am on Win10x64 with the latest release of Shotcut.
Tooltips - Just as an example, MKVToolNix has Tooltips which greatly helped me learn the best settings to use. But It’s NOT the buttons that need them, it’s things like dropdown boxes, numerical values, checkboxes, etc.

Splitting - When splitting, it was difficult to understand how this was achieved. I imagined, like an audio editor, that you simply select a part of the waveform and select cut. This didn’t work for me. I had to use the preview and use the back/forward buttons to select a point marking. When I tried the former method, it just drags the whole clip to a new position. Though, now I think about it, I can see why that works as it does. Perhaps CTRL+click to drag and a simple drag allows selection would be better? With an option to reverse this. MuLab offers a similar option of reversal in a similar area I believe. Remember, frame accuracy isn’t always a requirement

Drag clips to Timeline - Sorry, I should’ve thought of that one! Thanks for the tip :wink:
Though I just tried this with audio and it appended the current track, ie, put the audio at the end instead of creating a new track below the current video file. This then makes it a task to find out how exactly to create a new track to add the audio inline with the video instead of at the end of it. Something this basic shouldn’t be a task, it should be intuitive. This adds to the frustration of getting on with whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.

Spike Sync - This only works if the two tracks are identical or very similar. The trouble from my pov is that one track is Chinese and one dubbed in English! Meaning very different spikes in the audio. Perhaps this is a fairly unique scenario? But one film I have - Five Superfighters - is a real problem. The English dubbed version is very poor quality and the Chinese one is great. However, they are different lengths due to the first being recorded from VHS by the look of it. This means the audio needed time-stretching to fit.

Shrinking/Stretching - I’ve just added a new track, incidentally, two requests here:

  1. Allow track heights to be adjustable. In the Tracks Header, the horizontal line dividing tracks could allow adjustment, as most DAW’s do. The current heights are not space friendly for single monitors.
  2. Allow them to be moved and/or place them in ascending order somehow as a file manager would do if clicking it’s name header.

Ok, so… New track, added audio, now the audio needs shrinking, fully intact, to match the length of the video. I would think it’s easier to perform similar to the Splitting above. But maybe a new hot key is required? Maybe this is currently possible, I don’t know. As above - “Perhaps CTRL+click to drag and a simple drag allows selection would be better? With an option to reverse this.” But when performed on the end of a clip, instead of selecting, you are either reducing the length of the track, which is how it works now, or actually shrinking or lengthening the time, ie, Time-stretching it.

Automatic Export - I did think that’s what happened, but it wasn’t clear. Though I read somewhere that h.264 is quite lossy? No idea, but all the presets mean nothing to me as I want the best output with minimal file size. How do I know which preset offers that? Then there’s compatibility! Which is most future proof? Is that even important? It’s just that I’ve lost some home videos of my kids taken on old phones that will no longer play. I assumed it’s progress, maybe they got corrupted somehow? No idea, but should future proofing be a concern? With so many codecs and formats which is the best to use?

Manual - I did find the Documentation link, which was like a forum question and answer thing, it didn’t have a listing of parameters as a manual does. But I saw it’s a “ToDo” thing so no worries.

Workflow - Believe me, I know Cubase, etc, are daunting apps at first, my point isn’t that all apps are the same to use, clearly they aren’t. I was just pointing out that many functions as described above are pretty much universal. The simple things spring to mind, Click and drag, Drag and drop, Right click context menus. But those things I stated above are also universal. Adjusting columns width or track height for example, common to thousands of apps, yet these are missing here. little things like this can make software so much more cumbersome and difficult to use. Again, for people trained in this field, it’s fine, but this program is offered free to everyone. Even us stupid people who don’t have a clue about video editing. :relaxed:

Please, please, don’t take me the wrong way, I wasn’t attacking you or anyone else, just pointing out some areas of improvement for new users and especially those new to video.

One more thing about improvements, regarding Five superfighters. I don’t know how best to explain how it would be done as I don’t get how the problem is occuring. My thought was an overlay of an envelope on the audio track to adjust speed at certain points. The problem in this case is that the audio is in sync at the beginning and end but somehow is way out in the middle??? Maybe this is not worth your trouble as it’s too specific an issue?

Thank you so much for your time and explanations.

Individual track height, no, this is not possible.

All track heights:
This already exists with Keyboard Shortcuts.

Also look at this:

Thank you for the tip :+1:
Could the default be smaller though please?

Sorry, I don’t understand what you are getting at with the audio. Are you saying it’s possible to time-stretch it, but not just a single clip only all clips? Why would you want that?