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How CapCut Works

Have you ever been scrolling through social media and wondered how some video posts are edited so perfectly, they couldn't possibly have been made on a phone or with accessible software? Well, there's a high probability that the impressive videos you're seeing were made with a free app called CapCut. The app is owned by ByteDance Ltd., which is the parent company of TikTok. Because of that, its editing platform is especially tailored for creating TikTok (and other social media) videos. Keep reading for our crash course on how CapCut works!

how does capcut work

1) Open the CapCut App on Your Phone or Visit Their Website

The #1 thing about CapCut is that it was designed specifically for use on phones. An entire project, start to finish, can be created with just your phone's camera and the CapCut app. It's a great way for beginners to make videos without needing to invest in pricey gear or software. Because the app uses the smartphone 9:16 format, it's perfect for creating TikTok posts and Instagram Reels (or videos for just about any other major social media platform). If you don't want to download an app, or are using higher-quality footage than what's filmed on a camera, you can go to Both the app and the website have all the features and offer a free version to use. You'll just need to take a minute to create an account, and then you can get right to creating!

2) Choose Your Media and Organize Your Clips

After picking a format, you can upload your video content to CapCut. To do this, make sure you select "Allow" when asked if CapCut can access media from your device. You can also choose media from their stock video library. Once you select your videos, the app will take you to its editing suite. Your clips will appear in a timeline at the bottom of the screen, along with various editing features. Once you select a clip from the timeline, drag the playhead to scroll through it and make cuts. To reorder any video clips within the timeline, simply click and drag to rearrange them without losing any edits you've made. Trimming each clip is as easy as dragging the beginning or end to your desired length. AWV Pro Tip: Choose video clips that are in the same format as your project. If you selected the social media 9:16 format, only use vertical videos. This will keep the clip at its highest quality and generally makes for more seamless edits and transitions.

3) Add Transitions and Effects

Once all of your clips are added to the timeline and trimmed to your liking, you can get down to adding transitions between cuts. This is absolutely not necessary--and definitely should not be done between all cuts--but it's a fun way to add motion to your video and make it more engaging. When editing on your phone, you'll see a small white square with a vertical line between adjacent clips. Click on the square to get to the Transitions menu. Select your desired transition and checkmark in the bottom right hand corner to confirm. Rather than a vertical line, the white square will now show two arrows facing each other to indicate a transition. On the web browser, you will use the menu on the left hand side to add transitions and effects. Whether you're using the app or the web browser, CapCut offers the same range of editing features, including adding audio, text and image overlays, green screen, keyframes, 3D zoom, and more. The key is that CapCut's controls revolve around the simplicity of "Click and Drag." This makes it super easy for beginners and pros alike!


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