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The best video editing software: Reviews, buying advice, and more

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Video editing software ranges from free versions that are pretty bare-bones to feature-packed prosumer versions. Indeed, they vary as much as the reasons why people take up video editing—whether to make home videos, to become YouTube stars, to create VR experiences, and more.

Most video editing software for consumers and mainstream users is best used for one or another of these specific functions, but there are a few generalists out there, too. For this roundup we’ll first be looking at the middle ground: Paid consumer video editing programs that cost $80 or less.

Whatever your purpose, you should be able to find consumer software for less than $100 that can meet your needs. We’ll soon be updating this roundup with our top picks among free versions and prosumer versions, so stay tuned for more reviews.

Links to full reviews of all the video editing software we’ve tested can be found at the very bottom of this page. 

Updated November 13, 2017 to add Adobe Premiere Elements, our new pick for best video editor overall. While we still like close runner-up Corel VideoStudio X 10.5 a great deal, Adobe Premiere Elements 

Best video editor overall: Adobe Premiere Elements 2018

Adobe Premiere Elements 2018 offers most of the same basic video editing features you’d find in other consumer packages, but it separates itself from the pack with tutorials and automatic curation and content creation features that very nearly (but not quite) do all the work for you, as long as you don’t mind if your videos look generic.

It’s this easy access that makes Adobe Premiere Elements our top-rated consumer paid video editor. (Read our full review.)

Runner-up: Corel VIdeoStudio Ultimate X10.5

At $80 Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5 combines an elegant and professional-feeling interface with high-end specialty features like 3D and 4K Ultra HD, making it one of the most satisfying and versatile consumer-level video editors on the market. It also has an elegant, modern-looking user interface, and can export to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo with all the options you’d expect. It’s versatile, efficient, and top of its class. (Read our full review.)

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