Shotcut vs Lightworks (A detailed comparison)


These days, you will find many different types of video editing software. In fact, I have written many articles regarding the best video editing software you can download; you can check those out as well. 

In this article, however, I will talk about two different types of video editing softwares that you can use and download right now, Shotcut and Lightworks. 

Both the softwares are made and targeted at different groups of people, so let’s compare both of them and see which one works best for you. 

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About Shotcut 

Let’s discuss about what exactly you can expect from Shotcut. Shotcut is an open-source video editing software that was developed in 2011. 

For those people who don’t know what open-source means, let me explain it to you briefly. Any software that is open-sourced basically means that the software is run by a community of people.

The entire software is free, and its data is available to anyone and everyone to access. Shotcut falls under the same category, and it is a software that you can use for editing different types of videos. 

About Lightworks 

Lightworks, on the other hand, is not an open-source software that you can download. Still, the software offers a free-tier pack that you can use for as long as you want with confirming that you are not using it for commercial purposes. 

Lightworks offers a pretty great list of features, about which we will discuss later in the article, and the overall software is a pretty good video editing software as well!

Read our detailed review on Lightworks.


Let’s discuss the prices of both the softwares. 

Lightworks Shotcut
Offers a free tier for an unlimited period of time Free to use
Pro plan costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year

Features of Shotcut 

Wide Format Support – Shotcut supports a wide variety of different formats, whether it be an audio file or a video file. This means that you can upload any file on this software, and it will run it without any issues. 

Device and Transport option – Through Shotcut, you can very easily share different types of data, and it also supports HDMI in and preview monitoring, which makes it ideal for cases when you want to connect it to a bigger screen. 

Sleek UI – The overall UI of Shotcut is also pretty sleek and can be compared to some of the latest and higher-end video editing softwares. 

Features of Lightworks 

Various VFX settings – When you are using Lightworks, you can very easily choose various types of visual effects settings ranging from chroma-key effects to transitions. 

All of these features are available in its free plan as well, and you have great control over the overall look of your video. 

Audio settings – Lightworks also supports many types of audio settings for your video. You can bridge two different types of audio files with crossfade effects and adjust it with an equalizer setting as well. 

Colour correction tools – On Lightworks, you get a fairly moderate list of settings for colour correction as well. This can be a good feature for people who like to manually adjust the look of their videos. 


Let’s discuss the Pros of both the softwares. 

Lightworks ProShotcut Pro
Great list of features in the free plan Open-source software 
Simple UI 4K video support
Cost effective compared to other video editing softwares Customizable 


Lightworks  ConsShotcut cons
Not a lot of resources to learn different settings options Very slow updates due to open-source
Free plan only exports videos at 720p resolution Doesn’t have great performance in effects like colour grading tools, etc. 
No dedicated customer support service 

Supported Devices

Lightworks Shotcut
Computing device – Windows, macOS and  Linux Computing device – Windows, macOS and Linux
Not available on any mobile deviceNot available to download on any mobile device 

UI of Shotcut 

Shotcut’s UI, as I mentioned above, is a pretty slick UI, one that can be compared with some of the more higher-end video editing softwares. 

This is quite a compliment for an open-source software because usually, you will find the UI of open-source softwares to be not as good as a company-released software that has paid software engineers behind it. 

That being said, you will find some levels of inconsistency when it comes to Shotcut’s software. 

While the overall look and design of the UI are good, when you jump down to its menu section, you will see that they are not polished as the other parts of the UI of Shotcut.

That’s why I said that you would find some level of inconsistency with this software’s UI.

UI of Lightworks

The UI of Lightworks is something that you might expect from a video editing software that has a price tag attached to it. It doesn’t have the inconsistency in the overall look and design of its UI like Shotcut’s. 

The overall software is fairly clean, and you have most of the options of different settings spread out evenly so that it doesn’t feel too overwhelming when you are using the software. 

That being said, there is a certain learning curve for anybody who jumps on Lightwork after using a different video editing software before because each software has its different sets of settings and functionalities. 

Lightworks is no different in this department as well, so just know that you won’t instantly know everything about its UI and will have to search through some list of settings to get some form of familiarity. 

Customer Service of Shotcut 

Since Shotcut is an open-sourced software, you can’t really expect a customer service dedicated to it. The closest thing to a customer service that Shotcut has is its Q&A forum.

In the Q&A forum of Shotcut, you can type in your question and simply hope that some of the people who are working as the software engineers of Shotcut respond to your doubt and that you are able to get your query cleared. 

This is one of the biggest disadvantages you can expect from any open-source software because you are not able to get the level of benefits that you get from a corporate-run software. 

Customer Service of Lightworks 

Now, Lightworks, on the other hand, has a dedicated customer care service whom you can approach anytime from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm (GMT). 

You can use Lightworks’ customer care service to ask all the queries you have regarding their software, and they will help you with clearing those doubts. 

Another thing that you can try out if you want to clear out your queries is to jump in on Lightwork’s YouTube channel. 

Over there, they have dedicated people who regularly update the channel with the videos regarding the new list of features you can expect from the software and see how you can use them practically for your videos.

So, in this department, Lightworks is better than Shotcut. 


Let’s discuss some of the frequently asked questions regarding this topic.

Which is better, Lightworks or Shotcut?

This is a bit of a subjective question. As I mentioned at the start of this article, video-editing softwares are targeted at different groups of people, and so are Lightworks and Shotcut. 

If you are someone who is just starting out as a video editor, then it might be a good option for you to choose Lightworks simply because you have access to a bunch of features and the overall UI is relatively simpler. 

That being said, Shotcut is a good option if you want to access some professional-level of functions and features, but you don’t want to pay for any services. 

Both of them have their fair share of cons as well. For Lightworks, you don’t get all the list of features in its free plan, and you have to pay some form of fee to use them. 

For Shotcut, you have access to some professional-level of features, but it suffers from the same points that any open-source software goes through. 

You don’t have a dedicated customer care service, and you won’t be getting regular updates when you are using this software, so you have to choose which one works best for you. 

What is better than Shotcut?

Shotcut is an open-source software, so it doesn’t seem fair to compete it against some of the commercial video editing softwares present right now. 

There are also not a lot of video-editing softwares that are available as open-source except a few of them, such as OpenShot, etc. 

If you compare it to open-source softwares, then Shotcut is definitely one of the better options it is available. It is available for download on all the popular computing devices. 

The software is able to handle different types of video and audio files, so you can very easily and comfortably feed in any file type on it, and you will be able to run with it. 

However, if you are open to spending some money from your wallet, then I would advise you to go for other video-editing softwares such as Lightworks, etc. 

The only reason I recommend it is because there is some form of accountability you can get from paid video editing softwares, and you get access to some of the latest features fairly quickly.

Plus, you get some added benefits, such as a customer care service, YouTube tutorials, etc. 

Which is better, Lightworks or Openshot ?

Just like Shotcut, OpenShot is also an open-source software that you can use and download for editing your videos. It is also considered as one of the better video editing softwares you get for open-source. 

That being said, the cons of Openshot can be a bit too much when compared to the cons of Lightworks. For example, there are only limited video editing tools available on Openshot, and the performance of the software is also a bit inconsistent. 

The UI of the software is also a bit too old for something of today’s day and age, and those are some of the things that you can’t ignore if you are looking for a video editing software. 

Lightworks, on the other hand, is able to perform fairly well, its performance is also pretty quick, and you get loads of different video editing tools with Lightworks. 

Openshot is a good software if you just want to make a quick edit and not make something hard-core or big. Lightworks, on the other hand, has been used for editing Hollywood films, so that should settle the difference between the two.

Is Lightworks good for video editing?

Lightworks is really good for video editing. I have been using Lightworks for quite some time now, and over the time, I haven’t encountered many issues with the software. 

Sure, you will find some issues here and there, such as the software immediately stopping, but those are far and between, and the software is saving the progress of your edits on all the way. 

So, even if the software shuts down abruptly, your work will be pretty safe to use, and you won’t have a lot of issues with it. 

You also get a lot of different features while you are using this software that can be pretty useful for anybody who is serious about video editing and creating different types of videos. 

That being said, there are some cons to it as well. While Lightworks is a fairly popular software, it is not as popular as some other softwares, so you won’t find a lot of resources online to learn all the functions of the software. 

If you want to learn more about Lightworks, I have written an entire article where I have reviewed it; you can check that out as well. 

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Well, there you have it. An article discussing about the difference between Shotcut and Lightworks. Both the softwares are fairly powerful video-editing software, and you will be pretty satisfied with any of them.

I will personally choose Lightworks over Shotcut because of the above-mentioned reasons, but as always, these have been thoughts regarding this topic. 

What about you? Do you agree with my thoughts, or do you think that Shotcut is better than Lightworks? Whatever your thoughts are, do let us know about them in the comments down below!

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Sanjit Mansingh

Sanjit Mansingh is a Journalism and Mass Communication graduate. While studying in this field he quickly realized what he wants to do in his life: Filmmaking. His interest in writing scripts is what made him give a try in the world of content writing. Sanjit's an avid Movie Geek and is an award winning Director as well.

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