Beginner help, please be patient with me!

  1. Is there anyway of typing in where you want a clip to start in timeline. Im finding snap doesn’t seem to work sometimes it seems. I want 3 clips on different timelines to start at exactly the same time but dragging doesnt seem to work. I use music software and with that you can look at properties of a block of music and type in where you want it to start exactly.

  2. Is there a decent alternative manual anywhere? Apologies to those who’ve spent time writing it but its awful to use.

  3. Is there any advanced editing tutorials anywhere that explain the buttons on the timeline?

Thanks in advance

This is about what exactly? Kdenlive, Shotcut, Openshot…? Something completely different?

Kdenlive as I assume this is the forum for this software?

No. This forum is not just for kdenlive. There are sections, tags. Kdenlive is one of those.

re 1) double click the clip and you can enter start and stop position

re 2) what is the issue with the documentation? What can be done better? Do you have examples of manuals that are easier to use?

re 3) use google or the search in YT for kdenlive tutorials - there are plenty


I never used this software, but few days ago I ran into this guide, which looks pretty good:

  1. yes you can do this but with some clips it just does what it wants, an example is in one cip i wanted to move it a fraction and it moves it 20 seconds. There is nothing I can find in the manual that explains what ‘crop start’ and ‘crop end’ mean? When I enter units in the far right column it doesnt seem to bother what I put in, it just seems to make its own mind up.
  2. A good example of good manuals is Native Instruments manuals and Reason music DAw manuals.
  3. I’ve watched a lot on you tube but there are a gaps, especially with the buttons on the timeline.
  4. is there any chance ‘transition’ could be used instead of ‘composition’?
  5. Im quite happy at a future date to help rewriting the manual but I’ve got to fully understand the software myself first!

Thanks for your help

The timecode notation is hh:mm:ss:ff, where ff represents the frame(s). If you have a 30-fps project, this value goes from 00 to 29. Perhaps this is where the confusion is.

I will take a look at the manuals you mentioned to see what they are doing better. Like the software itself, the manual is the work of just a few people.

The buttons on the timeline are explained in the manual. Mind you, 24.02 brought quite a few changes to the UI, so the manual may not be up to speed yet.
You may want to reach out to @nuxttux on his YT channel and ask for a tutorial specifically for the timeline buttons.

What do you mean with “using transitions instead of compositions”? A transition is always a composition, while a composition can also be used for artistic purposes.

Yes, this guide looks great and explains a lot - but it seems to be very old.
The shortcuts shown here are not up to date and many do not work in the current version of Kdenlive.
It would be great if the creator of this page could update it or display the shortcuts in an outdated way.

Bernd @berndmj, can you arrange this?

yes ‘ff’ is the problem here, so if I put 35 in and its set to 30fps I guess it would add 5 to the ff and one to the seconds? This is not explained in manual or I couldn’t find it using search option.

Like I said I am happy to work on the manual to make it more accessible if you want help with this. I like the software and it would be good to contribute.
I’ve comlete a first video though obviously these will get more professional with time:-

I mean other software I’ve used uses transition where you use composition. Your explanation confuses me, I don’t understand it.

If you want to help with the manual: Kdenlive/Workgroup/Documentation - KDE Community Wiki

Sorry for the confusion about transitions and compositions. Perhaps this helps: Effects and Compositions — Kdenlive Manual 24.02 documentation (third paragraph)

This was a video editor handbook explaining editing concepts like three-point-editing, slip, slide etc. It was not a manual for Kdenlive (there are many references to Avid, Final Cut Pro and other applications to illustrate the different implementations of the same concepts). As such, it does indeed explain a lot. Most of it made it into the Kdenlive manual, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.