How to Edit Video Clips on TikTok

How to Edit Video Clips on TikTok

Wondering how those viral TikTok videos have such nice transitions? Or how they synced sound and added cool visual effects to different clips? This detailed, step-by-step guide takes you from start to finish with everything you need to know about using TikTok’s native video editor to edit video clips.

Uploading Video Clips

Select the video clips you would like to use in your TikTok by hitting the “Upload” button on the bottom right corner of the camera.

Your video and photo library will appear. Sort your media by album by hitting “All” on the top of the window and selecting the album you want to source from.

TikTok allows you to select both videos and photos to upload at the same time. Add up to 35 different clips and/or photos at a time.

Tap on the empty circle icon on the top right of a video clip to select it to be uploaded. If you tap on the middle of the video, TikTok will expand the clip so you can view it first.

Video clips will be arranged in the order you select them, so keep that in mind if you already have an idea of the order of your clips for the final video.

Finish selecting clips and hit the “Next” button on the bottom right. You can always add and remove clips later on.

Adjusting Clips

TikTok has two options for adjusting your clips after uploading them: Sound Sync and Default.

The option to select one or the other is located directly beneath the video preview. Sound Sync is automatically selected after uploading media. Tap on “Default” to the right of “Sound Sync” to switch to that editing mode.

Using Sound Sync

The Sound Sync version of your clips will appear first after you upload them. Sound Sync automatically places a song of your choice over the sequence and synchronizes the transition between clips to line up smoothly with the rhythm of the song.

Adding sound with Sound Sync removes all original sounds from the video clips.

Sound Sync automatically syncs your video to the first suggested song. You can change the audio to any song you like that’s available.

Select a suggested sound or search for more by hitting the “More” icon on the bottom left.

Notice that when you sync a new song with your video the length of the clips will change. This is also true when you reorder the sequence of your clips.

Once you select a sound, you can manually adjust the synced video by tapping the “Adjust clip” icon on the right hand side above the song suggestions.

Tap on a clip to edit it. This allows you to adjust which section of the video clip will appear in the allotted clip time.

Drag the clip with your finger to start and end the clip in a different spot.

This part of the editor also allows you to rotate clips. Use the box and arrow icon just below the clip preview on the right to rotate the clip.

The trash can icon next to the rotate icon will delete the clip from the sequence.

Once you’ve finished adjusting, tap the checkmark on the bottom right to save your changes or the “x” on the bottom left to discard all changes.

The “Adjust clip” window allows you to reorder your clips and add more clips from your library.

Press and hold a clip to reorder it. Drag the clip to you where you want to place it in the sequence and lift your finger to place it there. Sound Sync may change the length of a clip depending on where you place it to align it with the audio.

Add additional clips to your sequence by pressing the plus icon at the end of your sequence of clips.

Click “Done” when you’re finished adjusting your clips.

Using Default to Adjust Clips


Select “Default” to the right of “Sound Sync” to switch to that editing mode.

Default mode maintains the original audio from each clip in the sequence. It also maintains the full length of each clip.

In the editor on the bottom third of the screen, TikTok shows you the full length of the video sequence unedited.

Press and drag either end of the red highlights to adjust the starting and end points of the video, as well as the length.

The sequence of individual clips appears under the full length video sequence. Tap a clip to expand and edit it.

The individual clip editor allows you to trim, rotate, delete, and change the speed of the clip.

Tap the icon that looks like a speedometer (to the right of the rotate icon) to change the clip speed.

1x is the original speed of the clip. To put the clip in slow motion, select either 0.3x or 0.5x to the left of it, depending on how much you want to slow the clip down.

Select 2x or 3x to speed a clip up.

Tap the checkmark on the bottom right to save changes and return to the main editing page when finished. Tap the “x” icon on the bottom left to discard all changes and go back to the main editor.

You can also adjust the speed of the entire video sequence by hitting the same speedometer icon on the top right of the editing panel.

Hit the red “Next” button when you are done adjusting your clips and sequence.

Adding Elements to Your Video

The main editing page is where you can use various tools to enhance and customize your TikTok video even more.

On the bottom of the screen you will see the following options: Sounds, Effects, Text, and Captions.

  • Sounds allows you to add music to your video. Choose among recommended audio, favorites, or search for specific audio. This is also where you can adjust the volume of the added sound and the original sounds in your video sequence (if applicable).
  • Effects enables you to apply different effects to various parts of the video sequence. Press and drag down on the white line on the video sequence to move it to the point where you want an effect applied. Let go of the white line and press and hold on the effect you want applied for the length of time you want it applied for. Parts of the video with effects applied to them are highlighted in a color corresponding to the effect applied. Press “Save” on the top right to save your changes or “Cancel” to discard them and go back.
  • Text will open the text tools to add text to different parts of your video sequence. Toggle between different fonts, colors, alignments, and styles. Press “Done” to save your text. Back in the main editor, press and hold on the text to move it around and place it where you want. You can also remove it by dragging it to the top of the screen into a trash can icon that appears.
  • Captions will automatically add captions for your video sequence based on its original audio. After TikTok is done processing the captions, you have the opportunity to edit them by tapping the pencil icon on the top left side of the editor. Press “Save” on the top left to add those captions to your video.

Along the right hand side of the screen in the main editing page there are four different icons: Stickers, Filters, Voiceover, and Enhance.

  • Stickers opens a library of stickers, emojis, GIFs, and more that you can place onto your video. This is where you can add native TikTok elements like mentions, hashtags, polls, and questions. Select what you want to add by clicking on it. You can go back and add additional stickers after placing the one you have selected.
  • Filters work in the same way that photo filters work. Applying a filter can change the color, contrast, highlighting, shadows, and other visual elements of the video. Press a filter to see a preview of it on your video. If you decide not to apply a filter, hit the “circle with a line through it” icon on the left.
  • Voiceover enables you to record and add your own audio to the video. Move the white line cursor to the point in the sequence where you want to add voiceover. Tap the record icon to start recording and tap it again to stop recording. You can also tap and hold the record button if you are only recording a short piece of audio (it will record until you release the button).
  • Enhance is an automatic video enhancement feature of TikTok’s editor. When turned on, TikTok automatically enhances different elements of the video, such as color and contrast.

Press the “Next” button in the bottom right hand corner when you finish adding elements to your video. This will save all changes as shown in the preview and move you to the “Post” screen to prepare the video for posting.

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