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Filmora for Mac video editor brief overview

Dmitry Yedin

Dmitry Yedin is an analyst and author, a part of the “multimedia” crew of ThinkMobiles. Don’t even start with him on games, graphics, video content or messengers.


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Developer: Wondershare
Source: Official website
Platform: macOS (10.10 +) or Windows

Filmora is a simple video editor from Wondershare. The company also offers software such as UniConverter (video converter), Recoverit (data recovery tool), Dr.Fone (smartphone optimizer), PDFelement, FamiSafe (parental control app). We’d like to review Filmora9 for Mac, as video content is as vital today as ever.  

As of now, the current version of the program is 9.5, which is a big leap since the previous version 6. From an amateur app, Filmora has grown into a potent, and most importantly, simple video editing tool. For beginners, vloggers and YouTube personas it is a great option. Filmora appeared on our radar previously while compiling the list of top video editing software. Now let’s take a closer look. 

How to get started with Filmora9 for Mac?

Download and install. Download the latest version of the program. On the official website click “Switch To Mac Version”. Both versions, for macOS and Windows, are stable and equal. Double click the installer and click “Open in the security window”. In case there is no such button, go to System Preferences – Security & Privacy – General tab – Click Allow or Open. This is the only issue you can face during the installation.

Filmora video editor Mac

Start / Welcome Screen. A few minutes later, you’ll see the Welcome / Start window. Here you can set the aspect ratio of a future project: 16:9 (Widescreen), 1:1 (Instagram), 9:16 (Portrait), 4:3 (Standart), 21:9 (Cinema). Also, you can open a previous project or create a  new one. If you don’t want to see this window further on, there’s a checkbox in the bottom. 

macos video editing app

Configure Filmora preferences. Filmora is a simple video editing app, you can notice it even in Preferences. Lots of settings here, but we’d like to underscore a few exciting specific ones to pay attention to in the Performance tab.

First of all, GPU acceleration – to speed up video rendering and decoding. Since Filmora has such a great feature as Background render, tick this checkbox too. Proxy is another useful solution – the idea behind it is to create limited quality renders of files, faster response, especially for 4K footage. In the Editing tab, users can set default Transition, Photo, Effect, Freeze frame, Split screen duration time.

Import files, save, export. There are few ways to add media to Filmora:

  • right click on media work zone – Import
  • Menubar – File – Import Media – Import Media Files
  • CMD⌘ + i
  • Icon click in the middle of media work zone
  • Drag and drop files to media work zone

Import Media Folder is a great option, so you could collect all necessary files in one place, and add everything for a project at once.

import files to Filmora

To avoid unsaved changes we recommend making constant saves a habit. Additionally, Filmora9 for Mac has the Automatic Backup to take place every X minutes (whatever you prefer). It is active by default, though to configure it go to Preferences – Save. To export a project, hit the Export button in the menu bar or above the media work zone. We will take a more in-depth look at export tools later in the article.

export videos wondershare

Acquaintance / Filmora features

To discover Filmora we will guide you through basic tools and features, and to make it clearer, we will split it into 3 sections: Timeline (1), Preview / View (2), and Media block (3).

Wondershare Filmora review

1 – Timeline. This is the main workspace in any video editing program, so it is important to know every single tool in this section.

filmora9 timeline

Edit section:

  1. Add Track – add video and audio files, or delete empty tracks.
  2. Undo CMD⌘ + z / Redo CMD⌘ + Shift + z – use this to correct mistakes.
  3. Delete DEL – delete selected media in timeline.
  4. Split – split media files (or use a red line or scissors).
  5. Crop – crop or zoom selected video.
  6. Speed – change playback speed or reverse a video file.
  7. Advanced Color Tuning – 45 presets or manually. Click the Split View button in the right corner for a better result view. Save applied settings as a preset.
  8. Green Screen – Chroma Key.
  9. Edit – transform, stabilize, drop shadow, auto enhance, fade in/out, apply motions effects, etc.View and display section:
  10. Render Preview – when processing 4K, render in lower quality for better response.
  11. Add Marker – leave a cue anywhere you need.
  12. Record VoiceOver – record audio from a connected microphone.
  13. Audio Mixer – controls for audio, balance and volume levels, etc.
  14. Zoom to Fit Timeline – click to stretch and fit all the media in timeline into screen.
  15. Zoom In CMD⌘ + / Zoom Out CMD⌘
  16. Audio Indicator – turn on visual display of Master audio in project.Tracks section:
  17. Effects, Elements, Transitions, Pictures
  18. Main video track
  19. Audio track from a video file
  20. Separate audio track

2 – Preview / View is a special window to preview the video to make further edits.

how to use filmora

  1. Challenge – feature tutorial in interactive form, rewards and bonuses.
  2. Account / Activate – login or activate your copy of Filmora.
  3. Purchase – buy Pro version.
  4. Message Center – notifications and update messages.
  5. Filmora Resource Center – redirects to the official website for more content.
  6. Previous Frame / Next Frame – helps to navigate precisely.
  7. Play – video playback / preview.
  8. Stop – stop playback.
  9. Playback Quality – preview quality with 4 different options.
  10. Preview quality and display settings – aspect ratio, use original quality when paused, zoom, safe zones.
  11. Snapshot – take a snapshot of a frame. 
  12. Volume – control volume level.
  13. Full Screen – watch preview on a full screen.

3 – Media Block, a place where all multimedia files are stored. You can find Transitions, Effects, Title, Elements, Split Screen Options here as well.

is Filmora any good?

  1. Media – contains all imported files.
  2. Audio – add music from Filmora audio library, or iTunes.
  3. Titles – 250 static and animated titles, credits, etc.
  4. Transitions – 200 original HQ transitions.
  5. Effects – 280 effects.
  6. Elements – 190 random elements.
  7. Split Screen – 30 presets for different split screen separations.
  8. Export – save project.

NB: One can purchase more effects in Filmora online shop.

Hidden features

So, along with those mentioned features for video making, we’ve found some peculiar bonus features of Filmora9 for Mac.

  • Screen capture

Make a video clip from what you do on a screen, that’s great. Click File – Record Media – Record PC Screen. The interesting thing about the Filmora screen recorder is the ability to record system sounds too, if you’ve got the appropriate sound driver. 

filmora screen capture

Hit the REC button to start recording. When finished, a video automatically imports to the media zone. By the way, check out top free macOS screen recorders.

  • Download media

Filmora also has a built-in downloader, but it works only with Facebook media, images from Flickr and Instagram. To download media files, navigate to File – Download Media – select one of three options. Once again, to find out more, we’ve got a Top macOS video downloaders review.

  • Rewards

You may remember this as the Challenge tab in Preview. Click it to receive a task (split a clip, crop, add video effects, etc.) and get a reward. It could be new transitions, effects, or music that you can then use freely, even upload to YouTube with no worries. Surely, it will be fun for beginners.

Exporting video

There are 2 ways of exporting videos: click Export in the Menubar or hit the big Export button above the media zone. Filmora9 for Mac requires registering a user account, or signing in with the existing one to enable export option. Note, if you use the trial version, this is where  limitations emerge – all exported files come with a Filmora watermark.

video export settings Wondershare

It is very easy to figure out how to save a movie, choose one of 14 formats – MP4, MOV, AVI, Apple ProRes, etc. Click Settings next to resolution for more options. Besides saving to a folder, one can upload video straight to YouTube or Vimeo, or burn a DVD. Size and duration of the output file are visible.


Overall, Filmora9 for Mac is a decent video editor for entry-level work. It has all the tools for quality content for YouTube. It provides a fully functional trial version, with a single limitation – a  watermark. In our opinion, this is the best way to familiarize with the program.

filmora9 for mac trial watermark

To wrap up, here are 10 reasons why we think Filmora is awesome:

  1. User-friendly interface, welcoming for beginners
  2. Fully functional trial
  3. Low system requirements
  4. Lots of effects, transitions, titles
  5. Screen recorder
  6. Hardware acceleration
  7. Background rendering
  8. Proxy preview files
  9. Rewards for learning the basics
  10. $60 as a one-time purchase

More at: Best video editors for Mac.

About author

Dmitry Yedin
Dmitry Yedin

Dmitry Yedin is an analyst and author, a part of the “multimedia” crew of ThinkMobiles. Don’t even start with him on games, graphics, video content or messengers.

Dmitry Yedin is a self-motivated and goal-oriented guy, a technology geek throughout his life, interested in computers, music, photography, and tech trends. Through diligence, analysis and care for detail he assists people in picking the best available options.