How to Use VLC As a Video Cutting Tool

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Recently, we discussed how we can use Windows Movie Maker as a video cutter to separate out segments from videos easily. I agree the process to cut videos is very simple, but if you are looking for an even easier way to cut out small video segments and are an ardent VLC media player fan then you could do use it as a video cutting tool too.

One more advantage of using VLC is that people who use other operating systems like Ubuntu, Fedora or Mac and hence cannot use the Windows Movie Maker, can also use the cross-platform VLC to cut out video clips.

You must download and install the latest version of VLC media player if you don’t have it already. VLC is an excellent player that plays most of the multimedia files as well as video discs and various streaming protocols.

Cool Tip: You can find this post as well as 7 more awesome guides about VLC media player tips and tricks in our ebook 8 Killer VLC Media Player Guides.

Once you have installed VLC, just follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Launch VLC media player and activate Advanced controls located under the View menu.

activate advance controls

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Step 2: As soon as you activate the advanced controls you will see four extra buttons above the normal play/pause button. We will use the first button from the left called the record button. Once you have these controls activated add your video. You can use Open File located under the Media menu, but as you know I always prefer drag and drop method.

advanc controls

Step 3: Basically we will not be cutting the video here; we will rather play the video and record the segment using the built-in VLC decoder. So seek to the position you want to start your recording and press both play and record button simultaneously.

record

Tip: You can use the Frame by frame button (the last button from the left in advance control) to navigate to the exact frame you want to start recording.

Step 4: Again press the Record button when you want to stop the recording. The clip will be automatically saved as an MP4 media file type in your Libraries/Videos folder in Windows 7. I am not sure about Windows XP but you can search for it in either My Documents or My Videos. Similar for the other operating systems.

recorded video

My Verdict

The above trick is amazing but the only downside is that the player records the video frame by frame and thus it’s suitable only for small cuts. You will have to sit and watch the video while VLC is recording in the background, so be sure to make it small.

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  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    The small problem with this method is that VLC saves recorded videos in an uncompressed AVI format, so the file sizes are abysmally large. If the original video is of a well compressed format like Matroska or H.264 MP4, then the cut out video size will be bigger than the original video size.

    • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

      Okay, I re-read the post and found that VLC saves in MP4 format. I had this idea that it was AVI. :)

  • Fleur

    My VLC saves in the .mp4 format even though the input file is an .avi. Does anyone know how I can change the VLC settings so that it does not do the transcoding, i.e. saves the recorded video fragment directly as an .avi ? It is a pain to change it from mp4 back to avi. Often the file gets corrupted in the process.

    Thanks!

  • Bhenderson91

    Mac’s dont Have a “view” option for VLC so im not sure where to go from here

    • steven

      how did you end up doing it on mac?

      • BlackFrankWhite

        playback tab. Then record

      • qO_ol

        assign hotkeys for ‘record’.
        default, i believe, is alt+command+R.
        i’ve changed it to just command+R.

    • Guest

      assign hotkeys for ‘record’.
      default, i believe, is alt+command+R.
      i’ve changed it to just command+R.

  • Romy0070

    nothing is happening when i am clicking on the record button.

  • Webflex

    same, files saves in my videos but nothing plays!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000434842111 Max Peck

    How do you ” press both play and record button simultaneously”, at the end of stem 3?

  • bhargav

    thanks alot dude

  • Amira

    To record a segment, play to near the desired start point, then pause. Use the frame by frame button to locate the exact start frame. Press the record button and its background becomes light blue. Then press the play button. Press the record button again at the end of the segment to stop recording. The button background turns back to white. The vlc-record-*** file is saved under my documents/my videos in Windows XP. However, I have no idea where it goes in Windows 7. I have even used search on my whole drive and found no evidenced of recorded segments.

    • http://www.techpanache.com/ Ashish Mundhra

      Open Run command, type in %homedrive%/users/%username%/Videos and run it to open your Videos library. By default the recorded files are created there.

      If you cant find your file you can add filters in your Windows search to display the files with the latest created/modified date.
      Refer: http://www.guidingtech.com/7137/search-filters-windows-7-explorer/

  • mark

    I have Windows XP (SP2). I have just cut my video clips in VLC (according to your method). The shortened clips were automatically converted into DiVx, and when I uninstalled it, into AVI. Both versions have NO SOUND! The original clips remain with sound. I’d appreciate advice.

  • Dinesh Kumar

    Thanks dude :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimbo.der.grosse James Dittrich

    it’s just saving as an mp3 file. how can i make it an mp4 file?!

    • Owlet

      Convert

      • Brian

        ? MP3 is audio only. How would you convert from MP3 (audio) to MP4 and magically add video? I have the same issue.

        • Trueman

          Simply use audio to video converter, use google.

      • plums666

        to what? wav? smh -..-

  • Sphinx

    Awesome, thank you!

  • orchid3638

    Thanks a lot! So practical and easy thanks to your instructions!

  • Rohit

    ??how to find the first file creation date of vlc file???
    reply at shona2916@gmail.com

  • http://twitter.com/j2j2x j2j2

    i use Cut Video Tool from Moonvalleysoft,
    and i am happy with that,
    there is no format problem, at least in my modest experience, because it does not need to encode, and can also rejoin the fragments, which makes a lot of sense

  • vyzex

    thanks

  • Balbir Singh Rawat

    Thank you so much .. it was so easy .and i was breaking my head in downloading vedio cutters… thanka again

  • Shradha

    Thanks.
    It was very helpful for. I used to use VLC player so many times but dint know about this feature.

  • anvi

    thanks a lot…:)

  • R Sunitha

    thanks for sharing, really good option to cut videos from vlc its very easy

  • Brainbuster

    “You must download and install the latest version of VLC media player if you don’t have it already.” ?? There’s no date on your article. How are we supposed to know which version to download?

    • http://www.guidingtech.com Abhijeet Mukherjee

      Firstly, the date is there. Just below the author name it tells you when the article was published. Secondly, we are talking about the latest available version. You can easily check it if you have it or not by going to VLC options and clicking on “Check for update..” ..it’s there in one of the menus, don’t recall which one.

  • MtaDo

    Thanks alot Ash.

  • Mike

    I can successfully create a video clip but it doesn’t play anything when i try to open it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vsrawat2011 VS Rawat

    thanks for the tip at
    http://www.guidingtech.com/8802/use-vlc-as-video-cuting-tool/#comments
    I could learn it from scratch and successfully cut a video from a full movie’s avi file.

    The video of the said portions will be saved in Libraries/ videos folder.
    However, I could not change the location of saved file. changing the location at preferences saves only the snapshot (single pic) to that folder, videos are still saved at libraries/ video.
    Thanks again.

    Rawat

  • raams

    Thnkq soo much…..

  • garg

    thank you very much

  • TABRAIZ

    GREAT, GREAT, GREAT

  • Mo

    Thanks man, it worked. The hell with third party video cutters! VLC is the king.

  • suja

    nice,,:)

  • Cultura Caipira Blog

    Thanks a lot! Works perfect!

  • Hemanth Torres

    Oh man you rock….. I was downloading all nonsense softwares from internet before reading this….. thanks a lottt….

  • Alice

    Thanks so much this has saved me today! Only one point it didnt same to the videos file on my computer had to search but found it in Documents.

  • Ankit Rathi

    thanks i used VLC as media cutter in window XP the files are saved in my documents->my videos

  • mrunmayee

    thank you so much

  • mohammad hamid

    thank you sooooo much amn, u r great

  • erohan

    I don’t think my VLC player is saying these files anywhere .. I have tried every possible location and even searched for all files created today but could not find anyting …. please help !!

  • rohan

    I don’t think my vlc is saving the files at all … i have tried every possible location and even searched all files created today .. still nothing .. I have windows 7 .. please help .

  • Ashok Lahoty

    Nice work Ashish.I was in search for long Finally I got it Thanks

  • Bill Norris

    Anybody figure out if there is a way to compress the file? I recorded a short two minute clip from a .avi file and the 2 minute clip is over 14MB. Do I have to re-encode it?

  • Abhilash.

    Thank you, it helped me a lot.

  • iscmarkiemark

    thanks my little indian

  • Sri Navya

    thanks for this. its working fine for me. I prepared one video with these steps, i hope this will helpful for some of guys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYmcKmeiyZo

    Thanq

  • Owlet

    WOOT gifs all over the place

  • Relna

    Tools–>preferences—>Subtitled/OSD

    Uncheck the checkbox “Show media title on media start”

    Enjoy !!!!!!!!!

  • Abbasi

    Great, thanks man

  • Marook

    How can this be a ‘video cutting tip’??
    The process is to RECORD a live playback of a file!
    What if I have 2 hours and want to cut 1 minute in each end?? Then I need In/Out point.. not to sit and watch for two hours… Sorry, this is a wrong ‘tip’..

    • sachi

      Hi marook – but when u need to cut specific clip – basically small it is quite wonderful

  • Norizan Hassan

    Thank you very much for this awesome tip. I cut the YouTube .mp4 files with vlc on Linux OS KNOPPIX 7.2 and it work flawlessley.

  • boss

    awesome wwow,,thank u bro

  • boss

    thankks a lott

  • Oga

    Nice one loser….

  • Veera Vignesh

    As you said i’ve cut a specific section of a video(.mkv) but the problem is i can’t get the sound :( . The cut video has no sound . how to rectify this ??

  • Jeebus

    There’s no way to press both Play & Record at the same time. What’s worse is the half-second lag when Record *is* pressed. Even worse than that is trying to convert to a different format, and nothing happens when you choose a destination folder. It just…sits there. Does. Nothing.

    • GuccizBud

      Jesus, would everyone shut the fuck up already with the “press play and record at the same time” bullshit? CLICK RECORD THEN CLICK PLAY, how the fuck else can it be done?!

  • Nicholas Danaluk

    Thanks, when I downloaded the latest version the advanced controls got buried. I appreciate this post.

  • guest

    “Tip: You can use the Frame by frame button (the last button from the left in advance control)” should say “the right-most button in the advanced group”
    Ideally you would have an arrow in the screenshot.

    Thanks for this article.

    • Jason Cooke

      Umh! I prefer the original.

  • Roxana

    Youre so smart ! Thank you !!! :

  • Johan Alucema

    a way to do this that includes the .srt file ?

  • AHMEDAMR

    it’s done but the video is black only with the sound why ?

  • sachi

    cool – i was irritated by the free video cutter

  • Miki800

    what year is this from?
    this is not exactly how vlc works nowadays

  • tavish

    thanks