What Is the Difference Between Trim and Cut in Video Editing?

Video editing is a crucial task in the filmmaking process, and it requires a lot of attention to detail. Two common terms that you’ll come across in video editing are “trimming” and “cutting.” While both these terms might seem similar, they have distinct differences.

The Definition of Trimming and Cutting

Trimming: Trimming is the process of shortening or lengthening a video clip’s duration. It involves removing unwanted footage from the beginning or end of a clip to make it fit better with the rest of the video.

Cutting: Cutting is the process of removing a section from a video clip entirely. This results in a jump cut, where there’s an abrupt transition between two different parts of the same clip.

The Main Differences Between Trimming and Cutting

The main difference between trimming and cutting is that trimming only removes parts from the beginning or end of a clip, while cutting removes an entire section of footage from anywhere within the clip.

Trimming is usually done to make sure that clips flow more smoothly together. For example, if you have two clips where one ends abruptly, you can trim it so that it fades out more gradually. This creates a smoother transition to the next clip.

Cutting is usually done when there’s unwanted footage within a clip that needs to be removed entirely. For example, if someone made an error during filming, you might need to cut out that section entirely so that it doesn’t appear in the final product.

When Should You Use Trimming?

You should use trimming when:

  • You need to remove some unnecessary footage from your video.
  • You want to make sure your clips flow together smoothly.
  • You’re trying to fit clips into specific time constraints.

When Should You Use Cutting?

You should use cutting when:

  • You need to remove a whole section of footage from your video.
  • You want to create a jump cut effect for artistic purposes.
  • You’re trying to remove errors or mistakes in your footage.


Trimming and cutting are both essential techniques in video editing that every filmmaker should know. While they might seem similar, they have distinct differences that can make or break the final product’s quality. By understanding when to use each technique, you can create a more polished and professional-looking video.