Contribution manual

The website is no longer the central collaboration platform for writing documentation, publishing tutorials and translating Kdenlive software. Kdenlive has become part of the KDE team. Documentation and tutorials are now found on

How to write Kdenlive manual


Kdenlive is a long term project and it took 20 years to build Free Tools in video. We have the goal to produce a very accurate and complete documentation on Kdenlive and video editing in general. But this will be done step by step, writing documentation during months. Don't expect immediate results.

The Kdenlive manual has moved to the KDE userbase Wiki ( If you want to contribute then create an account on that wiki and edit away.


Kdenlive manual is written in simplified English and then translated into several languages.  The KDE userbase wiki is built with translation in mind.

  • Write short sentences, with a single idea.
  • When writing the user manual, do not use pronouns like "I", "We" or "You".
    Avoid: You can select Open in the File menu
    Write: Select Open in File menu
  • The sentence should be translatable as a whole, without context. Never use indefinite words, like "it". A translator will not understand what is "it".
    Avoid: It provides several features.
    Write: Kdenlive provides several features.
  • It is recommended to translate English source text into your mother tongue. Being able to translate the text means that the sentence is clear and simple enough.

Don't criticize, discuss, write and fix

The management rules for writing documentation are simple:

  • There is no hierarchy. Anyone is free to write. We welcome your help.
  • We love makers and doers. The first member who gets things do wins.
  • Use the user manual as a wiki. If you are adding content to the wiki, you may write directly and then advocate your additions on the forum.  On the converse, for any reorganization or important issues, try to discuss first using the forum.
  • Try to organize yourselves in small teams. But whenever things take longer than expected, do it yourself and avoid complicated organisations.
  • Book content belongs to anyone. Anyone with good writing skills should be able to modify anyone's content. In this sense, we non-English speakers must accept that native speakers correct our writing.
  • On the converse writing poor technical English should not stop you from writing. Some native speaker may correct afterwards.

Writing documentation forum

Do not use chat systems. Use the forum for any discussion. Whenever you agree on the forum, there is more commitment than a simple chat with no trace.

How to share your Wipe transition images

If you have created custom images for Wipe transitions, you can share them with other users by uploading them to:, in the category Kdenlive.

Wipe images are greyscale images in the pgm format and can be used to transition from one track to another. Once a Wipe image file is uploaded to, it can be automatically installed by all Kdenlive users from the "Settings > Download New Wipes..." menu entry.

Sample luma image:

How to share your rendering profiles

If you have created custom rendering profiles in Kdenlive, you can share them with the other users. This can be especially useful for example if you created a rendering profile that creates videos for a portable device. In that case, you can browse the list of existing profiles and modify or create a new one. Unfortunately the Create Rendering Profile page is only available to users logged in to and is not taking on new members.

Once a rendering profile is created on the website, it can be automatically installed by all Kdenlive users (requires Kdenlive >= 0.7.3) from the menu "Settings > Install New Profiles...".

How to translate Kdenlive

Since november 2011, Kdenlive has moved to the KDE infrastructure. It means that all our translations are now managed by the KDE translation teams. If you want to help translating Kdenlive in your language, the first thing to do is to get in touch with the KDE localization team:

There is a team for each language and you can get infos here.

After that, we recommand using the Lokalize tool which was designed to make KDE translations easier. Here is a quick howto, but please Don't forget to contact the translation team for your language so that the work is not done twice.

  • In Lokalize, go to Project > New project wizard. Select "Translate application interface" as in the screenshot

  • Select "Get from svn repository" and chose your language, then the folder where the translation files will be downloaded, as in screenshot. This will download all translation files for KDE and is rather big (about 20Mb).

  • After a few minutes (be patient - it takes a while after downloading to build indexes), you will see the different translations appear, and can select Kdenlive which is in Messages > extragear-multimedia

  • You can then start translating, and send your work back to the translation team

If you have questions, you can always contect the Kdenlive developers on the Kdenlive mailing list

How to submit a patch

To submit a patch, create an issue on KDE's bugtracker and attach the patch to your post.

Send a message on the mailing list to describe the patch.

Howto develop Kdenlive

For developers, the steps to participate are as follows:

Understanding how Kdenlive works

Like in any good free software project, the GUI and the framework rely on different projects:

  • FFMpeg provides audio and video codecs.
  • MLT is the video editing engine. I provides shared libraries and a command line player called "melt".
    MLT can be easily extended to support more audio, video codecs and effects.
  • Kdenlive is the graphical interface to MLT.
    It relies on KDE4 but works very well under Gnome too.

Most of time, new features need to be added to MLT and Kdenlive.
As a rule, you should be able to play any video editing project using melt and Kdenlive.

MLT has several GUIs, including Kdenlive. We do not accept new features which cover only Kdenlive and not MLT. We would like to make possible for other developers to work on other interfaces.

Setting-up a developing environment

The below information is likely out of date. See for more up-to-date information about development environments.

We recommend using a Debian SID distribution. It is updated very rapidly on the contrary of Ubuntu, which lacks months behind.

You can use the following /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb experimental main contrib non-free
deb-src experimental main contrib non-free
deb unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src unstable main contrib non-free
deb testing contrib non-free main
deb-src testing contrib non-free main
deb stable contrib non-free main
deb-src stable contrib non-free main
deb sid main
deb-src sid main
deb experimental main
deb-src experimental main

A recommended /etc/apt/apt.conf

APT::Cache-Limit 40000000;
APT::Default-Release "unstable";

To upgrade to Debian SID:
apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade

Install VDPAU

If you are running VDPAU, install Nvidia proprietary drivers:
apt-get install nvidia-kernel; module-assistant a-i nvidia-kernel ; apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-libvdpau1-dev
Modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf and replace "nv" with "nvidia" in the driver section.

Checkout the source from SVN and GIT

Then checkout Frei0r-plugins, MLT and Kdenlive from sources. You may find useful information here:

Frequently Asked Question for developers

Question: I would like to add a new effect to Kdenlive. How to add the effect in MLT?
Answer: check-out Frei0r and MLT and read frei0r plugin code in MLT: /src/modules/frei0r . You can either add a new plugin to MLT or add the feature in Frei0r, which is already implemented in MLT. Other choices are also possible. Discuss this with us.

Question: Why should I join Kdenlive and not project Foo?
Answer: MLT is the future of video editing and it is already a standard on GNU/Linux platforms. Other frameworks are oriented towards displaying video, not editing it. With the separation of video libraries (FFmpeg codecs), video engine (MLT) and user interface (Kdenlive), you have a more secure framework. Furthermore, our community is very well organized to track bugs, make frequent releases and write documentation. We will still be there in 10 years. So if you add some code to FFmpeg, MLT or Kdenlive, be sure your time is not lost. If you need a specific feature, don't loose time working on a minor video tool. Kdenlive and MLT provide you the basic import/export and timeline. So that you can concentrate on the quality of your code.

Check bug reports and features requests

Visit the Roadmap page.
You might also want to have a look at the Brainstorming section of our forum

Submit any code that could be useful.

How to share your title templates

As described in the manual in the past you could download custom titles submitted by users. However, this feature has been broken since August, 2013.

Therefore the below information is at this point of historical interest only.

If you have created a nice custom title you can make it available to all Kdenlive users.
You can browse the list of existing templates and modify or create a new one. Once a the template is created on the website, it can be automatically installed by all Kdenlive users (requires Kdenlive >= 0.7.8) from the menu "Settings > Download New Title Templates...".