Reference guide

This documents explains kdenlive features in detail.
To be written.

Kdenlive 0.7.4

This guide covers Kdenlive 0.7.4+ (SVN revision 3495). It starts with the initial run of the program and describes the various features available in the user interface.

Config Wizard

On the first run, a config wizard appears to guide the initial configuration process.

The wizard first inspects the version of MLT installed on the system. MLT is the engine which performs the heavy lifting in Kdenlive, so it is critical that the correct version of MLT is installed and working correctly.

MLT in turn relies on FFmpeg to handle various types of audiovisual material. The wizard displays the capabilities of the local FFmpeg installation, because this essentially determines the type of video material Kdenlive can handle.

Next, the default video profile is selected. The wizard suggests 1080p HDV high definition.

If your camera or computer are a little older, regular standard definition might be more suitable. Click the DV radio button to hide the high definition options and select an appropriate SD profile.

The additional settings panel presets some of the most important user interface options. Any of these can later be changed in the application preferences window.

Finally, checks are performed for several key third party tools. These may not be critical for your application, depending on the exact feature set you require from Kdenlive.

Once the wizard is complete, the main window appears.

Main Window

This is the default main window layout which appears when starting Kdenlive. The layout is fully configurable, but this tutorial assumes the default is being used.

Menu Bar

Kdenlive's menu bar doesn't really respect established user interface guidelines. Instead of documenting the current layout, this section will soon link to some change proposals.

File Menu

File handling.

Edit Menu

Copy, Paste etc.

Project Menu

Tool Menu

Clip Menu

Timeline Menu

Monitor Menu

View Menu

Settings Menu

Help Menu

Tool Bars

Kdenlive provides two toolbars, named Main and Extra. The bars may be docked, but not floated.

These toolbars are configurable, and a decent selection of actions are available, although there doesn't seem to be a way to create new custom toolbars.

Docking Panels

A total of 8 different docking panels provide access to many of the editing tools in Kdenlive. They may be docked, tabbed, floated, or hidden in any conceivable configuration.

Project Tree

The Project Tree shows the video clips, images, slideshows, colour clips and title clips that belong to your project.

Effect Stack

Effect Stack shows the different effects applied to a particular clip. In this tab you will be able to define the order in which they are applied and also parameterise them.


Transition allows editing the transitions between two clips on the timeline. Several types are available.

Affine Composite

Affine Composite provides keyframable animated affine transformations with dissolve functionality.


Composite provides dissolve functionality.


Luma provides wipe functionality.


Wipe provides push wipe functionality.

Effect List

Effect List enumerates your available audio, video and custom effects. These can be applied to clips on the timeline.

Custom Effects

Custom effects are described below.

Clip Monitor

Clip monitor is used to preview clips in the project tree and to select a section of a clip to add to the timeline.

Project Monitor

Project monitor displays the final video - what your final edit will look like, including all clips, effects, and transitions on the timeline.

Record Monitor

Capture monitor allows you to directly capture video from a number of sources:


A camcorder connected to your computer Firewire port


a Video4Linux source (as a webcam or tvcard)

Screen Grab

a screen capture (you'll need recordmydesktop utility)

Undo History

Undo History shows your editing history and allows you to undo/redo any editing action.

Timeline Area

The bottom panel in the window holds the timeline. The timeline gives you a visual representation of your project, and shows when clips start, when they end, and in the case of overlapping clips, which one is actually being used. The timeline can contain multiple audio and video tracks, where you can add sound and video clips respectively and other fancy stuffs (transitions, titles, ...)

Status Bar

A status bar is located at the bottom of the timeline. This bar provides information about your project and also holds some useful icons.

You can use it to select the update or razor tool, zoom the timeline, toggle on/off the thumbnails for video and audio, and decide to show or not markers and snappoints. It also displays the timeline time of your cursor.

(This older image is missing the spacer tool, but there is a rendering glitch on my Kdenlive build which clips the status bar, so I went with this image)

Other Features

This section is an unordered collection of pages. Each one describes a feature in Kdenlive, but I've not yet decided how to organize them into the manual.

  • Menu Items
    • File->DVD Wizard
    • File->Transcode Clip
    • Edit->Paste (Effects)
    • Edit->Find
    • Project->Transcode
    • Project->Clip Properties
    • Project->Settings
    • Clip->Markers
    • Clip->Split Audio
    • Clip Speeds
    • Guides
    • Grouping
    • Monitor Zone
    • Snapping Behavior
    • Project Profiles
    • missing clip handling
  • Desktop integration
    • nepomuk search
    • GHNS (lumas, profiles)
    • Notifications
  • Effect types
    • video
    • color
    • slideshows
    • titler
    • Generators
  • Data Blobs
    • Lumas
    • XML effect files
    • XML export profiles
    • mime types
  • Tools
    • Select
    • Razor
    • Spacer
  • Timeline view
    • timecode
    • keyframes for effects
    • thumbnails
    • manipulate tracks (add, delete, types, mute a/v, lock, set height)
    • nudge trims
    • add transitions
    • audio fades
  • Render
    • Profiles
    • Destinations
    • ffmpeg options
    • scripts
    • job queues
  • Config
    • KConfig option list
    • rc files
    • devices (sdl, v4l, firewire, jogshuttle)
    • tools (mlt, ffmpeg, sox, frei0r, dvdtools)