To create a video, we need to make media files available to our project by importing files into OpenShot. Most media file types are recognized, such as videos, images, and audio files. Files can be viewed and managed in the Project Files panel.

Note that imported files are not copied anywhere, they remain in the physical location they were before and are simply being made available to your video project. So, they must not be deleted, renamed, or moved after adding them to your project. The “Show All”, “Video”, “Audio”, “Image” filters above the files allows you to only see the file types you are interested in. You can also toggle the view between details and thumbnails view of your files.

Import Files

These are all possible methods to import media files into OpenShot:

Import File Method


Drag and Drop

Drag and drop the files from your file manager (file explorer, finder, etc…).

Context menu (File Menu)

Right click anywhere in the Project Files panel and choose Import Files.

Main Menu

In the main menu choose: File→Import Files.

Toolbar button

Click the + toolbar button in the main toolbar.

Keyboard shortcut

Press Ctrl-F (Cmd-F on Mac).


File Menu

To view the file menu, right click on a file (in the Project Files panel). Here are the actions you can use from the file menu.


File Context Option


Import Files…

Import files into your project


Toggle the view between details and thumbnails

Preview File

Preview a media file

Split Clip…

Split a file into many smaller clips

Edit Title

Edit an existing title SVG file

Duplicate Title

Make a copy, and then edit the copied title SVG file

Add to Timeline

Add many files to the timeline in one step

File Properties

View the properties of a file, such as frame rate, size, etc…

Remove from Project

Remove a file from the project

Split Clip

If you need to cut a file into many smaller clips before editing, the Split Clip dialog is built exactly for this purpose. Right click on a file, and choose Split Clip… from the file menu. This opens the Split Clip dialog. Use this dialog to quickly cut out as many small clips as you need. The dialog stays open after you create a clip, to allow you to repeat the steps for your next clip. When you are finished, simply close the dialog.






Start of Clip

Choose the starting frame of your clip by clicking this button


End of Clip

Choose the ending frame of your clip by clicking this button


Name of Clip

Enter an optional name


Create Clip

Create the clip (which resets this dialog, so you can repeat these steps for each clip)

Please refer to the section Trimming & Slicing for more ways to cut and slice clips directly in the timeline.

Export Clips

If you want your clips available outside of your OpenShot project, or want to copy all your video assets to one place, you can do this with the Export Clips dialog. Simply Ctrl+Click to select any clips or files you like, then Right Click and choose Export Clips. In the dialog that appears, choose a destination folder, and click Export.

NOTE: This will export each clip using its original video profile (width, height, framerate, aspect ratio, etc…). It also supports any Split Clip (described above). For example, if you have split a long video file into many different clips (and named them), you can now export all the clips as separate video files (using the original clip’s video profile).


Add to Timeline

In certain cases, you might need to add many files to the timeline at the same time. For example, a photo slideshow, or a large number of short video clips. The Add to Timeline dialog can automate this task for you. First, select all files you need to add, right click, and choose Add to Timeline.






Selected Files

The list of selected files that need to be added to the timeline


Order of Files

Use these buttons to reorder the list of files (move up, move down, randomize, remove)


Timeline Position

Choose the starting position and track where these files need to be inserted on the timeline


Fade Options

Fade in, fade out, both, or none (only affects the image, and not audio)


Zoom Options

Zoom in, zoom out, or none



Choose a specific transition to use between files, random, or none (only affects the image, and not the audio)


To view the properties of any imported file in your video project, right click on the file, and choose File Properties. This will launch the file properties dialog, which displays information about your media file. For certain types of images (i.e. image sequences), you can adjust the frame rate on this dialog also.






File Properties

Select an image sequence in the Project Files panel, right click and choose File Properties


Frame Rate

For image sequences, you can also adjust the frame rate of the animation

Remove from Project

This will remove a file from the project. It will not delete the underlying physical file though, so removing a file from the project merely makes it unavailable for this video project.

Missing Files

When you create and save a project in OpenShot, any files imported into the software (such as videos, audio, and images) must remain accessible throughout the project’s duration. This means that these imported files should not be renamed, deleted, or moved to different folders. Additionally, the full path where these files are located should not be renamed either. This principle applies to other video editing software as well.

For example, users might move or delete folders, unplug their USB devices, or move or delete their project files. Any of these examples cause a Missing File message, in which OpenShot prompts you to locate the folder of the missing file(s). Depending on the number of files you added to your project, OpenShot could prompt you many times to find the missing files.

When OpenShot saves a project, all file paths are converted to relative file paths. As long as you keep all assets organized in the same parent folder (including the *.osp project file), you will be able to move your project folder without triggering any missing file(s) prompts. You can even move a self-contained project folder to another computer without any issues.

Everyone has their unique way of organizing files, and it’s crucial to remember not to make changes to file paths, rename files, or delete files when working with video editors, as it can lead to missing file issues. For a detailed guide on missing file(s), see The Case of “Missing Files”!