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Lightworks, an Academy and Emmy award winning professional-grade editor with over 20 years of history in the film and broadcast industry. Having cut hundreds of films such as Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion and Shutter Island, it includes a full feature set of editorial tools -- from advanced trimming and media management, to stereoscopic support and realtime effects including multiple secondary colour correctors. Lightworks has an advanced effects pipeline, utilizing the power of your GPU. And with support for up to 2K workflows with realtime effects, it is the most advanced editing application available. Lightworks Pro costs $120/year, more features, see version comparison.

Freeware Trialware $120
OS: Win Mac Linux
File size: 77MB
Old versions
Version history
2 votes
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Lightworks screenshot

Lightworks screenshot 2
Latest version

2021.1 (January 20, 2021)


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Download Lightworks 2021.1 Windows 64-bit  77MB  Win64

Download Lightworks 2021.1 Windows  77MB  Win

Download Lightworks 2021.1 Mac  Mac

Download Lightworks 2021.1 Linux  Linux

Download old versions

Download Lightworks old versions

Software License

Freeware/Trialware (Free download but some features are limited to pro/premium version $120)

Supported operating systems

WinWindows MacMac OS LinuxLinux

Version history / Release notes / Changelog

New in Lightworks 2021.1

This is without a doubt the biggest release of Lightworks in the last ten years! The overall foundations of the application have been rewritten with a faster and more flexible open architecture. This allows any media to be brought into a project and played at its natural size and frame-rate without being altered.
Main Features:
Universal Projects

Historically, Lightworks always suffered from a limitation: creating a project required setting a base frame rate (e.g. 24fps, 25fps, 30fps, etc.). All imported media had to match this rate: there was no way to import a 25fps clip into a 30fps project or vice versa. Additionally, clips and sequences could only play at the project frame rate, limiting flexibility and playback.
Lightworks 2021 - Universal Projects

In Lightworks 2021.1, the project frame-rate limitation has been completely removed, allowing media with any frame-rate (including variable rate) to be imported into a project, played back, logged, and added into sequences seamlessly. All source clips are played at their native frame rate, in their native shape. Once clips are inserted into a sequence, they are automatically/dynamically reframed and retimed to fit the sequence output format.

IMPORTANT Information:
Due to the complexities of removing the project frame rate, there is now limited backwards compatibility with earlier versions of Lightworks (2020.1, 14.x, etc). When opening an existing Lightworks project in 2021.1, a new copy of the project will be generated.

Any changes made using this latest version will not appear when stepping back to an earlier version of Lightworks. You will still be able to open earlier versions and gain access to these projects, but you will not see any of the changes made using 2021.1.
Lightworks 2021 - Sequence Playback Format
Sequence Playback Format

Previously the playback format within a project was governed by the 'Output format' setting on the project card. This resulted in all Clips and Sequences being played back at the project output format regardless of the native rate and/or aspect-ratio.

In Lightworks 2021.1, you can now right-click on a sequence and select the "Playback format" required.

If you require a frame-rate that’s not available in the list, then you can make a copy of the sequence and specify a new frame rate for the copy. The original sequence is left unaffected.

There is no limit to the number of sequences or the combination of playback formats, giving you the flexibility to deliver your content quickly and easily.
Resolution Preservation

Clips are no longer resized to match the project Output format. 4k/8k clips can now be viewed at the correct size - in full detail - throughout the Effects chain. In earlier versions of Lightworks clip resolution would have been discarded, resulting in poor quality images.
Custom Sequence Output Formats*

Previous versions of Lightworks limited users to broadcast output formats only. In today's world, this is extremely limiting. In 2021.1, Lightworks Pro users can now define their custom output formats. This custom format is then available for sequence output and publishing to 'H.264/MP4’, 'MOV', 'MXF', and 'AVI'.

* This option is only available when exporting with an active Lightworks Pro license.
Lightworks 2021 - Custom Sequence Output Formats
Social Media Custom Format Templates ‘Square’ and ‘Portrait’*
Lightworks 2021 - Social Media Custom Format Templates

These great new pre-built custom aspect ratios make preparing your content for social media quick and easy and can be toggled by simply right-clicking a sequence and selecting the option from the "Playback format" list.

* This option is only available when exporting with an active Lightworks Pro license.
Added ‘Associates’ Tab

This powerful new set of tools, grouped under the tab-title ‘Associates’, located below the source viewer, offers an extremely quick way of manually linking files together (User), seeing what media makes up a sequence (Constituents), and viewing any alternate variations of a loaded sequence (Versions). It is also extremely useful for determining what media makes up a sync (References) or finding any clips/subclips that are related.
Lightworks 2021 - Associates Tab

Associations can be viewed in either thumbnail or list views. The subtabs available under the ‘Associates’ tab vary depending on what asset (clip/sequence/subclip) is loaded into the source viewer above.
User Interface Improvements

This is the first major software release under the new company LWKS Software LTD, and we have taken the first step towards freshening up the interface with a colour-scheme adjustment and some new icons. A significant addition, we have also exposed several new controls within the ‘User Interface Appearance’ panel.
Lightworks 2021 - User Interface Panel

Users can now go further; in defining how they want panels, popups, buttons, tables, etc to appear, and we’ve also added the facility to adjust timeline segment colours (within the sequence timeline 'Settings' panel).
Lightworks 2021 - Timeline Settings Lightworks 2021 - Language Settings
Added Professional Language Translations

All the text within Lightworks can be altered/changed based on user preference. Bundled with all the installers we have a long list of Language preset files that are now more easily accessible to switch between.

As of 2021.1, we have added in professional language translations for:


All these can be accessed by simply clicking the cogs icon on the project browser screen and opening the dropdown list next to ‘Language’’.
Proxy Generation Improvements

The proxy workflow within Lightworks is one of the simplest to use. As new codecs are added that are more hardware intensive to work with natively, it becomes ever more necessary to work with proxy files generated from these file types. In 2021.1, we have made considerable improvements when working with 4K media including H.265/HEVC media.
Added Support for macOS 11 (Big Sur)

View full changelog

All features


* Resolution, format and codec independent timeline
* Edit at 23.976, true 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, or 60 fps
* Advanced Multicam editing with unlimited sources
* Source/Record three-point editing
* Insert and Overwrite editing
* Replace, t to ll, backfill
* Drag-and-drop replace editing
* Extend and Split edits
* A/V Sync indicators on timeline
* Single-click re-sync of whole timeline
* Multi-colored markers for edits and clips
* Matchframe for clips and subclips


* Ripple
* Roll
* Slip and Slide
* Remove and Delete
* Asymmetric, multitrack trimming
* Dynamic trimming during playback
* JKL trimming
* Trim window
* Timeline trimming
* Keyboard and numeric moving and trimming
* Close Gap


* Third Party Plugin Support
* Alpha Channel Matte Transitions
* Global Transitions adds effects between In and Out points
* Real-time effects in SD, HD and 2K
* Speed Tool for varispeed changes
* Keyframe graphs
* Transitions, effects, and filters included
* Unlimited effects user templates
* Copy and paste effect attributes to multiple clips
* Effects layers with node-based compositing tool
* Bezier curves with movable motion paths
* Numeric control and keyframe capabilities


* Real-time, hardware accurate video vectorscopes and waveform monitors
* Multitrack Audio Mixer with full bus routing and multiple mixes
* Keyboard and user interface customization tool with templates for Avid and FCP keyboard mappings
* On-screen console controls
* Voice Over tool for adding narration directly to timeline
* Multi-split screen Viewer for original shot comparison
* Shot Sync - sync two sources for playback comparison
* Customisable BITC timecode and film footage overlays in Viewer

Colour Correction

* Real time Primary color correctors
* Real time Secondary color correctors
* Image control filters


* Subframe audio keyframing
* Real-time audio adjustments during playback
* OMF audio export with pan and volume levels
* Real-time, software-based audio normalization
* Onscreen multitrack mixing console
* External Mackie control surface support
* Real time fader automation
* Real-time audio filters and effects
* Mixed bit-rates and samples on timeline
* Audio level meters per track
* Pan controls
* Mute and solo controls
* Pre and Post Audio waveform display with realtime update


* Full-screen, real-time SD, HD, and 2K preview on single or secondary display
* Multiple timelines open simultaneously
* Unlimited undo levels
* Unlimited video and FX tracks
* User preferences that can be moved from system to system
* Customizable keyboard and user interface buttons
* Customizable real-time effects settings
* Customizable render settings
* Customizable layouts
* Customizable track layouts
* Full Unicode support


* Import RED media and DPX image sequences directly
* Include timecode and keycode in the same list
* Support for 35mm 3-perf, 35mm 4-perf, and 16mm-20 and mixed film formats
* View feet and frames in edit
* View keycode and ink number overlays on video
* 24-fps EDL import and export
* 24-fps EDL conversion to and from 29.97 fps
* Import ALE, FLX, and CSV files
* Track key numbers, ink numbers, video and audio timecode
* Output Cut list, Change list, Optical list, Pull list, Dupe list, Audio EDL

Media Management

* Media management tools for moving, copying, and consolidating media at edit or project level
* Powerful search capabilities
* Rename Clips to match media and vice versa
* Maintain master clips across multiple projects
* Clip colors in edit (match by source, reel or timecode)
* Custom comment fields
* Automatic reconnect to high-resolution media
* EDL and AAF import and export for metadata exchange
* Instant Save – no need to save project
* Batch export

3rd Party Support

* Inscriber Titlemotion
* Boris
* Combustion
* After Effects
* Premiere Plugins
* Digital Fusion
* Sapphire

I/O Support

* MXF Op1a, MXF OpAtom, Quicktime and AVI
* MPEG-2 I-Frame SD and HD
* Uncompressed SD and HD at 8 bit and 10 bit
* Avid DNxHD*
* Apple ProRes*
* AVC-Intra*
* RED R3D*
* DPX 10 bit* and 16 bit*
* Sony IMX
* Sony XDCAM HD*
* Sony XDCAM EX*
* Sony XDCAM HD422*
* Panasonic P2
* Image Import and Export as stills or sequences (DPX, BMP, TARGA, JPEG, GIF, PSD, TIFF, DPX, JPEG2000, PICT, QT Image, SGI, and PNG)
* Export presets for Apple TV, iPhone, iPod
* Broadcast Wave Format with drop and non-drop frame timecode options
* Import and Export OMF I and OMF II
* Import and Export AAF
* MDA support for Edit While Capture with Geevs servers
* Telecine 29.97i to 24p pulldown removal
* 30fps and 25fps import to 24fps project
* Frame-accurate capture tool with support for batch, clip, and on-the-fly capturing
* Frame-accurate insert and assemble edit-to-tape
* Serial device control (RS-422, RS-232)
* FireWire device control

* available separately at extra cost

Sections/Browse similar tools

Guides and How to's

Fraps screencast transcoded to Lightworks with EyeFrame Converter

- Read

Lightworks video tutorials

View all guides with guide description here

Acronyms / Also Known As

Lightworks Pro, Editshare Lightworks,Lwks

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2 reviews, Showing 1 to 2 reviews

La versión free requiere registrarse cada 7 dias, no permite renderizar lo editado en el timeline y la exportación sólo puede hacerse a una resolución máxima de 720p. Como opción freemium es por lejos una de las peores.

Review by Paulus on Oct 11, 2018 Version: 14.0 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I installed LightWorks 11.5.1 in Linux Mint 16 x64. It runs great and is a very feature rich NLE. Using the free version, you can only export to YouTube ready 720p h.264/aac mp4. Very good editor overall for free and works great in Linux....

Review by racer-x on Apr 6, 2014 Version: 11.5.1 OS: Linux Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

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