Video Editing

Three Best Tools to Crop Video Online and How to Use Them

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It is very much possible to crop videos within a web browser. This used to be the exclusive domain of video editing desktop software until the internet grew its capabilities, shedding the limitations of the days of Netscape and Internet Explorer.

Cropping is one of the most common edits video marketers perform on online video editors. It involves removing unnecessary shots from a frame and reshaping the aspect ratio of a clip.

This is slightly different from Trimming which involves removing unwanted parts at the beginning and end of a clip, or Splitting which involves removing the unnecessary sections in the middle of the video.

It takes only a few minutes to crop a video with online video editors. This blog will cover how to use three tools to carry out this action across different device platforms.

How to Crop a Video Online with EZGif

Online video editors are ideal for users who want to make their videos audience-ready quickly without a need for advanced edits provided by desktop software. EZGif is one of the most popular and efficient options for this group of users.

Most of its features are for GIF formats. Regardless, it has a crop function that supports other video formats and lets you change aspect ratios. It is also possible to remove irrelevant parts of the video, improving the quality of every frame.

Using EZGif, you can edit videos with up to 100MB in size. The online editor’s supported formats include MP4, AVI, 3GP, WebM, MOV, FLV. So you can use it for any video, regardless of the intended viewing platform.

Lastly, it is easy to use, with an intuitive user interface that makes it useful to everyone, regardless of their skill level.

Here is a step-by-step guide showing just how easy it is to use EZGif to crop videos.

STEP 1 - Import the Video

One of the additional advantages of using an online video editor like EZGif is you don’t have to download a video if it is already online. Instead, you can simply import it into the editor using its URL link.

Once you open the website via this link, paste the URL link of the video in the ‘Paste Video URL’ bar and click Upload Video.

The editor will import the video directly from the link.

However, if the video you want to crop is already on your device, upload it to the editor by clicking the Choose File button.

It will open a pop-up window for you to navigate to the location of the video on your computer. Select it and click Upload Video to import it into the editor.

STEP 2 - Select the area you want to Crop

When the video upload is complete, the next thing is selecting the area you want to crop out. In EZGif, you can do this by dragging your mouse over the area you want to keep.

The selected frame will show up as a rectangle with dotted lines and handlebars, as seen below.

If you are only interested in removing specific parts of the video frame, this method works. You can stretch and shrink the rectangle as you need.

However, if you want to reshape the video into a fixed aspect ratio, use the Aspect Ratio options below the video editor window.

As you can see, there is a list of ratios to choose from. Selecting either one will turn the selected area into the dimension of the aspect ratio.

You can then drag it around to ensure the primary subject of the clip fits into this area in every frame.

Also, just above this section, you can manually set the dimension of each side of the cropped area. You can set the height, width, and size of the left and top sides.

Once you finish capturing the area you want to crop, select Crop Video.

STEP 3 - Download the Cropped Video

After clicking Crop Video, the editor will reshape the video to the specified dimension. Once it is complete, you will see your results below the Crop Video button.

Here, you can preview the video and check if everything is in order. There is also an option of executing additional actions on the video, such as cutting, resizing, adding subtitles, or converting it to a GIF file.

If you wish to apply any of these editing actions, click them and follow the same intuitive process.

Otherwise, simply click the Save button at the end of the listed action buttons. The editor will automatically download the cropped video to your device.

When the download is complete, you can publish it on any social media platform or privately with friends and family.

Video Cropper for Mobile Users: Video Crop

Online video editors work best with computers. The lower processing power of a mobile device combined with greater difficulty in usage makes it harder to crop a video on mobile using online video editors.

But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to crop a video with a mobile device. Mobile platforms have dedicated apps that support video cropping.

One of them is Video Crop, a simple editing app that lets you crop, trim, and change a video’s aspect ratio in quick steps. However, it is only available on Android (we discuss a solution for iOS users below).

Furthermore, it is free, as long as you don’t mind dealing with ads. If you don’t, here is how to use Video Crop to crop videos online on your Android device.

STEP 1 - Import the Video

As always, when working with a video editor, the first thing is getting the video into the editor. When you launch the app (download and install from here), you will see a couple of options to import videos -

  • Choose Video from Gallery
  • Choose Video from Camera

When you click Choose Video from Gallery, the app opens your device’s storage folder to pick the video you want to crop.

If you select Choose Video from Camera, it will open your phone’s camera to record a new video to crop.

Either option is fine, depending on your circumstance, but we will go with Choose Video from Gallery for this guide.

When you find the video you want to crop, select it.

STEP 2 - Crop the Video

Once the video import is complete, cropping can then begin. You will see a list of aspect ratios in the editor interface to determine the exact dimensions you want the video to fit into.

You can choose from a range of options that include -

  • Square,
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • 16:9
  • 9:16 
  • Others

There is also a Custom option if you want a lot more freedom with the dimensions.

After choosing an aspect ratio, drag the rectangular box to ensure the parts you want your audience to see are completely in focus.

You can also use the thicker lines in the rectangle’s corner to stretch or shrink the cropped area. Don’t forget that you can only stretch/shrink according to the limits of the aspect ratio.

Once you finish setting the cropped area, use the play button to preview the clip and ensure every frame is in order.

STEP 3 - Save and Share the Video

When you have determined that everything is in order, tap the checkmark button in the top right corner of the editor to complete the edit.

When you tap the checkmark, the editor will enter rendering mode. After a few seconds, rendering should be complete, and the app will save the video to your device.

Afterward, preview the video again or use the return button to go back to the editor.

You can also share directly to anyone or any platform using the share button.

With that, you have successfully cropped a video on your mobile using Video Crop.

How to Crop Videos with iMovie

Although there is no iOS version of Video Crop, iOS has plenty of video editing apps that users can use to crop videos. 

Apple has a native video editing software that is capable of cropping videos and changing aspect ratios. It comes with the operating software, whether you are using an iPhone, iPad, or even Mac.

Asides from supporting video cropping, it packs enough features to be a default editor for the casual video creator.

Also, iMovie is easy to use, but it does use a different editing principle from EZGif or Video Crop. Instead of dimension-based cropping, it uses Zoom functionality, at least on its mobile versions.

This means instead of dragging a mouse to select the cropping area, you zoom into the main subject, leaving the unnecessary parts out of the frame.

Here is a quick guide on how it works.

STEP 1 - Import the Video

If for any reason, you don’t have iMovie on your Apple device, download and install it from here. When it is ready, launch it and select the Projects tab.

Then click the + button to create a new project.

Clicking the button will open a pop-up window to select the type of project you want to create. The options are Movie or Trailer. Choose Movie.

Tapping Movie will open the phone’s gallery for you to select the video you want to crop.

Select it and tap Create Movie at the bottom of the app.

STEP 2 - Crop the Video

When you hit Create Movie, the app imports the video into the editor interface, and you can start cropping.

To begin, tap the video in the editor’s timeline. It will bring up the interface’s action options, including the Zoom function.

When it does, use two fingers to zoom in and out of the video as necessary. To zoom in, place two fingers on the screen and widen them. Do the opposite if you want to zoom out.

Make sure you maintain control of your fingers to avoid over or under-cropping the clip.

You can use the play button on the left side of the editor to preview the cropped clip. Finally, tap Done on the top-left corner of the screen when you are satisfied with the look.

STEP 3 - Save and Export the Video

After editing, iMovie allows you to save the video to your device or share it online from within the editor.

Once you hit Done, tap the share icon at the bottom of the app to select what you want to do with the video.

If you hit Save Video, a pop-up window will open for you to set the output settings. Again, it is advisable to choose the highest quality for this setting.

When you finish setting the output quality, you have successfully cropped a video using iMovie.

Top 4 Qualities to look for in an Ideal Online Video Cropper

Besides these three, how can you tell an online video cropper is the best fit for you? 

The following information would help you select the best online video cropper. 

  1. Web-based, no software download

The online in ‘Online Video Cropper’ means the video editing tool has to be web-based, i.e., entirely accessible with a web browser. This could be Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, as long as it is a web browser.

As long as you can access all the tool’s features via a browser, it satisfies the minimum requirement. However, if you have to download additional software, you may have to keep looking.

  1. Has a robust set of cropping features

Cropping is a simple yet complex editing action capable of increasing or decreasing a video’s production quality. While your creativity plays a role, the extent of cropping features available in an editing tool plays a bigger role.

At the very least, the tool should support custom cropping, and fixed aspect ratios should be adjustable. Also, you should be able to move the rectangular cropping box to align with the video’s primary focus.

Having cropping flexibility allows you to apply effects like split-screen, blended clips, cinematic look, transitions, and merged text in your videos.

Other useful features worth looking out for include background color, video rotation, and support for video merging. 

  1. Has presets for common dimensions

Most people crop videos to fit into the preferred aspect ratio of social media platforms. However, since there are plenty of them, it is hard to remember the aspect ratio for each one.

An ideal online video cropper should have named presets for every social media platform, or at least, the major ones. For instance, Keevi Video Editor has titled presets for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

This makes it easier to edit the video. All you have to do is select the preset that matches the destination platform and crop to fit.

  1. Supports File Download and online sharing

While most online video editors support file download, not all of them allow you to share it directly to social media platforms or via email from within the tool. Of course, if you simply want to keep the edited video to yourself, this might not matter to you.

However, if you are an online video creator, a YouTuber, or an online marketer, going from editing straight to publishing streamlines your workflow. It also makes it easier to churn out content as quickly as possible.

Can I Change the Aspect Ratio with Video Cropping?

Yes, it is possible to change the aspect ratio of a video with cropping. Although the primary function of video cropping is taking unwanted parts out of a frame, aspect ratio change is the side effect of this process.

The aspect ratio of a video is the ratio between the width and height of the video. Seeing as cropping involves working with shapes to select the relevant area, it is possible to reshape the dimension of a video.

However, using cropping to change the aspect ratio often means losing visual information, especially if you are going for a proportion significantly smaller than the original. 

That is why if you want to change a video’s aspect ratio, it is better to go for a tool that supports independent aspect ratio settings, like Keevi Video Editor. You can change the aspect ratio of any clip without losing any visual information.

Wrapping it Up

The complexity of filming means you will always have unnecessary objects caught within frames. While this might be frustrating, it is easily fixable with cropping. In addition, cropping is one of the most important editing actions during post-production, as it determines how an audience sees your video.

Tools like EZGif, Video Crop, and iMovie allow you to do this easily in short and simple steps, as shown in this blog. Keevi Video Editor is another high-quality tool that let’s crop videos online.

For more How-Tos and additional resources on video editing, check our other video editing tips here.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
September 14, 2021