Launch a web browser and visit the Youtube website. If you already have a Youtube account, click the Sign In link at the top of the page and tap in your username and password before clicking the Sign in button. If you’re new to Youtube, click the Create Account link at the top of the page instead and follow the instructions to sign up for an account.
Once logged into an account, click the Upload link at the top of the page and click the yellow Upload video button. Use the Windows Explorer dialogue box to browse through your hard disk to find a video file to upload. Select the file and click the Open button and then wait for a moment or two while the video is uploaded – the time this takes will depend on the size and length of the video file as well as the speed of the internet connection.
While the file is uploading or after it has finished and is being processed, fill out the details that appear beneath the video previews. By default, the video is titled using its file name, but this can be changed to something more descriptive and you can also add a longer description and tags to help with searching. Use the Category dropdown menu to categorise the video and then use the options in the Privacy section to choose whether the video should be made publicly available or not.
When the video has been successfully uploaded and processed, a green banner will appear at the top of the page to confirm this. A link will be provided for the uploaded clip. To the right of this, click the ‘Edit this video link’ and Youtube’s editing screen will open in a new browser tab. The lower half of the screen shows two copies of the video: the left shows the original footage, while the right shows the output as edits are made and effects are added.
For quick and easy results, click the I’m Feeling Lucky button above the preview windows. This works much like the I’m Feeling Lucky button on Google’s search page, but in this instance it will automatically try to fix a range of common video problems, such as poor lighting and colour reproduction. If you are happy with the results, click the Save button to the upper right of the page. Otherwise, to try your hand at manual editing, click the Revert to Original button instead.
Select the Quick Fixes tab and click the Trim button to remove unwanted footage from the start and end of the video. Beneath the video previews, drag the grey bars to the left and right of the video timeline so only the portion of video you are interested in remains in the middle. Click the Done button when you are happy with the results. Back at the Quick Fixes tab, use the two rotate buttons to correct the orientation of the clip, if necessary.
If the footage is a little on the shaky side, click the Stabilise button to help eliminate camera wobble. To the right of the I’m Feeling Lucky button are four further buttons that can be used to adjust light, contrast, saturation and colour-temperature settings. To make changes to any of these settings, click the relevant button and move the slider that appears, using the preview window to check to see what effect it is having on the video.
Youtube’s editing tools can apply special effects to films. Click the Effects tab to the upper left of the page and scroll through the selection of filters that are available. The small thumbnail image gives an idea of what to expect from the effect. To apply an effect, just click its thumbnail. If you change your mind, just click the Applied label to remove it.
To replace the video’s original soundtrack, choose the Audio tab. Click the ‘Get recommended tracks’ button to the left and Youtube will list tracks that are suitable to accompany your video. Click a track name to preview your video with the new soundtrack and either select another track or click the ‘Revert to original audio’ button if you do not like it. Click to tick the ‘Only show songs of a similar length to this video’ box to the right to find good matches.
Once all the changes have been made, it is time to save the video and share it online. To save the changes and overwrite the original uploaded video, click the Save button to the upper right and click OK. Alternatively, to keep copies of both the new and original files, click the arrow to the right of the Save button, choose Save As and type in a new name and description for the file.