With the rise of “citizen journalism,” there are few major events that can now escape the public eye. Thanks to smartphones, nearly all of us have a camcorder in our pockets. Yet, just having videos of news as it happens doesn’t always mean that the video is recorded well. We’ve all sat through the shaky phone videos with wind blowing into the microphone, and we’ve also all sat through the dreaded vertical video often punctuated with two black pillars on either side.

The main issue is that most video websites, including YouTube, are designed to display horizontal videos; and the sites will merely compensate in their own ways if a vertical video is uploaded. This not only means that the videos lack a decent field of vision, but it also means that smaller details in the videos are going to be harder to see.

It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Among the easier methods of fixing this problem is to just use a video cropper to focus the on the scene you’re trying to highlight.

Using a cropping tool, you can delete unneeded parts of the video, and eliminate the black bars that would otherwise be there. Even if you crop the video a little bit, and maintain some of the black borders, your video will still come out better in the end.

Doing this is only as complicated as the software makes it. With Movavi Video Editor, for example, it’s as simple as adding the video clip you’d like to crop, designating the area you’d like to crop, then saving the edited file.

Here are a couple images that pretty much sum up the steps.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Pretty simple, right? You can also go a few extra steps with built-in tools to stabilize an image to remove hand-shake, to equalize the sound, and brighten the colors.

Even if you’re one of those gallant folks who turns your phone horizontally while recording video, you could probably still benefit from a bit of video editing. It’s not much more complicated to add in elements like transitions between clips, intro and outro text, or to add in some special effects for more zing.

With that said, here’s an important message on vertical vs. horizontal videos:

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