Serif MoviePlus X5 offers one of the smoothest introductions to video editing around, not simply because it's easy to use, but because it puts its instructions front and centre (or to be more exact, front and off to the left, but still very prominent).

If you've never tried editing a video properly before, it's a step-by-step guide to all of the basics, and if you simply follow it, you won't go far wrong.

In terms of core features, MoviePlus offers everything you'd expect, from Blu-ray burning to specific filters like image stabilisation and performance boosters like proxy-file generation for your high definition content. It doesn't bring anything radically new or different to the table though, and not all of its interface design is as helpful as the starter guide.

Menus and options often feel clumsy compared to the competition, with weak media management. It's also somewhat strange that while it provides three sample projects, one of them is a snazzy but complicated demonstration of chroma keying, and the second shows how to fake tilt-shift effects.

Some more samples along the lines of the third, which simply focuses on the selection of transitions and PIP effects, would seem much more in keeping with the product's overall style.

The ability to move either panels or the main Preview window onto a second monitor is very handy, freeing up more space to work with the Timeline and make proper use of its support for unlimited tracks.

You also get the ability to group your clips and effects, making it much easier to compartmentalise sections of your movie and work on large chunks in one fell swoop.

MoviePlus X5 might not be the most exciting editor on the market, but it remains a very capable one that handles the nuts and bolts just fine.

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