How to add text in iMovie: complete step-by-step guide

how to add text in imovie

We outline step by step how to add text in iMovie on computer, iPad or iPhone, with explanations for all the text options available on each device.

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How to add text in iMovie: step-by-step guide

Apple iMovie is one of the most popular video software options for consumer use. but sometimes you want to go beyond the simple results. You would like to prepare a presentation video or add a commentary to your iMovie video? This requires a certain amount of skill but is easier if you follow our steps outlined below. 

Step 1

  1. First of all, launch iMovie on your Mac and load the video that you want to add subtitles to.
  2. To add a video clip, click the Import button. However, if that is not available then you need to click the Media button and then click the Import button.
  3. Then select the device the video is on. You will see a list of all available media on the selected hard drive or device. Choose what you want to import.

Step 2

  1. Select the uploaded video and drag it to the timeline.
  2. You will see that iMovie has highlighted keyframes in all of the clips. There is also a continuous audio line underneath. This can help determine the length of the text.

Step 3

  1. Click the Title button on the main menu. iMovie displays a list of the available title options.
  2. The lower title, softbar, and lower third standard must work properly. For the purposes of this article, we will use the Standard Lower Third option.
  3. Take the option you want, drag it onto the timeline and drop it right on the clip.

Step 4

  1. In this step, you will need to enter your first text in the preview window at the top right of the window.
  2. One or more transparent text boxes appear in the clip. All of them have sample text titled “Text Title Here” in capital letters. In our case we will have two fields at the bottom of the screen. Click on one and enter the title text.
  3. You can delete any text field. We’re going to remove the top one and only use the bottom one. Single line text is easier to follow and faster to read.

Step 5

  1. After writing the first text, you have to adjust its duration and starting point.
  2. To adjust the starting point of the text you need to grab the text box and move it left or right to find the right spot.
  3. To adjust the duration, grab the right edge of the description bar and drag left or right.
  4. You will notice that the permanent stamp in the left corner changes as you shrink or expand the bar.

Step 6

  1. To create the next text, right click the first text you created and select the Copy option. Right-click next to the first description bar and select Paste.
  2. The new text is identical to the old text. So go back to the preview screen and delete the remaining text from the first text. Write the next text.
  3. Then use the right edge of the subtitle to reduce or lengthen its duration.
  4. Repeat this step as many times as necessary. However, you need to format your first text so that the text appears throughout the clip.

Step 7

Let’s look at the formatting options. IMovie lets you perform various tasks and customize many text options. However, you cannot change the gradual on / off effect.

  1. First of all, you need to choose a font. Click the Font drop-down menu above the preview window and select your favorite from the list.
  2. You can also select the font size and type in the font selection window. For example, we choose Calibri. Medium Fonts and Font Sizes 11. There is another way to choose the font size: from the Font Size drop-down menu.
  3. Next you need to choose the alignment of the text. There are four standard options available in iMovie: Left, Center, Right, and Align.
  4. You can make the text bold by clicking the B button to the right of the alignment options. If you click the I button, you can use italic text. Finally, the O key describes the letters.

Step 8

In this step we see the color of the text. Since text features have been added to all of the movie clips, iMovie lets you change the color of the text. To do this, you have to click on the white field next to the Setup button.

iMovie opens the color menu. You can click anywhere on the circle to choose a color. You can also adjust the slider below if you want gray or black subtitles.

Here’s a quick recap of the steps in … a video

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How to add text in iMovie on iPad or iPhone in iOS

If you have iMovie on an iPhone or iPad, you can add text too. The process is much easier but there are fewer options.

Step 1

Start the iMovie app on your iPhone or iPad. After that, you need to import the clip that you want to add subtitles to. You should tap on Project and select the video you want to add subtitles for.

Step 2

In this step you will need the text tool. Touch the icon at the bottom of the screen. There you can choose whether you want the text to appear in the middle of the clip or photos or below. You can also choose text styles.

Step 3

After the video loads, scroll down the timeline to find out where you want to add text. Tap this position on the timeline. Five icons are displayed at the bottom of the screen. You need to touch the T icon as this will add text.

Step 4

Next, you need to choose between the text styles offered. After that, the sample text will appear in your video. You can then use the Bottom and Middle options to place the title on the screen.

Step 5

Touch the text field on the screen and the keyboard will appear. Start by writing your descriptive text. When you’re done, tap Done.

To limit the duration you have to scroll down the timeline and tap on the scissors icon. After that, tap the Share button. If you go back to the beginning and scroll down to the end of the video, you’ll see that the subtitle ends where you tap the Share button.

Step 6

If you want to add more text, you need to scroll down the timeline and tap where you want the text to appear. Select the scissors icon and tap where you want the new subtitles to end. Touch the Share button.

Now tap on the T symbol and repeat steps four and five. Repeat this as many times as necessary.

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Closed text captions

Captions are very useful, especially for viewers with hearing loss. They are also very useful when someone is speaking in a foreign language in the clip. This tutorial will be a great way to add text in no time.

How to add text in iMovie: Quick Guide

  1. First click on the text area to display the list of all text representations.
  2. You can now decide on a text and drag it onto the timeline of your project . It doesn’t matter where you move it or what effect it has.
  3. You can now open the edit mode by double-clicking on the text within the timeline.
  4. This mode allows you to format the text, choose a different font, and more. You then have to save your changes.
  5. From now on the text can be provided with transitions and effects afterwards.
Does the title of the video have anything to do with the text?
  1. You can use the Text Tool to customize a title and other information in the video.
  2. In the project, click on the “Title” button, which is marked with a capital “T”.
  3. Now you can make various adjustments, as you did before with normal text editing.

How to add a still image in iMovie

When videos are supposed to explain something, a popular stylistic device is to pause the video at one point and to display text information about it.

Or a still image with text is a simple and pretty background for the credits. Both components – creating a still image and overlaying text over a video – are easy to design with iMovie. 

  1. First create a project in iMovie via “File> New Movie …”, select the “No topic” topic for this example and then import any video clip by clicking the “Import” arrow in the upper area. 
  2. Add part or all of the imported movie to the timeline by highlighting the clip or area in the iMovie library and clicking the plus sign. Place the cursor where you want to create a still image.
  3. Right-click the context menu and select “Add still image”. An interruption with the still image is automatically displayed in the timeline. By default, the still image remains for four seconds. If you want to see longer text above it, you can move the cursor to the right edge of the still image in the timeline and simply drag it to the right. This extends the display time. A speech bubble shows how long the still image can be seen.
  4. Now only the titles have to be displayed above. To do this, click on “Title” at the bottom left (under “Content library”). The title templates available in iMovie appear above the timeline. Some of them are animated. If you move the mouse pointer over one of the title styles, you will see the animation in the preview window. 
  5. Then simply drag the desired title, for example “Advanced”, onto the still image; a plus sign indicates that it will be added before you let go. 
  6. Titles can also be added in the same way via a video clip, a monochrome such as black background clip or a graphic background. You can then click and overwrite the dummy text directly in the preview window. 
  7. With the play button you can test once how the text (and possibly the animation) looks over the still image and adjust the duration of the still image. In any case, it should always be possible to read the text completely and without haste before the film continues. 
  8. The text is above the still image in the timeline and can be double-clicked and overwritten at any time. 
  9. For a smooth transition from the clip to the still image, you can add a dissolve effect. To do this, mark the still image and select “Add crossfade” from the context menu and select the duration of the effect.