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How to Add Subtitles in iMovie Videos

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Sep 4 · 7 Sep, 2022
How to Add Subtitles in iMovie Videos

In 2021, Apple added a new feature to its video editing software, iMovie. The new subtitle option makes adding subtitles to videos easier than ever before. If you’re not sure how to do it, follow along with this tutorial and learn how to add subtitles in iMovie.

Open iMovie

This is the first and most crucial step of adding captions and subtitles in iMovie. To add captions and subtitles to your video, you’ll first need to open the iMovie app. You can do this from the dock or by searching for “iMovie” in the App Store.

Once it’s open, select a project file that you want to improve with subtitles or captions or a new one if you don’t have one yet.

If your project is already well underway, don’t worry! You can still use this method; you’ll just have some additional steps when learning how to add subtitles in iMovie.

Create a new project

To start a new project, click the “Create New Project” icon at the bottom of your screen. You’ll be presented with a few options for naming and saving your project. If you’re working on a collaborative project, make sure to select “New Project” from the menu so each person can have a copy.

You can also use this menu to open an existing project or delete one if it’s no longer needed.

Drag and drop your video files

Once you’ve got your video files, drag and drop them onto the timeline. You can then select the video file that you want to add subtitles to.

Then click on the video clip in iMovie on your Mac or PC and select the Titles icon from the dropdown menu above it.

Next, choose Text from this menu so you have access to all of iMovie’s text formatting options, including font selection, size, color and opacity settings for subtitles and captions or chapter names.

Add the video file that needs subtitles to the Timeline

how to add subtitles in imovie

To get started, you’ll need to add the video file that needs subtitles to the Timeline. Simply click and drag your video file into the Timeline. You can also use File > Import or drag files from Finder onto iMovie’s icon in the Dock.

Once you’ve added it, double-click on it to open it in the Viewer. This will allow you to edit your movie by adding titles, soundtracks, transitions and effects before exporting it as a finished project at a later time (see Step 4).

Click on Titles at the top of your screen and select one of our many title styles such as Title & Text with Movie Clip (3D) or Typewriter (2D). Once selected click Done so we can begin editing our new text overlay.

Locate the Titles icon in the toolbar

To locate the Titles icon, click on the iMovie toolbar to expand it. You’ll see your video displayed in the main area of iMovie. This is also where you will add captions or subtitles for your video.

Choose the format of your title

When learning how to add captions and subtitles in iMovie you ought to have a preferred format in your mind which will make the subtitles more visible. The title you’re using has a variety of options to choose from. Click the drop-down menu and select one of the many options available. For example, if you want to use a different font or style, select it from this list.

There are many choices here, so play around with them until you find something that works for your needs. You can also change how long each title appears by adjusting its duration value here too (time limit).

Select the font, size, color and opacity of your text

From the Text Settings menu, you can change the font, size and color of your text. You can also add an outline, shadow or background color to make it stand out even more! If you want to make sure that your subtitles are readable on any background color in your video, choose a white font with 100% opacity (or blank if you’re using an outline).

Select a time for the subtitle to appear on the screen

You can choose an exact duration, or let iMovie determine how long it should be based on your selection of “Automatically adjust subtitle length” (the default option). If you want to change this later, simply select the subtitle and drag it to where you want it in your filmstrip.

Keep in mind that even if the subtitle is too long for its scene, you can add multiple subtitles at different points throughout your film by clicking and dragging them around until they’re positioned correctly.

Select where you want the text to appear on the screen

Now that you have added the text, you need to select a spot on your video where you want it to appear. To do this, tap anywhere on the screen and drag your finger up or down to change the size of your text box. To move it around, just drag it with your finger until you find an ideal spot for your subtitle about the video frame.

You can also adjust the font size by tapping on the Font icon in iMovie’s top toolbar (a small A) and selecting different font sizes from there.

Add as many subtitles as you need to your movie

This is the last step on how to add captions and subtitles in iMovie. Now that we’ve added text to our movie, let’s see how to add as many captions and subtitles as you need.

Select the Text tool in the toolbar or press T on your keyboard to open the on-screen controls for adding text directly onto your movie’s timeline. You’ll see a box appear with options for how big, bold or italicized the font should be; just click inside this box and start typing.

Use the buttons below this box to add more text boxes each one will hold its caption or subtitle. If there’s already a second box, you’ll see “New Caption” appear above it when you click inside it: click it again if you want another one.

Click any part of your video that isn’t currently covered by an existing caption or subtitle and begin typing; iMovie automatically adds new lines each time there isn’t enough room left in its current line without changing anything else about either line (that is unless it reaches its maximum character limit).

The Bottom Line

If you’re searching about how to add subtitles in iMovie, you have the answer. iMovie software offers a variety of tools that allow you to customize your subtitles, including the ability to change text color, size, and more. The program also allows for advanced formatting within captions and subtitles like letter spacing, italics, text alignment, and more. Overall, iMovie’s accessibility and a high degree of usability make it the best choice for anyone in 2021 who wishes to add captions and subtitles to their film projects.