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How to Add Subtitles/Captions in Final Cut Pro X?

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Oct 26, 2023• Proven solutions

Adding Final Cut Pro subtitles and captions is a great thing to expand your audience base, and thus the trend of adding captions and subtitles is becoming relevant day by day. There is a whole process to add Final Cut Pro captions and subtitles, which we are going to discuss below.

Let's check if there is any difference between captions and subtitles used in FCPX. Even though both these texts tend to appear at the bottom of the video screen, they have different purposes.

As we all know, subtitles depict foreign languages other than the language shown in the actual video. So, they are used to appearing on-screen frequently as the speaker speaks.

On the other hand, the captions display every kind of audio information, including sound effects, music, and background noises (see how to remove background noise in FCPX here). Every Caption represents that viewer hasn't any audio clues and thus displays them over the video.

You may also want to see this: What Makes the Best Lower Thirds in Final Cut Pro X?

Part 1: How to Add Subtitles/Captions in Final Cut Pro X?

Before you study the steps required to add subtitles to Final Cut Pro, here are some quick facts about the format of captions supported by FCPX.

  • ITT (iTunes Timed Text)

It is required to deliver the contents of Caption to the iTunes store.

  • CEA-608 (SCC)

It is a standard caption format for web videos and broadcasts.

  • SRT (SubRip)

It is a simple and popular format used in online videos.

Steps to Add Subtitles or Captions in FCPX

Step 1: Create Caption Roles

You need first to create caption roles to start adding captions to the timeline. Go to Modify > Edit Roles and then select Captions. Then, select CEA-608, choose your language, and hit the Apply button.

Step 2: Add Captions

Position the playhead to where you have to set the Caption in the timeline. You need to hit the Edit tab and then select Captions > Add Caption.

Select the drop-down menu across the language and select CEA-608.

Now, you can add captions in the preview window or the Captions Text given alongside.

Also, you can adjust the duration of the Caption by dragging it in the timeline.

Step 3: Export a Caption Role

Press Command + E or go to File > Export to open the Export preview window. Now, you can select the name and save your video in standard export options. Hit the Roles tab given at the top.

Then, click the small Captions icon to reveal the menu. Select the subtitles or captions to import alongside the Burn in Captions tab. Hit the OK button and proceed with export as usual.

Thus, similar steps are required even if you want to add subtitles.

Too many steps? Then try a beginner-friendly editing tool, Filmora! 

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

Part 2: Free Subtitles Plugins for Final Cut Pro X

Let's list some incredibly efficient and free subtitles tools that you can use for Final Cut Pro X.

Veed is one of the best video editing tools if you are looking for something like automatic subtitles. You are only required to upload your audio or video into this online software and hit the Subtitles tab to get quick captions. Thus, you will only need to import those subtitles or captions and save your time from manual typing.

The Quick Caption is another free tool available in Mac App Store to automatically transcribe your audio or video clips. It quickly creates FCPXML and SRT format captions. It also records the ending and starting timestamp for every Caption for further reference. You also get the facility to customize these subtitles based on shadow, font, style, and face color in the Style Editor.

It is the go-to free plugin by Stupid Raisins to display the text in animated templates. It generally depicts different kinds of paragraph titles, which you can edit as per the subtitles. It is one of the ideal plugins to impart professionalism into your videos with catchy descriptions. There are lots of templates available to select among them. Also, the simple drag and drop feature won't let you down in any scenario of adding subtitles or captions effectively.

Part 3: Tips for adding Subtitles/Captions in Final Cut Pro X

Given below are some quick tips to add Final Cut Pro captions or subtitles.

  • Use YouTube

You can use the transcriptions feature of YouTube to import captions file into your footage quickly. It will also save lots of time typing the same text. You need to upload footage on YouTube as a private video and then download it as a .srt file. Now, you can use this file as a base to correct and adjust your captions.

  • Exporting

Every Caption set must export individually in Final Cut Pro X. However; there is a shortcut to it using the Compressor feature. Send your captions to Compressor by clicking the File> Send to Compressor.


Some may wonder, what is Compressor exactly? Click here to learn how to use the Compressor in FCPX.

  • Use the keyboard shortcut keys

You can use various keyboard shortcut keys to add the subtitles and captions into the video quickly. There are shortcut keys available at each step of adding these captions or subtitles in Final Cut Pro X.

Click here for some best shortcuts we summarised for you!


So, this is all about adding Final Cut Pro subtitles and captions via the step-by-step guide. Captions and Subtitles are an excellent way to expand your audience base across all regions globally since it removes the limitations or boundaries set by one language.

author avatar
Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Benjamin Arango

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