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How to Add Captions to Videos in iMovie?

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Jul 18, 2024• Proven solutions

Ever felt sick and didn’t get how to add captions in iMovie? Or are you curious about how to add closed captions on iMovie? Read on.

If you need subtitling a video, you either want a subtitle in another language, tutorial instructions, or narration. And, you can do it all using iMovie. iMovie is an editing program used to make basic video editing on a Mac. Though iMovie does not yet have the facility to add subtitles, you can still add video captions using the Title option. It isn't exactly a short skirmish, but neither is it a laborious one.

Here is a comprehensive guide on adding captions in iMovie, plus a focus on iMovie closed captions using its alternative.

Part 1: How to Add Captions in iMovie on Mac?

As mentioned earlier, you can use the Title tool to add captions or subtitles to videos on a Mac. This process is quite a laborious one, and it works this way - you add the individual text blocks into the iMovie timeline, edit it and adjust it to resonate with the subtitle you want it to be.

It’s important to understand that the subtitles are open captions and would always be on the video, and they can't be turned off.

Here's the step-by-step guide on adding captions in iMovie on Mac.

Step 1: Open the iMovie, import the video you wish to add the caption to.

Step 2: Choose the clip in the video or movie you wish to add captions to video iMovie.

Step 3: Then, a title sign will appear on the viewer at the top. Tap the Title sign.

Step 4: After you select this sign, pick the title style you wish. Since you are looking towards adding captions in iMovie, the title options are present for the screen's bottom. They include the lower third, lower, or reveal lower third to choose among.

NOTE: If you want to see how the title option would look on the video, you're required to drag it onto the clip. For instance, if you want a lower third, you will hit the title option and drag it left to right. It will present a preview to you.

Step 5: Since you’ve selected the clip on the timeline, you need to double-click the preferred title (subtitle) or caption style to add it. Yet, you can do it alternatively by dragging the option chosen to your desired location on the clip.

Step 6: Now, you can add the text by going up to the viewer. At the viewer’s top, there is a text box to enter text.

After you have used a title on adding captions to videos in iMovie, you might want to adjust the duration. Also, you may be looking forward to adding more iMovie captions and subtitles to a single movie or video clip. For instance, if you want to add about seven subtitles within that one-minute video clip, you can do that by learning how to add captions in iMovie.

Firstly, here is the section on how to adjust the duration of subtitles or iMovie captions. Then, if you want to either shorten or extend how the closed captioning on iMovie would appear on the screen, all you require is to choose the subtitle in the timeline and follow the pointers given below:

  • Drag any of the edges

To shorten or lengthen the duration of iMovie captions, drag one of the edges. The course will then start to change as you do this.

  • Tap the clip information

This specific information is the "i" icon above the viewer. After clicking this, you can enter the number of seconds you wish the duration to be.

Part 2: An Easier Way to Add Captions to Videos on Mac & Windows

Knowing how to add captions to videos with iMovie is crucial for people to understand your content better, specifically for hard of hearing or deaf folks. Moreover, 85% of social media users turn off the video sound when they scroll through social feeds, making iMovie captions much more critical than ever if you want your content to stand out.

Anyway, if you are looking forward to knowing how to add captions to videos quickly, this section is right for you. So have a quick skim here.

To edit and add subtitles in your language to a video, Wondershare Filmora is a fantastic helper. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating system users. This program displays timeline based video editing and offers rich resources for you to select from and further personalize. With this, you can also edit and create custom captions to add to your video to impress everyone.

Download Filmora Win Version Download Filmora Mac Version

Below, we'll show you the step-by-step guide on the best alternative to closed captioning on iMovie.

Before you begin, download Wondershare Filmora free trial from its official website:

Step 1: Import your media

After launching Filmora, choose "New Project" to create a new project. After that, hit the "Import" tab or drag and drop your videos directly to its media library window.

The added videos will now appear in the Media Library thumbnails. Now, double-tap a video clip to preview in the right screen window. When all media files get uploaded, drag and drop them to the video track to effectively merge one another.

Step 2: Add subtitles to video

Head towards the Titles option and choose a title template you prefer to apply in your video by drag-n-drop or right-clicking to select "Apply". It will display as a "T" icon on the Text Timeline, which you can further drag to any place or location in the video.

Filmora has a bundle of text and titles presets available in the Titles library, including Titles, Openers, Lower 3rds, Subtitles, and End credits. These are pretty massive features than iMovie closed captions. You can double-tap it to preview the subtitles before adding to videos.

Double-click on the "T" icon to facilitate the edit area, then design your texts, change the color, style, font, animation, and more.

Select the Advanced tab to customize the title further. The Advanced Text Editing window makes it easy to apply the animation and presets, add more text borders and shapes, shadow, and text fill.

Step 3: Start burning subtitles to your video

When you finish editing your captions in Filmora, hit the "Export" button to save the project just created. In the output window, you can select a particular output format like AVI, MOV, WMV, MP4, pick up a configured format for your specific device, burn it to DVD, or share it with your friends via Vimeo and YouTube.

Part 3: How to Add Captions to iMovie on iPhone?

iMovie on iPhone comes with plenty of animated titles that you can add to any video clip, background, or photo in your project. You can personalize it after adding a title by editing the text, changing its color, size or font, and more.

Step 1: Open a project and tap a video clip or photo in the timeline to reveal the inspector at the bottom screen.

Step 2: Tap the Titles button.

Step 3: Tap to select a title.

Step 4: To turn off titles, tap None.

Step 5: To change where the title appears on the screen, select the sample title in the viewer, then drag it to your desired location.

Step 6: To edit the title, tap the sample title, tap Edit, then type a new title.

Step 7: Tap Done on the keyboard.

Note: Depending on a certain theme applied to your project, the location's name where you shot the photo or video clip may appear below the title.

A video clip or an image will appear with a title in the timeline, with a T icon in the upper-left corner.


Tersely, all of this is how to add captions in iMovie. Now, you know that the processes required to make captions in iMovie aren't as advanced to follow along. There are a lot of features that iMovie captions lag. However, keep in mind the conscious effort and time spent creating excellent subtitles that flow well when combined with the right tool. iMovie is not sure about subtitling. Yet, it is done quite smoothly via the title feature than any other platform on the Mac. Still, it can't beat the advanced functioning of adding subtitles or captions to videos by Wondershare Filmora – a comprehensive video editor with multiple capabilities.

Hopefully, down the road, Apple may soon provide access to a better option to make subtitling way simpler than this. But for now, this title feature works pretty fine. And, you have an advanced choice with the Wondershare Filmora as well.

author avatar
Marion Dubois
Marion Dubois is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Marion Dubois

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