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How to Add Texts with iMovie in Mac and iPhone

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Mar 24, 2021• Proven solutions

Preparing a presentation video or building in the narration within the video requires some dexterity with software applications that allow you to add texts in a video. There will be so many reasons that you want to place some text over a video. With iMovie in your Mac or iPhone, you can put a standard title, or a lower third subtitle, or scrolling credits to the video with ease. iMovie definitely ranks as a great software to help you add text in videos. 

In this article, we will show you how to add texts with iMovie for both Mac and iOS mobile devices.

Part 1: How to add texts using iMovie for Mac

To add texts to your videos using iMovie for Mac, you need to drag your media files to the timeline first, then follow the steps below.

    • Step 1. Click on the Text button to display the text slides list.

iMovie add text

    • Step 2. Select the appropriate text slide from this list and drag the slide on to the Project timeline. You can either layer the slide or keep it as a standalone within the slide.

iMovie add text

    • Step 3. Double click within the viewer interface to get the edit mode to change the text. You can click on Show fonts to edit the font attributes and then click on done to save the changes.
    • Step 4. You can double-click on the project timeline to open the text inspector and change the transition and placement attributes.

Related: Add Transitions between Video Clips in iMovie

Notes: If you are running a different version of iMovie, like what’s running on my Mac, like iMovie 10.1.8, you will find the steps of adding titles to video in iMovie is different. 

After loading the media in the timeline, place the cursor to where you want to add texts and then switch to the Titles tab. From there, you will see there are Titles Presets available. 

Now you can add some standard titles, Lower Third, or scrolling credits, and much more by dragging and dropping it to the timeline. You will see how long the text effects last and adjust the text duration by dragging the edges to meet the requirement. One of the inconveniences of adding text to video in iMovie is that it seems impossible to adjust the text position manually.

 iMovie video editing

Part 2: How to add texts using iMovie for iPhone

Adding text with iMovie on iPhone is easy too. The tutorial below will show you how to achieve it step by step.

Below are the simple steps you can refer to:

    • Step 1. Open the iMovie app on your iPhone and tap on the appropriate video or photo within the timeline to get the inspector controls at the bottom of the interface.
    • Step 2. Tap on the Text button marked with a T.

iMovie for iPhone add text

    • Step 3. Select the right text style.
    • Step 4. You can select the center or lower to change the position of the text appearing on the interface.
    • Step 5. Tap on done on your phone keyboard to save the changes.

If you want to edit videos on Android with video editing apps similar to iMovie, you can check our picks of Best iMovie Alternatives for Android.

If you want to edit your videos or add filters, effects, voiceover, or music to your video clips in your iPhone, you should not miss these best free video editing Apps for iPhone.

Part 3: How to add text using iMovie alternative - Wondershare Filmora for Mac

While iMovie has emerged as a big editing software brand, it does seem a little complicated for users on the editing interface for the very first time. Even adding text seems to be a big hassle on the interface. 

Here, we recommend you to use Wondershare Filmora to add text in an easier way. Filmora is available both for macOS and Windows. The tutorial below is recorded with Windows OS, but the steps with Filmora for Mac are similar.

Download Win VersionDownload Mac Version

Related: Top 5 iMovie Alternatives for iPad

              Top 5 iMovie Alternatives for iPhone

The following steps are for Mac users. You can download Filmora for Mac first, and then follow the steps below to add texts to your videos.

    • Step 1. Simply click on the Import Media option on the Filmora editor interface to get the video clip or photo you want to add the text to. You can also drag and drop the file on to the interface directly.

filmora mac import video

    • Step 2. Click on the Title tab, choose the right text effect, drag, and drop it on the timeline. Adjust the position of the text on the correct video scene.

filmora mac add text

    • Step 3. Double-click on the text on the timeline and you can get to the window where you can customize the text color, font, and the actual text.

filmora mac text advanced settings

    • Step 4. Click on Export once you want to save the final media with the text editor. Also, you can upload your video to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo to share with your friends and family.

filmora mac export

What's more, there is a title and text effect pack available on Filmora Effects Store, just watch the video below to check out what it can do for you.

Download Win VersionDownload Mac Version


Above are the details of how to add texts to videos in iMovie on Mac and iPhone. Some steps may differ on your devices because of the version issues. 

So, it is recommended to make sure that you are running the latest iMovie version. If you want to edit texts in an advanced way, like animated the text effects and save the text effect for future use, Filmora for Mac would be a better choice.

Download Win VersionDownload Mac Version

Frequently Asked Questions About Adding Texts with iMovie

1. How many text and title templates does iMovie have?

iMovie is equipped with rich text and title libraries that offer you a variety of options. There are tens of different templates to choose from and you can easily preview each of them before you decide to add them to the timeline.  

2. How to add texts to a video without using the effects?

If you don’t want the text you add to a video to be animated, you just have to choose a title template that doesn’t contain any text animations. There are quite a few title templates in iMovie that don’t contain animations, so you just have to select the one you like and insert the text into the textbox that is going to be displayed in the preview window.

3. How to change the text speed in iMovie?

The only way to alter the speed at which the text is displayed on the screen in iMovie is to change its duration. The longer a template is, the slower the text is going to move. However, you won’t be able to customize the text speed on your own in iMovie.

4. How to change fonts in iMovie?

Double-click on the title’s textbox that is displayed on the Preview Screen and then head over to the Fonts menu. There are hundreds of fonts to choose from, but keep in mind that the text has to be selected in order for the change to become visible on the screen.

5. How to make the text fade out in iMovie from an iPhone?

Go to the File menu and select the Project Properties option. Locate the Title Fade Duration slider in the File menu and use it to set the default title fade duration. However, you should keep in mind that you cannot fade out the titles that contain text animations. 

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.