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How to Add Text to YouTube Video Before or After Uploading

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Jul 17, 2024• Proven solutions

A great way to emphasize something you say in your vlog is to have your words appear next to you as you say them. Adding text to YouTube videos can look really professional. You might put a title at the beginning of your video, use bullet points to help people keep track of your monologue, or to highlight an important point by writing it on your screen. When you use text in your videos there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this article, I will share with you 2 ways to add text/subtitles/captions to YouTube videos, whether you need to add text to the video during editing and upload it to YouTube later, or you have uploaded the video to YouTube already and want to add some captions and subtitles to complement it.

How to Add Text to YouTube Video Before Uploading

Before uploading the video to YouTube, it is recommended to add text to the video first. You can add simple texts and captions to videos with the free video editing software. To add more text effects to the video, you can use Filmora, Sony Vegas Movie Studio and Adobe Premiere CC based on your video editing skills and needs. These software programs are great video editors, which can help you input text easily.

1. Use Filmora to Add text to Videos

There are plenty of Text effects built in Filmora, you can apply motions and animation to texts, titles, subtitles, end credits and openers as well. Each title preset will present different effects. You can add multiple text boxes and place the text to any position in need. Besides writing texts to video, you can select the target font, size and color and customize the text effect in detail as well. To add text to a video in Filmora is easy, just follow the steps below:

 Add Text to Video

  • Open up Filmora and drag a clip into your timeline. Then, go to Text/Credit.
  • Find a style that you like and drag it into your timeline where you want your text to appear. Make sure your text is selected in your timeline and click the Advanced Text Editing icon, which looks like a pen and paper.
  • Insert your own words and drag your text to where you want it on the screen. Adjust the size by dragging the blue squares which surround your text.
  • To change the color of your text, go into the Customize menu. You will find it near the top left of your screen. While you are in Customize there will be a section called Fill. This is where you select the color of your text. You can even change the fill type to ‘gradient fill’ and have your text transition between two colors.
  • All of Filmora’s text options are animated – they fade, move around the screen, or perform some other type of action as they appear and disappear. To change the animation of your text select Animation next to Customize. A selection of different animations will appear. Double click on the one you want to apply to your text.

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Check the detailed steps of how to add text to video in Filmora.

2. Use Windows Movie Maker

As a simple video editing software, Windows Movie Maker also allows you to add text to videos. It provides 3 different options for you to add Title, Caption and Credits to the YouTube videos. You can follow the steps below to add text to the video in WMM.

 add text in WMM

  • To start, launch the Windows Movie Maker.
  • After, select import video to insert the video that you want to add text with.
  • Select edit movie then click make credits or titles.
  • Then add the text that you want to include.

For the step by step tutorial of adding text to YouTube video, check How to Add Text to Video with Windows Movie Maker . Besides adding text to video, you can use Windows Movie Maker to edit YouTube video further. Learn How to trim, cut, combine, split video and add transitions and upload video to YouTube in Windows Movie Maker?

3. Use Sony Vegas Movie Studio

Adding text to YouTube videos in Sony Vegas is not so complicated if you are new to this software. You can adjust the color, size, font and duration of the text effect and add fade in and fade out effects. Follow the steps below to add texts to video in Vegas:

 Add Text to Video

  • Launch Sony Vegas Movie Studio.
  • Click the View Menu then select Media Generators.
  • Choose the generator that you want to use.
  • After, drag the generator you have chosen on the timeline.
  • Then, the video event FX dialogue box will appear.
  • Enter the text that you want and modify it by changing the font, size and style.

4. Use Adobe Premiere CC

For professionals who are looking for a professional way to adding text to video and also have a sufficient budget, Adobe Premiere CC is always recommended. You can check the video and the steps below to add text to video in Premiere:

  • Click open or create a project.
  • Click the file menu then choose new and title.
  • After, the text window will appear then utilize the text tool to add text.
  • You can also edit your text using the commands that are provided in the Title Menu.
  • Save the text that you have made by clicking the file menu then choose Save As.

How to Add Text to video in YouTube after uploading

Sometimes, we have uploaded a video to YouTube and then want to add subtitles/cc to the video later. The good news is that YouTube is not only a site for videos but is also the place where you can edit your videos in an instant. As you have read, adding text and captions to the uploaded YouTube videos is just a breeze.

Of course, you can only add and edit texts and captions to the video under your YouTube account. Here are the steps on how you can add text to your videos with YouTube Video Editor after the video is uploaded.

    • Go to then sign in to your account. After sign in your YouTube account, click your avatar and select Creator Studio to enter the creator studio interface.
    • Click the Video Manager tab and in Videos section you will see all your videos uploaded to YouTube. Select the video that you want to add captions to and then select Subtitles/CC after clicking Edit button.
    • Add Captions/Subtitles

 Add Text to Video

While YouTube may have already created the subtitles automatically for your video with its speech recognition technology. If it does, you will see something like Published: English (Automatic) to the right of your video. If the automatically generated subtitles is not correct, you can edit it to improve the accuracy. Select the line that needs modification to make the edits.

If there is no auto-subtitles, you can choose from 3 ways to add subtitles and closed captions to the video: Upload a file, Transcribe and auto-sync and create new subtitles or CC.

 Add Text to Video

Upload a file: upload a text transcript or timed subtitles file.

Transcribe and auto-sync: Type or paste in a full transcript of the video and subtitle timings will be set automatically.

Create new subtitles or CC: Create subtitles and closed captions by typing them in as you watch the video.

If you already have a caption file which contains both text and time codes, just click Upload a file and upload the text to the video.

  • Once everything is okay, you can change the name of the video and you can do it in the box beside Project.

Cons of Using YouTube Video Editor

When you make use of this editor, you cannot shorten the clips for music. Moreover, since it is an online editor, you need to refresh the page in order to do the changes. Aside from YouTube Video Editor, you can use Adobe Premier Pro, MAGIX Vegas Pro, OpenShot and Avidemux.

From 20th September 2017 users will no longer be able to use the complementary editing suite. Check the best YouTube video editor alternatives from this complete guide to find out more YouTube video editor alternatives if you want to add text to video with more features and customization.

Top 3 Tips for Adding Text to YouTube Videos

1. Leave Room

If you know you are going to add text to your video then make sure you leave room for it in your frame. Consider standing off to one side instead of directly in front of your camera. You do not want to have to choose between not using text, making your text really small, or placing it over your face.

While planning out your frame and leaving room for your text, consider what color you are going to make the words and whether it will stand out and look good against your background.

2. Bigger is Better

People should be able to read your text without putting in any extra effort, such as straining their eyes to make out small words. If it takes effort to read your text then a lot of people will just ignore it. Your text should be big enough that somebody watching your video on their smartphone screen – where everything is shrunk down – can read it easily.

It is easier to make your text larger when you stick to titles, keywords, and short sentences.

3. Do Not Overuse

Text is a great tool for making something stand out. However, if you try to use text to emphasize too much of what you say it will lose its effect. Text does not stand out anymore once viewers get too used to seeing it. Too much text can even get annoying and cause people to click away from your videos.

Try to use text to emphasize only the most important things you say.

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author avatar
Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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