How To Add Subtitles in iMovie?

Subtitles-in-iMovie showcased by an editor working on a large screen, high-tech studio with video thumbnails.
Master subtitling in iMovie: a guide for better viewer engagement.

Transkriptor 2023-07-13

Subtitles are used for various reasons, but the most common cause is to help those who don’t speak the language. Adding texts on audio and video files for people with hearing impairment benefits them tremendously.

Many video and audio editing apps can add subtitles to any file. One such app is iMovie. It is an inbuilt software on iOS devices that can view, edit and share videos. Its video editing features allow users to add subtitles and captions to short films and videos.

Here’s a guide on how to do it:

Open iMovie and Create a New Project

Adding captions and subtitles to your video is an important feature in video editing. This can be done by converting audio files to texts in iMovie. The iMovie app must be launched to add captions and subtitles to your video. Search for “iMovie” on the App Store or from the dock.

When it opens, choose a project file you want to enhance with subtitles or captions. Or make a new one if you don’t already have one. There’s no need to panic if your project is already well underway.

You must create a new project in iMovie and choose “Create From Blank Project” from the File menu. This will create a new project with no footage or titles already placed in it.

Next, select the type of movie you want to make, whether it’s an event or trailer, and name your project. You’ll also be prompted with a few settings for your project; click Preview when you’re ready to proceed.

Import Video and Text Files Into iMovie

iMovie has many different media sources from which you can pull content, including photos, videos, and music files from your computer’s hard drive or connected devices like SD cards.

Select Media Library on the left side of the screen; this will show all available sources for importing into your project. Import the video file that you want to add subtitles to iMovie. Then, import the text file that you want to add subtitles. Ensure your files are in the same folder on your computer’s hard drive so iMovie can access them.

Decide the Video You Want Subtitles For

Select the video to which you want to add subtitles. Then click on the “Tools” button and select “Subtitles & Closed Captions” from the drop-down menu. Select “Add Subtitles” from the menu that appears.

The Subtitles pane will appear on the right side of your screen. This is where you will see all the options related to subtitles. If you want to add a subtitle track, select the video file and drag it into the timeline. Now you will see two tracks on the bottom of your screen: Audio 1 (the soundtrack) and Video 1 (the picture). Click on “Audio 1” and select “Add Audio.”

Select any audio file from your computer or create an audio clip using the software of your choice. If there are no other recordings available, you can record your voice.

If you want to edit an existing track, select it from the list of tracks and click on “Edit selected subtitle track.”

Choose the Format of Your Title

When learning to add captions and subtitles in iMovie, you ought to have a preferred format to make the subtitles more visible. The title you’re using has a variety of options to choose from. Please choose one from the drop-down menu by clicking it. 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.

Change your text’s font, size, and color from the Text Settings menu. You can also add an outline, shadow, or background color to make it stand out more. If you want to ensure 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.

Decide Where and When the Subtitle Should Appear on the Screen

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

Remember 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.

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, drag it with your finger until you find an ideal spot for your subtitle about the video frame. You can adjust the font size by tapping on the Font icon in the top toolbar of iMovie and choosing different font sizes from there.

Subtitle Your Movie As Many Times As Necessary

This is the last step on how to add 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. Choose 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 with options for how big, bold, or italicized the font should be; 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.

Automatic Transcription

While there are apps that can help you add subtitles to movies, this process is often tiresome. Therefore, you can use automatic transcription to convert all your video files to text. This method is more convenient as you must upload your video to a platform that offers transcribing services. The rest of the work will be done by the platform, and you can edit and share the files.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are different ways to add subtitles in your iMovie app. You can follow the steps discussed in this article. However, if the process seems complex, you can opt for automatic transcribing to lessen the workload.

The best way to increase the readability of your iMovie is to darken the background of the text. You should also use an optimal font color and font size.

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