How to Add and Include Text in Videos in iMovie Editor App

iMovie is a popular video editing app developed by Apple for Mac and iOS devices. It provides a user-friendly way for beginners to edit and enhance their videos by adding text, effects, transitions and more.

Adding Text in iMovie

Adding text is one of the most common editing tasks in iMovie. You can use text to add titles, captions, subtitles or other information to your videos. Here are the steps to add text in iMovie:

On Mac

  1. Open your iMovie project and place the playhead where you want the text to appear.
  2. Click on the Titles option in the top left toolbar.
  3. Double click on the title theme you want to use.
  4. The title placeholder will appear in the viewer. Click on it and type your desired text.
  5. Customize the text font, size, color, position etc. from the Inspector window on the right.

On iPhone/iPad

  1. Open your iMovie project and tap on the video clip where you want text.
  2. Tap on the T icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select a title theme and the placeholder text will appear on the video.
  4. Tap on the text and edit it, then tap Done. Customize it further from the inspector.

You can add text on video clips, photos, solid color backgrounds, or even create an opening title sequence or closing credits this way.

Customizing Text

iMovie offers various options to customize the text you add to match the style of your video.

Changing Text Font and Color

You can change the font style, size or color of text from the Inspector window after adding it:

  • Font: Choose from a wide variety of fonts available.
  • Size: Increase/decrease text size by moving the size slider.
  • Color: Select the text color by tapping on the color well and picking a color.

Animating Text

Many of the title themes in iMovie come with animated text effects. You can enable these animations for your titles from the Animate menu in Inspector.

Some effects like typewriter, fade in/out etc. will apply to the entire title. While effects like scroll up/down will only apply to that line of text.

Positioning Text

Drag the text box in the viewer to reposition where you want it to appear on the video.

You can also choose text position presets like Lower Left, Lower Right, Upper Left, Upper Right for standard title placements.

Adding Box Behind Text

Enable the Background option in the Inspector to add a black/white box behind the text for better visibility, especially if placed over light scenes.

You can customize the background color and opacity as needed.

Tips for Adding Text in iMovie

Here are some useful tips when working with text in iMovie:

  • For subtitles, use the Subtitle title theme in the Titles menu.
  • Use a solid color background first if adding text over video.
  • Reduce background clip length if you want text to appear for a short duration.
  • Make sure text stands out from the background color/content.
  • Use keyframes in Inspector to animate text position or size.
  • Add box behind text or enable outlines for better visibility.
  • Use text animations sparingly and only when relevant.
  • Preview on different devices to ensure text is readable.

Adding Text to Specific Parts of Video

By default, when you add titles in iMovie they will appear for the duration of the background clip. Here are some tips on adding text to specific sections:

Beginning or End

  • To make text appear only at beginning or end, first add solid color background to those sections and then add text title over it.

Middle Section

  • Split the clip at the position you want text to appear.
  • Add background only to the middle split section, then add text over it.

Single Frame

  • Split the video into short 1 second clips.
  • Add background and text only over the single frame clip.

You can then adjust the duration of clips or add freeze frames as needed for the desired text timing.

Sharing iMovie Text Videos

When your iMovie project with text is ready, here is how you can share the final edited video:

  • Export Video: From File menu, choose Export Video to save video to camera roll or computer.
  • Share Directly: Tap on the Share button in iMovie and select platform like YouTube, Facebook etc. to upload directly.
  • AirDrop: Use AirDrop to wirelessly transfer iMovie video to nearby Mac/iOS devices.

Make sure to preview the video before sharing to ensure the text is clearly visible on all devices and platforms you share to.

Alternative Text Tools

While iMovie is great for basic text editing, some alternative video apps provide more advanced text and captioning abilities:

  • Final Cut Pro: Apple’s pro video editor with more text control and animation options.
  • Adobe Premiere: Industry leader in video editing, with extensive titling and graphics capabilities.
  • DaVinci Resolve: Free editor with powerful text tools ideal for complex motion graphics.
  • InVideo: Online editor to make videos with text, templates, effects, and automatic captions.

So if you need more customization for lower thirds, captions, credits etc. try using these professional tools.


Adding text is an essential way to enhance videos and convey information clearly to viewers. As you can see, the text tools in iMovie provide an easy way to get started for beginners.

With the ability to add titles, captions, credits and more over videos, images, and backgrounds, iMovie offers enough to create nice-looking text for common video projects.

Just remember to customize the appearance, position, and timing of text appropriately for your video content. And utilize the tips mentioned to add text to specific sections as needed.

Now you have a better understanding of working with text in the popular iMovie video editor. Go try it out on your next video!