How to Add Captions and Subtitles in iMovie

If you're a video creator or editor using Apple’s iMovie, you know how important it is to make your videos accessible to everyone. Adding captions and subtitles to your iMovie videos is an effective way to make your content more inclusive, engaging, and informative. Whether you're creating videos for social media, YouTube, or your website, adding captions or subtitles can help improve your viewers' experience and increase engagement.

In this guide, we'll show you how to add captions and subtitles to your iMovie project using a range of tools and features. We'll cover everything from importing your video files and creating text boxes, to using automatic subtitles and exporting your caption files.

We'll also cover how to use on-screen text, text styles, lower thirds, and title options to enhance your video content. By the end of this tutorial, you'll have the skills and knowledge to create professional-looking captions and subtitles for your iMovie videos. So, let's get started and learn how to add captions and subtitles to your iMovie project!

Can you add subtitles in iMovie?

Yes, you can add subtitles and captions in iMovie. iMovie is a popular video editing software that comes pre-installed on all Mac computers, iPads, and iPhones. It is a versatile and user-friendly video editor that allows you to create professional-looking videos with ease.

Adding subtitles and captions to your iMovie videos can help make them more accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who speak a different language. iMovie offers several ways to add subtitles and captions to your video.

How to add captions to Videos in iMovie

To add captions to your videos in iMovie on MacOS, you first need to import your video into iMovie by selecting File > Import Media from the menu bar. Once your video is imported, drag it to the timeline at the bottom of the iMovie window.

Next, select the Titles button in the iMovie toolbar and choose the title style you want to use for your captions. Double-click the title style to add it to the timeline.

To add text to the title style, select the title in the timeline and then click the Text Box button in the iMovie toolbar. Enter your caption text in the text box and adjust the text size, font, and color as desired.

To ensure that your captions stay on screen for the appropriate amount of time, use the play head to scrub through your video and adjust the duration of the caption title accordingly.

If you have a subtitle file or transcript for your video, you can use it to automatically add captions to your iMovie project. To do this, select File > Import > Subtitle Files from the menu bar and choose the file you want to use. iMovie will generate captions for your video based on the contents of the file.

Once you have added your captions, you can use iMovie's transitions, text styles, and other features to customize the look and feel of your captions. When you are finished, you can export your video with captions by selecting File > Share from the menu bar and choosing your desired export settings.

How to edit subtitles in iMovie

To edit subtitles in iMovie, start by opening your project and selecting the clip that contains the subtitles you want to edit. Then, click on the "Titles" button in the iMovie toolbar to access the text editing features. You can choose to add a new subtitle or edit an existing one by double-clicking on it.

Once you have opened the subtitle for editing, you can modify the text, font, color, and size of the subtitle using the text editing tools. You can also adjust the duration and position of the subtitle on the video clip by dragging the subtitle to a new location or changing the start and end times in the editing panel.

If you want to make more advanced changes to the subtitles, such as adding animations or text styles, you can explore the advanced text editing options in iMovie. These include options for lower thirds, overlays, and other effects that can be used to enhance the appearance of your subtitles and make them more engaging for your audience.

When you are finished editing your subtitles, be sure to preview your changes by playing the clip in iMovie. This will allow you to check for any errors or issues with the subtitle timing or formatting and make any necessary adjustments before exporting the video. Finally, export your video with the edited subtitles included and share it on social media or other platforms.

How to add subtitles in iMovie on iPhone and iPad

Adding subtitles to videos is an excellent way to make them more accessible to a wider audience. iMovie on iOS provides an easy way to add closed captions to your videos. To get started, open iMovie on your iPhone or iPad and create a new project. Import your video file into the project by selecting the Import Media option.

Once your video is imported, tap on it to open it in the timeline. Use the play head to navigate to the part of the video where you want to add subtitles. Then, tap on the Titles option in the toolbar and select the style of the title you want to use. You can choose from various title styles that suit your video and its theme.

Next, tap on the Add Text button and enter the text you want to use for your subtitles. You can adjust the font, size, color, and alignment of the text as well. To make your subtitles appear longer on the screen, you can adjust the duration of the title. You can also add transitions to make your subtitles look more professional.

If you already have a subtitle file in the form of an SRT file, you can import it into your iMovie project. To do this, tap on the Add Media option and choose the SRT file. iMovie will automatically generate subtitles using the text in the file.

When you're done adding subtitles to your video, export the video by tapping the Share button and selecting the format and destination you want. You can export your video to Vimeo, YouTube, LinkedIn, or iTunes. Subtitles will be automatically included in the exported video, making it accessible to a wider audience.


Adding captions and subtitles in iMovie is a relatively easy process that can make your videos accessible to a wider audience. Whether you are looking to add closed captions to your videos for accessibility or to make your content more engaging and shareable on social media, iMovie offers a range of tools and features to help you get the job done.

If you need to add captions or subtitles to your videos regularly, or if you work with foreign languages and require translations, you may want to consider using a dedicated subtitling tool like Simon Says. With advanced features like automatic speech recognition, translation, and caption embedding, Simon Says can help streamline your workflow and save you time and effort in the long run.

So if you want to take your subtitling game to the next level, give Simon Says a try and see how it can help you create more accessible, engaging, and shareable videos that resonate with your audience.

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