How to Add Text In Final Cut Pro

The advent of social media has made video creation more important than ever before. As small of a detail as it may seemingly be, text is one of the most important tools in a video editors toolbelt, especially for those posting to social media platforms. 85% of Facebook users watch videos on mute, and 69% of people view videos in public places with no sound.

Additionally, YouTube videos, TikTok content, and Instagram reels are often watched with little to no sound. This has led to an increased demand for subtitles and motion graphics.

Luckily, there is a slew of video editing programs out there that offer amazing text tools. Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has been a go-to video editing software for countless filmmakers and content creators, up there with the likes of Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve.

This beginner’s tutorial will provide plenty of editing tips and go over everything that Final Cut Pro has to offer when it comes to creating beautiful text and subtitles for Mac devices. We'll also show how you can use Simon Says to caption your videos in a fraction of the time it takes to do so in Final Cut Pro.

Why add text to videos?

Text is a great tool to get information across to your audience. It can be used in tutorials to emphasize a point to your viewers, used to grab audiences’ attention at the start of the video, and generally used to get as much information out on screen as possible. 

Text can range from simple title screens or credits to complex motion graphics with slick animation and colorful fonts. The text you use will entirely depend on the type of content you’re looking to create.

A filmmaker, for instance, is most likely going to use text sparingly in Final Cut Pro. For instance, text might only be used for the opening title and credits, barring a few exceptions. 

However, there are definitely areas where filmmakers can use text creatively. UI Huds, for instance, in films such as Iron Man use text for informational purposes.

Commercial and social media creators are more likely to use text in order to enhance the content seen on screen. The text style in these scenarios tends to be more boisterous and flashy.

Text in advertisements can be used for lower thirds, letting viewers know the person’s name and occupation when they appear on the screen. Videos for platforms like TikTok and Instagram may also use flashy subtitle text to draw people in.

Adding text and titles in Final Cut Pro

Adding text in Final Cut Pro is straightforward for complete beginners, with plenty of advanced options for more technical users. Everything you need can be found by clicking on the Titles and Generators sidebar on the right side of the screen (indicated by a text icon).

Here, you’ll find a slew of different presets and format options for your text (with plenty of text effects). These templates are great for content creators or filmmakers looking to take their text to the next level.

Those looking for completely basic text options can find it by going to Basic Title. You can also use the keyboard shortcut ⌃T (control-t) to quickly add basic text to the timeline

Double-clicking on this will add your text to the timeline. Once the text is in your timeline, you’ll be able to cut and manipulate it as you would footage or audio. Editing the text will be done inside of the inspector sidebar.

The text inspector gives you design options for your text. Font style, spacing, and centering text within the textbox are all found here. Beneath that are various tools that allow you to change your text color.

You can add things like fill and stroke as well as add a drop shadow and glow to your text as well. If you click on the text icon on the top of the screen (set to Normal by default) you can choose between a few different 2D and 3D styles as well.

Moving and adjusting text In Final Cut Pro

Moving text can be done by using the text inspector. All you need to do is make sure you have the text selected and then scroll down to the position tab. The position tab gives you control over your X, Y, and Z axis for your Position, Rotation, and Scale. Changing the values here will change how the text is oriented on the screen.

You can also move the text around by clicking on the text inside of the playhead viewer. Yellow lines will indicate how aligned your text is. You’ll also be able to change the text by double-clicking it and typing on your keyboard.

Adding animated text to video In Final Cut Pro

A lot of the title templates inside of Final Cut have animations included. There is a slew of animated title text that you can find, some of which have their own built-in transitions and overlays.

Those who want more customization though can use keyframes to animate their text. Unfortunately, Final Cut Pro doesn’t have a ton in the way of animation options. To animate your text, you’ll want to go over to the video inspector.

Inside the video inspector, you can select the diamond icon on the far right side of the inspector to create a keyframe for either the position, rotation, and scale of your text.

To view the keyframes in your timeline, you’ll want to right-click your title clip and select show video animation. You can also use the keyboard shortcut ⌃V to speed up your workflow.

Upon playback, you’ll see the diamond icon inside of the timeline, representing the keyframes. The more keyframes you add, the more diamonds will appear. You can adjust the keyframes this way by clicking on the diamonds.

Adding captions to your Final Cut Pro videos

There are so many reasons to use subtitles for your video. There are billions of hours of video content more readily available to the public than ever. While this is amazing for consumers, it can be a double-edged sword for video creators. More videos floating around means that each video a creator produces really has to stand out.

Everything from the shooting to the editing to the presentation has to be perfect and meticulously crafted. This includes subtitles and closed captioning as well. In the age of social media, closed captioning and subtitles have become more critical than ever for video content creators.

In Final Cut Pro, you can add subtitles by going to Edit > Captions > Add captions. The caption will then be connected to the primary storyline (which is at the very top of the timeline).

Unfortunately, there’s no auto-caption option in Final Cut Pro. The only way to adjust the captions is manually. The best way to actually add subtitles is through a third-party extension. This is where Simon Says comes in.

With Simon Says, you can add captions and subtitles to footage natively within Final Cut Pro in 100 languages - all with the click of a button. To say this can significantly improve your video editing workflow is an understatement. Teams can go from spending hours adding subtitles to just minutes.

Simon Says can also translate the transcripts you generate in Final Cut Pro to any of the supported languages. Plus, the app is lightweight so you don’t have to worry about it hindering the performance of FCPX.

In today’s climate where video content is quicker and easier than ever to pump out, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Creating engaging captions and subtitles is a great method to engage viewers online and go from an amateur video maker to a professional content creator.

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