How to Easily Add Subtitles in iMovie

It is no secret that subtitles in videos and movies have become commonplace. Many businesses are continually expanding their marketing efforts to reach a wider audience globally. Besides, adding subtitles in iMovie ensure that your video content is inclusive and easy to understand for your potential audience. For marketers, influencers, and video editors, it is critical for all to add subtitles in movies. Thanks to the iMovie tool that has made this process of adding subtitles versatile and understandable.

adding subtitles to iMovie video

Why Subtitles are Important in iMovie

Have you ever wondered why subtitles are so important in your movies and videos? Well, subtitles in movies are crucial for many reasons. For instance, maybe you want to download a YouTube video but alas! It is in German language. And you want to watch English subtitles for it so that you can understand it properly. Maybe you are social media influencer and want to add subtitles to give special feelings to video. Maybe you are just willing to add subtitles in iMovie to add closing credits in a movie.

Be it any reason; you must know how to add subtitles in iMovie? Undoubtedly, iMovie is a fantastic program when it comes to video editing that can help you stand out your videos.

However, iMovie doesn’t provide any specific feature to add subtitles. But you can still add subtitles and captions to iMovie using Titles option. Moreover, by using this feature of iMovie, you can also adjust the font color, size, subtitles positioning, transitions, and video duration. Sounds great right?

But wait! You might be wondering how to do all that? In this guide, I am going to explain you how to add subtitles to your iMovie video. Also, this guide will let you know the step by step process by simply copy and paste the captions and subtitles from the SRT file. Without further ado, let’s get started and learn how to add subtitles to your video.

How to import an SRT file into iMovie

Subtitles in iMovie

Let’s say you’ve already created a captioning file in SRT or VTT format with an automatic captioning application like checksub.com. I have bad news because unfortunately it is not possible to import an SRT file directly into iMovie. Booooo!

But now I have good news, there are still solutions to integrate your subtitles into your iMovie video.

Create your subtitles on checksub.com and generate an export directly from the platform.

Use Submerge, a paid software to generate a video export by embedding your subtitles in the video.

Or if you share your video on social networks simply import your SRT file on the platform. Youtube, Facebook, Wistia or Linkedin will display your subtitles on the video. The advantage is that you can upload multiple SRT in different languages.

Now you have solutions to use your SRT with your iMovie video.

How to Add Subtitles in iMovie

To add subtitles in iMovie, the only way is to use title tools and enter captions to iMovie project framework manually. It’s a manual process and therefore, you need to insert the individual text blocks into the timeline of iMovie. If you have a SRT file open it for reference. Follow these steps:

  • Open iMovie project and import your iMovie video
  • Now drag the video to the area of iMovie filmstrip and start editing
  • Click on the ‘Titles’ menu present right at the top of page
  • Select and add the title to your iMovie timeline that suits you
Select Text Tile Option
  • Drag and position the subtitle and align it with your speaker in the video
  • Go to default setting to adjust your style of title; here, you can also change the text, font size, boldness, outline of title

Pro-tip: spend sufficient time here to adjust your video title as it is quite tedious to go back to settings and change them later.

  • Either hand-type your subtitles or copy/paste the subtitles and align them with the time frame. Simply copy a line and paste into the title block
  • Adjust the text duration time precisely to ensure alignment of audio within your video
  • Once the captions or subtitles have been added, now export the iMovie project with subtitles to ensure alignment, accuracy and timings
  • Once the iMovie project is ready, export the finished video.

Moreover, no special setting is required in iMovie to export video. Simply click on the ‘Share’ button on the top right of the app. Choose your video file and share it to either iMovie theatre, Facebook, iTunes, YouTube, etc.

Share Finished Video to other platforms

How to Add Subtitles in iMovie 11

One should note that the process of adding subtitles to iMovie may vary depending on the iMovie version that you are using. Nevertheless, adding subtitles in iMovie is quite simple.

If you have an iMovie 11, and you want to add subtitles in iMovie 11, simply follow these steps.

Steps Explained

Open iMovie Project

  • Go to ‘File’ and select ‘New Project.’  
  • Drag your video from event browser to the project window
Adding Subtitles to iMovie 11

Choose Title Style

  • Click on the ‘T’ (Text button) from the editing toolbar (menu bar)
  • Select the title of your choice and apply it by dragging it over the project to place it wherever you want
  • Customize subtitles such as font size, color, place of subtitles, lines, etc.
Customize your Subtitle Text

Enter your Subtitle to iMovie Video

  • Drag your subtitles to project at anywhere you want to add titles
  • Now the text will highlight in the Viewer, allowing you to select the background, change subtitles’ duration to increase the length of the movie.

Change the Subtitles’ Duration

  • Double click on the title to change the duration or;
  • Drag the clip slider in iMovie project to adjust its duration and position
Adjust the Duration of Subtitles

Edit Subtitles in Preview Window

  • Once you’ve added the subtitles to the video clip, it will be displayed on the preview window, and now you can edit the subtitles’ text
  • Simply click on the text box and begin editing your text via keyboard
  • After editing, click on ‘Play’ to preview subtitles in video clips

Wrapping Up

Now you know how to easily add subtitles to your video. Hopefully, it is anticipated that Apple will soon develop a feature to add subtitles to videos and movies. Meanwhile, you can add subtitles to your video by simply following the steps mentioned above.

If you find this guide helpful, don’t forget to share it with others. Do let us know your views in the comments section below.


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