How to Add Text to a Video

RevBlogResourcesHow to Add Text to a Video

Did you know that over 100 million hours of Facebook videos are watched every day?

Considering that as much as 85% of those views occur with the sound off, you’re in a losing battle if your video content doesn’t include text.

Fortunately, there are simple ways you can add text to a video while using modern editing tools. And with our exported caption files, you’re only a few clicks away from textually optimized content.

How to Add Text to a Video with Rev 

Essentially, adding text to a video can be completed in three ways. You can:

  1. Manually transcribe the audio into your editing tool

  2. Copy and paste a transcription to the video editor

  3. Upload a pre-formatted SRT caption file to the video editor

Text in video content is a fantastic way to reach more viewers, improve the user experience, and get your brand recognized.  And fortunately, the hassle has lessened significantly thanks to new technology that makes it easy to add captions yourself.

Manually Adding Text to a Video

Adding text manually is the most challenging method available. For this to work, you’ll need:

  • A text editor
  • A copy of your video’s audio
  • A video editor
  • …and lots of time

Start by opening your text editor alongside the video and begin transcribing everything that’s said. Depending on your experience with transcription, you may find yourself backtracking often to ensure you’ve copied the correct words.

The average person speaks around 100 to 130 words per minute. Given that the average professional typist hits speeds around 50 to 80 words per minute, you should expect that backtracking to occur.

One method of transcription that better facilitates manual input is adding timestamps as you work. This practice helps you find your place when making edits but also lets you easily add text to the correct places within the timeline of your video editing software.

Another valuable tip is to add titles and subtitles within your work. By including these in your video’s captioning, readers can better track topics and retain more information.

Copying Text to a Video

The second most challenging method is copying and pasting text to a video.

The unfortunate truth is that some of the most popular video editing tools can’t download SRT caption files or other common formats. This means you’re stuck transferring the transcriptions we provide into your editing software, line by line.

To do this:

  1. Use a transcription tool (like Rev) to create your caption file.
  2. Select the video editing tool of choice.
  3. Follow instructions for how to add text to a video for that tool.
  4. Open your caption file in a text editor.
  5. Copy and paste each line into the proper timing of your video.

You can check out some available video editing tools below.

Adding Text with iMovie 

iMovie, for instance, doesn’t feature a dedicated captioning tool. To add captions, users must drag and drop their video to the filmstrip area, then select the ‘Titles’ option and the style called ‘Lower.’

With that tool, users can add text for roughly five seconds of video. An additional caption must be added for each section you want to include. Because the text block appears above the film strip, users can also fine-tune the amount of time the text appears on the screen.

This can be extremely time-consuming, especially for lengthier videos. The most difficult aspect is the proper alignment of text to audio, particularly if multiple people are speaking in the video.

Adding Text with Windows Movie Maker

Unlike iMovie, Windows Movie Maker maintains a captioning tool. This inserts a text element within the video that can be edited for length. The tool does require users to create a new caption for every line of text added to the video.

While iMovie and Windows Movie Maker serve as valuable pieces of editing software, they weren’t designed to add captions with ease. We recommend breaking your work into 30-second segments. After you’ve added all captions for a segment, you can double-check the timing of your text as it relates to the video. This stops you from getting too far along before realizing your captions don’t align, and helps you become more familiar with the process.

Adding Text to a Video with Rev

The final method is by far the easiest. When we transcribe files, the output is an SRT file. This is a raw caption file that can be uploaded to any platform where a video will be hosted.

Since most platforms today support SRT files, it means your social media videos on Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, and more, can have captions quickly imported. This is done through our captioning workflow. By connecting your various social media accounts to Rev during checkout, we can deliver captions to your channels automatically. You can visit our Integrations page to see which services are supported.

Some popular video editing tools also accept captioning files we can export, making it even easier for you to include captions in your videos.

Adding Text with Avid

With Avid, users can request a Spruce Subtitle File (.stl) to add captions. After creating a “New Sequence” inside the Bin area, add a separate “Video Track” to your project. Once the track is toggled on, go to “Tools,” then “Effect Palette” and “Generator.” This is where you’ll find the option for “SubCap” that you can drag and drop into your track. Then, following the same options as earlier, you’ll now see an “Import Caption Data” button under the SubCap options, where you can add your STL file to the project.

Adding Text with Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro

Adobe’s Premiere Pro makes it even easier to add captions. From the File menu, select “New,” then “Captions.” As long as the frame rate of the caption file and the video match, the file will be uploaded.

Final Cut Pro follows a similar process. Users must select “Modify,” and then “Edit Roles.” Final Cut will add the caption role to your project’s library, allowing you to use your captions as necessary.

If social videos with captions can increase your view rate by over 40%, it becomes incredibly difficult to argue against adding text to your videos. Check out some of our additional resources to learn more about the other caption file types we offer and tips for how to improve the quality of your videos with captions.