How to Add Subtitles to iMovie on Mac

iMovie does not come with a built-in feature for adding subtitles to videos. However, subtitles can be added using the Titles feature. Simply select the Lower title style and add it to the timeline. Then, manually enter the captions for the audio in your video line by line.

Hi! I’m Nancy and I’ve been making videos in iMovie for many years. When I watch videos, I always choose the option to have subtitles. They have a lot of benefits like helping people with hearing issues, letting you keep the volume low, and making it easier to understand when the sound quality is poor. 

In this article, I’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of how to manually add subtitles in iMovie, and also provide you with two free options for adding subtitles automatically to your videos.

Can I Add Subtitles in iMovie?

Depending on the length of the video and the amount of dialogue, manually adding subtitles can be a time-consuming process. Rest assured, the process is relatively simple. 

Follow the steps below to learn how to add subtitles.

Step 1: Adding subtitles typically occurs toward the end of the video editing process. Let’s suppose you intend to add subtitles to the entire video from beginning to end. To begin, navigate to the browser menu and select Titles.

Step 2: Choose the title style Lower and drag it onto the timeline on top of the video clips. Next, access the editor toolbar in the viewer and begin adding the text for your voiceover. 

Typically, subtitles are displayed one line at a time at the bottom of the video. Therefore, you’ll need to create a new text box for each phrase or sentence.

Step 3: The text box can be edited by using the Title Settings controls by adjusting the font, text size, color, and alignment. Continue this process until all the necessary subtitles have been added to correspond with the video’s audio.

To modify the duration of each text clip, either align the text boxes side by side in the timeline or access the Clip Information button in the editor and input the appropriate time.

How Do You Add Subtitles to iMovie Without Transitions?

There are several title styles in iMovie that incorporate animations, which cause the text to move. To avoid distracting the audience while reading the subtitles, it’s best to utilize basic title styles that don’t include transitions at the beginning of each text clip. For this reason, I suggest using the Lower title style for subtitles.

2 Alternative Ways to Add Subtitles to a Video

To save time, you may consider using these two free alternative video editing programs that can automatically add subtitles to your video. But first, you will need to export your completed iMovie project and save it on your computer.


To use CapCut’s free online video editor, you’ll need to first create a free account. Once you’ve done so, click on the plus sign to create a new project. Import your video into CapCut and then add it to the timeline.

From there, select the Text tool on the sidebar menu and click on Auto Captions at the top. To automatically add subtitles to your video, choose the Recognize Voice option and press the Create button.

This will generate subtitles for your video in just a few moments and a text section will be added to the timeline. 

By clicking on the text section, you’ll be able to see all of the captions beside the viewer. There are various editing tools available for you to modify the captions and text.

With you can add subtitles to your video for free without having to sign up for an account. Start by uploading your video to a new project. Then click the Auto Subtitle button to automatically add subtitles to your video. 

After the subtitles have been added, you can review the captions and modify the text boxes as needed. Click on the Styles button at the top to customize the text and then click Done to export your video.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! iMovie, Capcut, or are excellent options to consider for adding subtitles to your videos. When you add subtitles to your videos, it makes them more accessible to a wider audience, particularly for non-native English speakers. 

Personally, I find subtitles useful because it keeps me engaged in the video and prevents me from missing important details.

We hope you found this article helpful. Let us know in the comment section below if you have any further questions on how to add subtitles in iMovie.

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