How to Move Text in iMovie on Mac

If you’re using iMovie on a Mac to create a video project, the Titles feature is the sole option for adding text to your video. However, this feature does not provide the ability to move text boxes around the video frame. You will have the option to choose when the text appears in your video and make slight adjustments to the text alignment. 

Hi, I’m Nancy, and I have several years of experience creating projects on iMovie. Since it’s not possible to move text boxes around freely, I’ve had to explore the various title styles to find ways around this issue.

In this article, I will share some creative tips on how you can effectively move text in iMovie despite its limited functions.

2 Methods to Move Text in iMovie on a Mac

Here are two creative ways to move text in iMovie.

Titles Feature

iMovie offers more than 50 title styles, but unfortunately none of these options allow you to move the text around the screen as you wish. Instead, many of these title styles come with built-in animations that create movement when the text appears on the screen. 

The titles have a pre-set layout that make them appear at the top, middle, or bottom of the screen. Then in the Font controls section, you can change the alignment to move the text to the left, center, or right. 

Making this small adjustment in the alignment can have a significant impact on the positioning of your text in the video.

Use a PNG Text Image

To move a text image to any desired position on the screen, you can use the Picture in Picture Overlay feature. Follow the steps below to learn how to use this technique. 

Step 1: Turn your text into a PNG file and import it into your iMovie media library. Drag the text image to the timeline and position it above the clip where you want it to appear.

Step 2: Click the image and go to the Video Overlay Settings in the toolbar. Next, in the dropdown menu, select the Picture in Picture option. Once it’s activated, you should be able to move the text image anywhere on the frame.

Why Can’t I Move the Text Box in iMovie?

You can’t move the text box in iMovie because the title styles already have their own default layout settings. You can’t move the text boxes around the screen but you can change the alignment of the text to move it slightly. 

Can You Change the Speed of Text in iMovie?

When you want to change the speed of the text, you are essentially modifying the duration of how long the text will be displayed on the screen.

There are two ways to change the duration of a title in iMovie. 

Option 1: Click on the title bar and drag either edge to trim or extend the title. This increases or decreases the time it’s shown by the second.

Option 2: Click the title bar in the timeline, then click on the Clip Information button in the toolbar, and type a duration in the Duration field.


Here are some commonly asked questions about using text in iMovie.

Can You Add Captions or Subtitles to iMovie?

Although iMovie does not have a built-in feature for captions or subtitles, you can still add them manually by using an appropriate title style such as “Lower” and syncing the title texts with your audio track.

Can You Move Text Freely in iMovie?

The movement of text is restricted in the Mac version of iMovie. However, the iMovie app for iPhone and iPad provides more flexibility in moving text around.

How to Move Text in iMovie on iPhone and iPad?

To move text in iMovie on an iPhone or iPad, you need to select a place in your timeline where you want the text to be, and then hit the Text icon (the T icon). Click and drag the text on the screen and place it in your desired location in the movie.

Final Thoughts

Even though you can’t move text in iMovie, you can try to use the Picture in Picture overlay technique to add customized text to your video. iMovie provides a variety of animated title styles that can add an engaging touch to your video. By using these titles, you can incorporate captivating movements to your video as they appear in your clips.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any other tips on how to move text in iMovie, please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

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