How to Add Subtitles and Captions in iMovie on iPhone

If your video or movie is in a foreign language, you might want to add subtitles to it so everyone understands it. Here we show you how to add subtitles in iMovie so you can get your videos ready with subtitles on your Apple devices.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Apr. 22, 2020

A number of movies get released each year and there is a large number of movies that are not in English or not in the language that you understand. One of the ways to let people understand these foreign movies is to add subtitles to them. If you also have any movies or videos on your devices that you would like to add subtitles to, you can do so right from within your Apple devices.

Apple’s iMovie app allows you to add any text you want to your videos and you can use this to add your subtitles. These subtitles could be customized according to your preferences. The great thing about iMovie is that it has an extremely easy to use interface and even if you have never done any video editing, you will find it easier to add subtitles to your videos using iMovie.

Further ReadingHow to Use Green Screen in iMovie >

Part 1: Can You Add Subtitles in iMovie?

You will probably want to know if it is possible to add subtitles in iMovie and if it is really feasible to use it for your tasks. The answer is both yes and no. iMovie does allow you to add text which can be used as your movie’s subtitles. However, we would like for you to know that these subtitles are not actually the standard SRT subtitle files. This will actually be a layer of text on your existing video from a technical point of view.

However, that should not affect your movie in any way because your audience will see the same thing as they would do if you had added the standard subtitles. The only thing is they will not be able to turn them off.

Part 2: How to Add Subtitles to Videos in iMovie 11/9/8

Using iMovie to add subtitles to your videos is the best decision you can ever make, thanks to the easy to use interface of the app. Plus, the app is available for free on both iOS as well as Mac based machines so you can use it regardless of what device you are on.

If you want to learn how to add text to iMovie on iPhone, the following steps should help you as well, although they have been performed on a Mac.

1. The first thing you need to do is launch the iMovie app on your machine. Click on Launchpad, search for iMovie, and click on it when it appears on your screen.

Open the iMovie App

Open the iMovie App

2. You will want to create a project for your video if you do not already have one. This can be done by clicking on the Create New option in the Projects tab.

3. When your new or existing project opens, click on the Import Media button and select your video file to be imported into the app. This is the video you will be adding subtitles to.

Add video to iMovie

Add Video to iMovie

4. When the video is added to the app, drag it over to the timeline at the bottom so it is ready for editing.

5. After your video is available in the timeline, click on the Titles tab at the top to expand the text menu. You will now see all of the text styles you can add to your video. Choose any style you like and it will work as subtitles in your video.

Add text to your video in iMovie

Add Text to Your Video in iMovie

6. Once you have added your subtitles to the video, you will want to export the file with your subtitles in it. To do it, click on the File menu at the top, select Share, and then choose the option that says File. It will let you export your video as a file to your machine. Your video along with your subtitles is now ready.

Save the video with subtitles

Save the video with subtitles

Part 3: How to Add Subtitles to Videos in iMovie 10

If you are a user of iMovie 10, you will find that the above steps are not exactly how things work in your version of the app. There is a bit of a difference in the interface of iMovie 10 and the other versions mentioned above.

You will want to follow the following steps for how to add text to video in iMovie 10 to do the task in your app.

  1. Open the iMovie app using your preferred way on your machine.
  2. Start a new project if you have not already done so or edit an existing one from your library.
  3. On the editing screen, make sure the video you want to add text to is available in the timeline. If it is not, drag it over to the timeline and it will get added there.
  4. Click on Titles under Content Library in the left-hand side menu and you should be able to choose a style for your subtitles. You can then type in your text and it will be added to your video.

If you want to know how to move text in iMovie on your iPhone or Mac, it is pretty easy to do. Simply type in your text and then you can drag it over your video and place it wherever you want it to appear. It is as simple as that.

Most users prefer placing their subtitles at the bottom-middle section as that is where we are normally used to seeing subtitles in movies and so on.

The Bottom Line

Adding subtitles to your movies is a great way to make it easier for people to understand what you are trying to say. iMovie lets you do it with ease and our guide above on how to add subtitles in iMovie helps you do just that.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.