How To Add Subtitles in iMovie

Keaton Robbins | March 23, 2023

A woman works on her laptop in her office with a purple iMovie logo over her right shoulder.

iMovie is an advanced video editing software developed by Apple Inc. for Mac and iOS devices, enabling users to create high-quality movies. 

With its intuitive user interface, powerful tools, and wide range of features, iMovie makes it possible for anyone to become a professional filmmaker. One valuable feature is the ability to add subtitles.

Subtitles can be super helpful to viewers, from aiding those with hearing impairments or language barriers to enhancing the viewing experience. 

In this article

  1. What Is iMovie?
  2. How To Use iMovie?
  3. Features of iMovie
  4. Split-Screen Video Editing:
  5. Picture-in-Picture Effects:
  6. How to Add Subtitles in iMovie
  7. Why Subtitles Are Effective
  8. Conclusion

In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can add subtitles in iMovie and why they’re so effective. So let’s dive into all things iMovie.

What Is iMovie?

For macOS and iOS devices, iMovie is the go-to option for creating and editing videos, with options to include audio tracks, captions, transitions, and effects. iMovie provides a straightforward user experience, making it simple for beginners to make professional-looking films.

The main app window presents all your media clips, so you can quickly choose which ones to include in your film project. You can also drag-and-drop them into the timeline below or use the built-in tools like precision editor or audio scrubbing for more control over your projects. With iMovie’s library of soundtracks, themes, and filters, you have plenty of options to deliver a unique look for each clip.

When sharing your work, iMovie offers various methods, such as YouTube integration, AirDrop support, iCloud Drive storage, and direct export formats. You can take advantage of YouTube integration and upload finished movies directly from within iMovie without having to jump through hoops first. 

How To Use iMovie?

To get started, you first need to add media by either dragging and dropping from a PC or connecting an external gadget like a camera or mobile phone. Once you’ve imported your media, drag it onto the timeline where you can start editing.

When it comes to trimming clips, iMovie makes the process straightforward. The timeline’s bottom-located slider bar, or the Command+T (Mac) / Control+T (Windows) shortcut, can be used to access fine-tuned markers for a more exact clip-trimming experience.

Finally, don’t forget about text overlays; these are great for title cards and credit sections. Simply go into the ‘Text’ tab above the timeline, select your desired style and font size, then type away until satisfied with the results. A few clicks or taps can give your project an extra touch of pizzazz.

Features of iMovie

iMovie boasts a plethora of features to make creating videos effortless and enjoyable. The latest version offers 4K resolution, resulting in clearer, more vivid visuals. That means your videos will look sharper and more vibrant. 

Split-Screen Video Editing:

Split-screen video editing lets you display two different clips side-by-side, which can be great if you want viewers’ attention focused on both clips simultaneously or simply want them compared to one another. Plus, it’s super easy—all you have to do is drag one clip over another, and voila! You’ve got yourself a split-screen masterpiece ready for viewing pleasure.

Picture-in-Picture Effects:

If split screens aren’t enough for you, why not try out picture-in-picture (PiP) effects? With PiP, multiple images layer so that each appears in its window on top of the others. That is perfect for creating promotional materials like trailers and instructional tutorials, where showing multiple angles would be beneficial.

How to Add Subtitles in iMovie

Subtitles can be a useful tool to make your content more accessible and entertaining for viewers. iMovie makes it effortless to incorporate subtitles into your clips. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Open the iMovie app and pick your project.
  2. Select the clip or scene you want to add subtitles to, then click ‘Titles’ from the top menu bar.
  3. Choose a subtitle style from the available options and enter your desired text in the box provided.
  4. Adjust any other settings related to font size, color, etc., if desired; when finished, click ‘Done’ and watch as your subtitles appear overtop your clip.
  5. If needed, adjust their placement by dragging them around with your mouse until they look just right – once satisfied with their position, hit save, and you’re all set.

Incorporating subtitles into your iMovie creations can be an excellent way to provide extra context and make the material more comprehensible. Now more than ever, adding subtitles can be a way for you to maximize the potential of your iMovie project. Let’s look at several reasons for how they can benefit you, your content, and your audience. 

Why Subtitles Are Effective

Subtitles are a powerful tool for video creators, providing accessibility and additional context to viewers. They can make videos more accessible to people with hearing impairments or those who don’t understand the language spoken in the video. Subtitles also help draw attention to important words or phrases, allowing viewers to understand key points without having to rewatch the entire video.

For example, subtitles help break down complex topics by highlighting technical terms that might otherwise go unnoticed by viewers. In that context, subtitles can make it simpler for an audience to comprehend the subject matter, enabling them to track along more effectively. Additionally, subtitles provide a visual representation of dialogue that helps capture an audience’s attention better than audio alone could.

Subtitles can help viewers process extended pieces of content more easily by splitting them into smaller sections; this way, people won’t be overwhelmed or lose interest due to long speeches. 

Finally, subtitles give you more flexibility when editing your videos since you won’t have to worry about ensuring all audio clips fit perfectly together during post-production workflows. Utilizing subtitles will reduce the time spent dealing with any errors and let you focus on creating captivating content for your audience.


iMovie is a fantastic tool for creating and editing videos. Its powerful features allow users to add subtitles to make their projects more effective. Subtitles can benefit viewers who may not comprehend the spoken language or have hearing impairments.

Whether you’re an experienced iMovie user or just getting started, adding subtitles can help enhance your project’s reach and effectiveness.

Wondering what are some other great editing software for voice over? Read our blog looking at The Best Professional Video Editing Software Programs for 2023

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