Adding Titles to Video Clips

Titles are a way to add short descriptive text to a video clip, such as the name of a person who is speaking on a clip.

Screen shot of iMovie title windowTo add a title, in the Viewer click on the clip to which you want to add a title.

Then click on the Title button in the button bar at the bottom of the Shelf area on the right.

In the window that appears, you'll see a box listing the different types of titles (each of which has a blue icon).

Select the title you want, such as a Subtitle...Subtitle. A preview of the title will be displayed when you click on it so you can see how it will appear on your clip.

Now type the words for your title into the top line of the field at the bottom of the window. For many titles you also can type in a subhead in the next field below.

Next select the font style for your title in the drop-down menu on the left that lists the available fonts.

Then select the size of the words in your title by dragging the button on the title size slider just below. Drag the bar to the left for a small title or to the right for a large title.

Each time you make a selection your video clip with the new title will play in the preview pane. Or you can click on the Preview button to see the clip and title play in the Monitor to the left.

You also can click on the box next to the word Color and use the color palette to pick a color for your title.

If you want your title to appear on a black background, rather than superimposed over the video, click on the small box next to the words Over Black.

And if you plan to export your clips as a QuickTime movie, you can check the small box next to QT Margins to ensure the title fits in the margins of the QuickTime movie.

You can adjust the speed or duration of the title by dragging the blue button in the sliding Speed bar near the top. Drag to the left to shorten the duration of the time your title will appear on a clip, or to the right to increase the duration of the title.

For some titles, you also can use the little wheel to adjust the direction from which a particular title appears on the screen (click on the Wipe title, for example, to see how you can adjust the direction of the title using the wheel).

When you're done with your selections, click on the blue icon for your title, drag it down to the Viewer area and position it just before the clip where you want the title to begin. Release it and you'll notice that a blue title clip has appeared in the Viewer. This is the portion of your video clip on which the title will appear. The remainder of the video, on which the title doesn't appear, has been split into a second clip.

You'll also see a red line appear under the clip, with the red area moving slowly to the right. When titles are added, the affected video must be regenerated, or rendered.

This red line shows the progress of the rendering process. It may take a few moments for the rendering to complete (particularly if you selected a long title between clips, which will take a longer time to render).

When the rendering is done, you can move the Playhead to the beginning of the clip and then click on the play button to see your movie play, with the title now displayed on the clip.

You add additional transitions between other clips in the same way.

Note: you will not be able to drag a title to the beginning of a clip if you've already inserted a transition there from the previous clip. To add a title to a clip after a transition, you need to split the clip in two.

To do that, move the Playhead to a point just to the right of the end of the transition. Then in the menu at the top select Edit...Split Video Clip at Playhead. That will split off a second clip right after the transition.

Now you can drag a title down and insert it just before the newly created second clip.

To remove a title, click on the clip that contains the title and in the menu at the top select Edit...Clear. That will eliminate the title but won't affect the underlying video.