How to Add Captions and Subtitles in iMovie With SRT Files?

When it comes to getting a robust video editing program, Mac users have a great option in the form of iMovie. It is an excellent video editing tool that is good for basic to intermediate levels of editing. It is available for free to download for mac devices. Though Windows OS lacks such a dedicated official editing tool, users always have an option to get other apps similar to iMovie.

Despite being an excellent tool for video developers and editors, iMovie does not provide a direct option to add a subtitle or a caption in the video. However, users can utilize one of its specialized features – “Titles” for fulfilling that purpose. Users can also use Titles to adjust the font color, size, position of the caption, and the duration and transition of the video.

How to Add Captions and Subtitles in iMovie With SRT Files

In this post, we would discuss how to utilize the Titles feature of iMovie to add subtitles or captions in the video.

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What are Caption and Subtitle?

You might have noticed text generated at the bottom of the video while it is being played. This text either displays what the speaker is saying in the video or just translates or describes whatever the person in the video is saying into another language. This text may be either a Caption or a Subtitle.

Many people assume that Caption and Subtitle are both the same thing; however, that is not correct. It is true that they both overlap in many ways but are used for different purposes.

Captions are the text displayed on the screen describing the spoken part of the video and also explain the non-speed sounds. It is basically the text version of the video being played. They are generally added to the videos to make the intent of the speaker in the video clearer to the viewers. For example, many people might be suffering from a hearing problem or are permanently deaf.

What are Caption and Subtitle

Similarly, many people might understand English, but since it is not their mother tongue, they might find it difficult to grasp some words instantly. Captions make it easy to enjoy the video for such an audience.

There are two types of captions, Closed Caption and Open Caption.

Closed Captions are the ones that can be turned off if not required, while Open Captions are the part of the video so cannot be turned off.

On the other hand, subtitles are meant for people who do not understand the language spoken in the video. The subtitle texts are translated into the native language of the viewer for a better understanding. You might have used subtitles mostly for experiencing foreign-language films.

The standard subtitles assume that the viewers can hear the voice. However, now the subtitles are also created for the deaf or hearing problem people, known by the name Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDHH).

Why Captions or Subtitles are necessary in Video?

In the world of video marketing, Captions/Subtitles have become an integral part of the video so that the message of the videos can be conveyed more impactfully. Here are the other top reasons why Captions or Subtitles are essential in the videos:

  • To make your video accessible globally for people speaking different languages.
  • Adding subtitles or captions might increase the video engagement since most people like to watch videos silently while at work, during classes, or in a noisy environment.
  • Deaf or hard of hearing people comprises almost 20% of the video audience. Adding the subtitle/caption will attract that audience to your videos.
  • Many people are not good visual learners, so adding captions in tutorial videos can help them understand the subject more clearly.
  • Many people require subtitles to watch and clearly understand foreign movies and TV shows.

How to Add Captions or Subtitles using iMovie?

You cannot directly add the caption or subtitle in your videos using the SRT files on iMovie. However, the SRT file of the subtitle would still be necessary while manual insertion. Here are the steps to add captions or subtitles in a video using the iMovie tool;

  1. Launch the iMovie application.
  2. Create a new iMovie Project and import the video on which you want to insert the captions.
  3. Drag the video to the iMovie filmstrip to begin editing
  4. On the top of the page, you will find the ‘Titles’ option; click on it.
  5. Next, select and add the title that suits the timeline of your video.
  6. Choose the Text tile option. You can copy the subtitles from the SRT file and paste them.
  7. Now drag the subtitle and drop it to the filmstrip. Synchronize the caption/subtitle with the audio of the video.
  8. Select the title and adjust its appearance by modifying its font size, color, position, etc.
  9. After the editing is completed, click “Play” to preview the video with the subtitles. Make sure that the titles are matching with the audio.
  10. Save and share the video.

Some Professional Tips

Here are some tips that might be helpful for you while you are working on the iMovie editor.

  • Carefully type or paste the titles of your video. It is tedious to go back and change it.
  • You can manually type the subtitles or copy and paste them from the SRT file.
  • Adjust the text correctly as per the duration of the sound in the video.
  • You can directly share the edited video on YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, and others.

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Bottom Line

To make your video more impactful and enhance its engagement, adding captions or subtitles has become a necessity. Many Mac users either go for the pirated programs or other paid video editors to add captions or subtitles in their videos.

Instead of risking your system by using pirated software or unnecessarily spending on different video editing tools, you can use iMovie for free on your Mac. Since the demand for adding captions in the video is ever-increasing, in the future, Apple might include an option in iMovie to add them directly.