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How To Add Custom Text In iMovie

Friday June 14, 2019. 03:00 PM , from MacMost
It can be difficult to get text to look good in iMovie since you can only choose from a limited number of title options. But you can use a graphics app or Keynote to create any text you want, and then overlay that text on your video. By copying a frame of your video, you can adjust the text to look good in Keynote, and then export just the text as a transparent image. This text can fit the video perfectly, or be used as a resizable and moveable element to position in iMovie.

Check out How To Add Custom Text In iMovie at YouTube for closed captioning and more options.
Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with Let me show you how you can add text anywhere you want in iMovie.
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So adding text in iMovie is kind of limited. You have to add a title and there's a limited number of title styles. You have to use one of those and you can only adjust it so much. But it's easy to add text anywhere you want and in any style you want as long as you import the text as a graphic from an external app. Now you can use a graphics app for that but we're just going to use Keynote.
Alright, so we're going to add some text here in iMovie to this image and I want it to be in the upper right hand corner and some colors and fonts and things like that. Now using Titles here is not going to give me what I want. So instead I'm going to go to Keynote. So in Keynote I'm going to use one of the basic templates here and I'm going to make sure it's a wide screen one so it matches the dimensions of the video. I'm going to get it to zoom out so it fits in and get rid of the default stuff here.
Now in order for this to work I have to create a transparent image. So I'm going to click on the background here of my empty Keynote slide and I'm going to go to Format on the right and then I'm going to change the background to No Fill so it will make it transparent. This step is very important! Now I'm going to add some text. Now if I look back at iMovie here I want to add some text in the upper right hand corner. I can just eyeball it and kind of put it in Keynote here on this black background. But what I'd like to do is get it precise and work with the colors a bit.
So I'm going to do Command Shift 5, which is the Mac OS Mojave keyboard shortcut for capturing the screen, and I'm going to click on Capture Selected Portion and then I'm going to adjust the area to match the video here. So I'm basically going to get a sample of what it's going to look like. Now instead of using Capture there I'm just going to do Command C. Command C copies to the Clipboard. So now when I go to Keynote I can Command V to paste it in and there I've got a sample there. It's pretty small. So when I stretch it doesn't look very good. It's basically very pixelated. That's fine. I just want it there for general reference and the colors.
I'll go and click on the text box here, create some new text, and I'm going to select it and change its style. So I can pick a different font for instance. I can make it much bigger. I'm going to change the color here to something. Position it kind of where I want. I'm even going to go to Style, then Shadow, and add a drop shadow to it. Once I have the text looking like I want I can now go and Export this.
So to Export it I want to select the background and Delete it. Get rid of that. Now go to File and Export to Images. I want to change from format to PNG which will allow me to export transparent images and make sure I have Export with transparent backgrounds checked. If you don't have this option that means you didn't set the background to be No Color. So make sure that's done and then go Next. Then Export it. I'll export to the desktop. Now I'll hide Keynote.
In iMovie I'll move over here and I can see that's the folder that was just created with my image. So there's the image there. I can drag and drop the image into iMovie. I'll go back to iMovie. Notice I drag and drop it above the timeline here so it appears here as basically either Cutaway or Picture in Picture. I'm going to make sure it says Cutaway. I'm also going to go to Cropping here. I'm going to set Cropping to Fit. Once I have that set I can see here it appears on top just like I want. I can even adjust the circles here at the top to have it fade in a bit and fade out.
Now you can use any graphics app capable of producing a transparent image to do this. So if you're more comfortable in doing it in Photoshop, for instance, you can do it in Photoshop. I just like how fast you can work with text in Keynote. You don't just have to stick with text. You can use shapes and all sorts of things. Anything you can add as a graphic element in Keynote you can include it in your image and then use it as an overlay on top of your video.
You don't have to position things perfectly. You can just create text in Keynote and then position it in iMovie. You could just move this to the center here. I could make it a lot bigger for higher resolution. I can export this the same way making sure I'm doing PNG, Transparent. Now when I go to bring this in here I can add it in the same way. Instead of setting it to Cutaway I can set it to Picture in Picture. I'll still want to go and set it to Style, Fit. I want to go back to Picture in Picture here and let me position the playback head right in the middle. I can now drag this around and I can stretch the corners to put it where I want. So in this case I can move it up here in the top right. I can make it a little bit bigger. Maybe play with it a bit in the video. This gives me more versatility later on if I want to make an adjustment. I don't have to go all the way back to Keynote to adjust the size and position of the Picture in Picture text here.
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