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How to Add Subtitles in iMovie

Catrina Jones
Catrina Jones

Catrina Jones is a qualified editor of this website aimed at multimedia software. She is a regular contributor of product tutorials, reviews as well as tips and tricks, helping all users edit, download or create enjoyable videos.

"Recently, I downloaded a video from NicoVideo but it was in Japanese. I needed to add English subtitles to the video so that everyone who watches the movies can understand what's being said. So how can I make subtitles in iMovie?"


iMovie is Apple's default video editing software. In iMovie you can create trailers, add subtitles, trim clips, add effects and more. It comes free and its set of tools is usually more than enough for simple video editing. If you are brand new to iMovie, you can follow this tutorial to learn how to add subtitles in iMovie.


Note: Before you start adding subtitles to video with iMovie, you should make sure that the video or movie format is compatible with iMovie. iMovie can only work with MP4, MOV, M4V videos. So if your video is formatted as FLV, WMV, MAK, etc., you can use Video Converter Ultimate to convert your video to iMovie supported format first.

Part 1 How to Add Subtitles in iMovie

Step 1. Open iMovie Project

Launch iMovie and go to "File" > "New Project" > "Create to add a new project". Then you can import your movie/video into iMovie by clicking on "File" > "Import" > "Movie". When the video is added into the "Project Library", you can drag the video clip to the project window.

Open iMovie Project

Step 2. Select Subtitle Format

Click on "T" from the toolbar and you will see a list of title styles. Choose the one you want and drag it to your project where you'd like to add caption. And then you can enter text in the "Title Text Here" box.

Select Subtitle Format

Step 3. Change Fronts

You can customize the subtitles as you like, such as fonts, colors, sizes, numbers of lines, subtitles place, etc. by simply go to "Show Fonts" > "Chang e Fonts".  If this step is unnecessary for you, you can skip it.

Step 4. Adjust Duration

Now you can preview the video with subtitles. If you want to adjust the duration of your iMovie subtitles, you can double-click on the title clip and drag the slider in the project to adjust the beginning point and ending point of the subtitles.

Adjust Duration

Step 5. Save Settings

Now you can preview the video with subtitles. If you want to adjust the duration of your iMovie subtitles, you can double-click on the title clip and drag the slider in the project to adjust the beginning point and ending point of the subtitles.

Part 2. Add Subtitles to Videos with iMovie Alternatives

iMovie Alternative 1. Wondershare Filmora – Advanced Subtitles Maker

Filmora Video Editor is an all-in-one video editor that supplies all the flexibility you need to make stunning videos. It supports adding animated text and titles to your video and offers you specifically designed filters and overlays. It has a wide variety of effects that you can carry out in any of your option. Most importantly, it supports various video formats such as MP4, FLV, AVI, VOB, MOV, F4V, M4V and more so you don't need to convert them to iMovie supported format. It is an advanced video editing program that can make your video more appealing and colorful.

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How to Make Subtitles in Movies with Filmora?

Step 1. Launch the program and then import the video into the program. Drag the video into the project window.

Step 2. Click on "TEXT/CREDIT" button from the toolbar and you will see all the text styles on the media library. You can preview and select the one you like and click on "+" button to add it into to the project window.

Step 3. Double click the text in the timeline, a new Window will pop up. You can adjust the fonts, size, color, etc. to make your text look better.

Make Subtitle

iMovie Alternative 2. Video Converter Ultimate – Basic Subtitles Creator

Video Converter Ultimate is both a video converter and video editor. Aside from converting videos between various formats, it allows you to edit video with basic functions like video clipping, adjusting effects, adding watermark and adding subtitles. Different from other video editing software, this program allows you import downloaded subtitles directly or you can search subtitles over the Internet for your video/movie. But it doesn't support manually adding subtitles.

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How to Make Subtitles in Movies with Video Converter Ultimate?

Step 1. Run the program and click on "Add Files" to import video into the program.

Step 2. Click on "Edit" button and you will see the video-editing panel pop up. Go to the toolbar and select the last option "Subtitle".

Step 3. Now you can click on "Subtitle" button to import the subtitles from your local folder. For Windows user you can use "Search Subtitles" function to search a proper subtitle for your video.

Step 4. Finally, click on "OK" to save the settings.

Video Converter Ultimate

If you have any questions about how to add subtitles in iMovie, or any tips or advice in using iMovie, you can leave them in the comments below.

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