How To Add Text In Final Cut Pro With 4 Easy Steps

We all love text that pops off the screen! That can make trailers, credits, and even vfx really exciting. Thank goodness Final Cut can do that. Let’s get those credits and other uses for text looking snazzy. Today I’m going to show you how to add text in Final Cut Pro in 6 easy steps! 

Why Would You Add Text To Your Films

There are a few reasons why adding text can be insanely helpful. 

Reason #1: Subtitles

Has anyone else heard that when you have subtitles you can hear better? Or when you have on headphones and you lean into your computer screen to hear what someone is saying? Yeah that’s a thing.

But really, subtitles make videos accessible. Accessible = more eyes on your project.

It’s been shown that a good chunk of people watch videos without sound. Often times when we are in public spaces I feel like people are more likely to scowl at you if you are playing a video with the volume on. Ergo, subtitles are amazing. 

Reason #2: Highlights

This is great for tutorial videos. If you are doing a tutorial type of video, the audience will definitely want some bullet point steps. No one wants to be jamming their hands in dough and then they have to keep rewidinging to follow your voice.

With your bullet points on screen, they can pause it and follow along at their own pace. Let’s say you aren’t one for vocalizing your process and you just want music the background. Even better! Throw some text on there to give everyone exact measurements of your ingredients.

Reason #3: Branding

As content creators, we are all brands now. With branding comes a signature look. A good way to pack a puch in your particular branding is to use text! Grab a font you really enjoy (make sure you look at the license agreement) and go to town. If used effectively, people will know its you, just based off your branding and use of text. 

Now that we have talked a little bit about the importance of text, lets jump right in. I’m going to be using an example from one of our films, “On This Day“. 

Synopsis: A young woman is thrust into reliving a night from years ago with her best friend, but not all memories come without consequence.

We were fortunate enough to win the AT&T Creatathon with this film as well as being featured on Boyish Media. We would love to have you check it out. There is also text use in this film so take that for what you will!

How To Add Text In Final Cut Pro

Step 1: Open Titles and Generators

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 1

Click on the titles and Generators icon in the upper right-hand corner. If you don’t already have this window accessible, click on Window > Go To > Titles and Generators

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 2

Step 2: Find Your Title

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 3

Scroll down and find the title you want or use the search feature. The title refers to how you want the text to appear on screen whether that’s scrolling, doing a flip etc. You will be able to pick your font after.

Step 3: Apply Your Text

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 4

Once you find the text you’d like, simply drag and drop it above your video. Not on top of the video as you will get a message that asks if you want to replace the video etc. Which you don’t want.

Imagine there is a layer above your video and place it there. Once it’s dropped, make sure your box is outlined in yellow so that it is selected. If it’s not, click on it. 

Step 4: Customize Your Font

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 5

Then you can either click on the text in your main viewing window to edit it, or edit in the pop-up dialogue box on the right-hand side. If your text isn’t visible, make sure your cursor or playhead is overtop of your selected title. From there you can change your font, size, and alignment and even choose between 2D and 3D styles.

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 6

Choose between 2D and 3D styles by clicking on your font at the top of the text box. Then choose from those selections. Keep in mind that these are presets so you won’t be able to customize as much.

To choose between other fonts, click on the font below in the Basic dialogue box. Then you can choose different fonts you’d like and add different features or adjust the font size, alignment, etc. 

Add Text In Final Cut Pro - Step 7

FAQS

While this is a pretty straightforward process, you may have a few questions. So let’s jump into common questions I often get asked.

Can You Import Your Own Fonts: 

Yes you can absolutely import fonts in Final Cut Pro! If you have already downloaded your font on your computer, simply navigate to your titles and generators search box where we originally started. Instead of choosing any one you want, select “Custom” as your title.

Once you have dragged that above your clip use the Basic text editing box (not the 2D or 3D). There is an image under the section Customize Your Font to show you which box. From there, you can select ANY font that you have downloaded on your computer! 

Can You Change The Color Of Your Font: 

Yes! Keep in mind this will not work if you select a 2D or 3D style as those are effects baked in already. But if  you aren’t using any of those options just scroll down in the Basic box until you see “Face” click on “show” on the right hand side of that and from there you can adjust your color. 

To wrap it up, there are a lot of reasons to add text to your projects. Don’t be afraid to play around and find something new that may work for you. Final Cut Pro adds a lot of flare to their text so take advantage of that.

I hope this tutorial on how to add text in Final Cut Pro was easy to navigate and happy filmmaking!

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Courtney Birk

Courtney Birk is a Los Angeles-based actress, colorist, and multi-media artist. She’s never quite satisfied with having enough artistic outlets – so she’s usually painting, singing, and collaborating with her best friend to find creative ways for new storytelling. Her passion for the arts has driven her to work in many different mediums, including music, fine art, theater and film production.

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