Adding subtitles and captions in Final Cut Pro X

Subtitles are becoming more and more important, especially for digital content creators and accessibility reasons. Not only does the on-screen text help the hearing-impaired audience members, but when it comes to digital content, a big part of the viewers also don’t listen to videos with sound, so subtitles are a great way to go if you want to make sure your videos reach a wide-ranging audience.

In which format do I download my captions?

  • SRT (SubRip Text): This format is also supported by Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo. The SRT format is simple: Each caption has a number, a start and end timecode (in decimals), and one or more lines of text with HTML tags. SRT captions can be imported or exported as separate files, but they can’t be embedded in an output media file. Unlike captions in other formats, exported SRT captions can be read and edited in a plain text editor.

Adding subtitles in Final Cut Pro X:

Step 1: Import your files

Importing captions is very easy:

  • With your Project open, go to File > Import > Caption.
  • Choose your SRT file, and select 'Import'. 
  • Final Cut Pro X will lay out all the captions in the video according to the timecodes in the file.

Step 2: Re-adjust if necessary 

Once all of your subtitles have been imported into your video, you might need to adjust the timings and possibly rearrange some titles. 

  • You can move the titles around by selecting and dragging them. We'd recommend you to be careful when doing so, as placing subtitles in top of others will override them. 
  • To trim your subtitles, just grab the end of the caption block and drag it to increase or decrease its length, just like with our editor's timeline!
  • If you want to duplicate a caption, you can do so by holding 'Alt' (or 'Option', if you're on Mac) as you select and drag the title.
  • To delete a caption, simply select it and hit Backspace.

Step 3: It's time to customize!

Once all your captions are on the video and synced, you can do some basic changes to change the font to your liking. 

  • You can edit an individual line or several at the same time, just by selecting the captions you want to format.
  • You can change also the placement of the subtitles from the bottom to the top on specific parts of the video, depending on your needs. 
  • Changing the color of your captions can be helpful when creating captions with multiple speakers, for example.
  • Finally, you will also find the three basic text options: Bold, Italic, and Underline, which will help you emphasize specific parts of your text.

Optional step: Add additional languages

If you want to use our Translation tool to produce subtitles in different languages, you can do it as well. You will find a full step-by-step guide on this article.

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