How to Add Closed Captions in iMovie: A Simple Guide

How to Add Closed Captions in iMovie for Accessible Video Content Creation

As a content creator, you strive to make your videos engaging and accessible to as many people as possible. One important aspect of creating accessible content is adding closed captions to your videos. In this article, we will guide you through the process of adding closed captions in iMovie, a popular video editing software for Mac users.

Why Closed Captions are Important?

Closed captions are text overlays on videos that display the dialogue, sound effects, and other important audio elements of a video. Captions make your videos accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who prefer to watch videos without sound. In addition, captions improve the overall user experience by making videos more engaging and accessible to viewers in noisy or quiet environments.

How to Add Closed Captions in iMovie?

Adding closed captions in iMovie is a straightforward process. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Create a new project in iMovie and import your video.

Step 2: Once your video is imported, click on the “Captions” button in the top right corner of the iMovie interface.

Step 3: Click on “Add Caption” and select the language you want to use for your captions.

Step 4: Type your captions into the text box that appears below the video. You can also adjust the font, size, and color of your captions if necessary.

Step 5: Use the playhead to synchronize your captions with your video. Select the first caption, play the video, and adjust the timing of the caption until it matches the spoken audio. Repeat this process for all your captions.

Step 6: Once your captions are synchronized, click on the “Export” button in the top right corner of the iMovie interface. Select “File” and choose the format and quality of your exported video.

Step 7: Click on “Next” and enter a name and location for your exported video. Make sure to select the “Include captions” option.

Step 8: Click on “Save” and wait for your video to export. Once the export is complete, your closed captions will be included in the final video.

Tips for Creating Effective Closed Captions

Adding closed captions is just the first step in creating accessible video content. Here are some tips to help you create effective captions that enhance the viewer experience:

1. Use clear and concise language – Captions should be easy to read and understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complex sentence structures.

2. Time your captions correctly – Captions should appear and disappear at the right time to match the spoken dialogue. Use the playhead to ensure your captions are synchronized with your video.

3. Use proper formatting – Captions should be formatted in a way that makes them easy to read. Use a sans-serif font, such as Arial or Helvetica, and make sure your captions are not too large or too small.

4. Include speaker identification – If your video has multiple speakers, it’s important to identify who is speaking in your captions.

5. Don’t forget about sound effects – Captions should also include important sound effects that are relevant to the video.


Adding closed captions to your videos is an essential step in creating accessible content for your viewers. With the help of iMovie, you can easily add closed captions to your videos and enhance the user experience. By following the tips we’ve outlined in this article, you can create effective captions that improve the accessibility and engagement of your video content.

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