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Windows Movie Maker: Putting Text on Top of Clips

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Misty Faucheux•updated: 6/12/2009

Here is an easy tutorial for putting text right on top of your video clips in Windows Movie Maker.

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    Type It Out

    Text is a necessary part of video editing. Whether it is to indicate something about the video in the frame, add artistic choices, or apply simple titles or credits, you need the freedom to apply text freely. Windows Movie Maker allows for quite a bit of this, though it still remains fairly limited. Fortunately, Windows Movie Maker allows you to place text over specified clips where you need.

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    Add Text

    Go ahead, and find the clip that you want to add text to in your Windows Movie Maker Timeline or Storyboard. Select the clip, and then go to the Movie Tasks bar on the right hand side of the Windows Movie Maker display. Find “Make titles or credits” from under the Edit Tasks heading.

    Once you select this, you will be given a number of different options, such as put titles before a clip, beginning titles or end credits. Select the middle option, which is “Add title on the selected clip in the timeline.” Now, you will be given to long text boxes where you can add the text that you would like to appear over the clip. The top box of text will go on top of the second box and will be larger than the other. The bottom one is intended to be supplementary to the top text display.

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    Below these text boxes will be the heading More Options, and there are two different things that you can do here. If you select “Change the title animation”, you will be taken to a menu select of transitionary effects that you can add to the text you are putting on the clip. This will be in the form of two columns with the left-hand one listing the animation transition and the right-hand one describes the effect.

    Without changes made, you simply have the Fade In and Fade Out automatically on it, which should stay in most cases. There are a number of different sections of animations you can choose from, with different ones for single line titles, double line titles, and credits.

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    When you are back at the text boxes, you can go below the “Change the title animation” option, and select “Change the text font and color.” Here you just get simple font, text size, text color and other normal text options.

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    Once you are finished with this, just hit “Done, add title to movie.” Once you do this, the text box will automatically be applied over the clip, but be on its own track below. You can then alter the length of the clip as you would with any clip edit.