Subtitles in iMovie

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ratanaso, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. ratanaso macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2006
    Any information is greatly appreciated!

    I am working on a documentary in iMovie. A great part of the movie is interviews in French to which I need to add subtitles in English. I am encountering a series of problems which might very well be due to my insufficient experience with the program.

    1) When I try putting subtitles on a clip, In the Speed window I enter the exact duration of the clip (I still haven't figured out what the relationship between speed and clip duration is), yet when I add the subtitles to the clip, the program still cuts a short segment of the clip at its very end.

    2) Once a subtitle is inserted I can't go back and update it. When I try to do this, the subtitles appear doubled or their timing is off.

    3) I don't seem to have control over the time for which the subtitles stay on the screen. This is my biggest problem. They just seem to go away too fast to read. I have no clue how to control this. I tried inserting subtitles on a black screen between clips to put up the title of the movie. Well, for a 5sec clip it disappeared almost immediately, too soon to read. I had to slide the Speed slider close to 20 sec to get it on the screen long enough but then what do I do with 17sec of black screen? This is the problem with putting subtitles over the interviews. Most of my clips are around 45 sec long and iMovie does not let me put subtitles over segments longer than 23 sec or close to that. I need to figure out how to put subtitles on these longer segments which are at least somehow synchronized and to be able to edit them if needed. Otherwise this could turn into a real nightmare if I cannot even go back and edit the subtitles whenever I make changes to the video.

    I am really lost. Please help me. This really is new to me.
  2. DanMartin macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2006
    This is what I do

    This is what I do when I need to add subtitles in iMovie HD 6:

    - I use the split tool - EDIT>Split Video at Cliphead - to mark the beginning and the end of a subclip that includes a whole sentence or whole chunks of what the person on film is saying
    - I click on this subclip to select it and in the editing pane I uncheck Over black - in case it is checked - and then click on Title. There I click on the disclosure triangle next to Subtitle. I choose Subtitle from the two options available.
    - I type in what I want - If I need more lines I click on the PLUS sign just below the color well - and click on ADD.
    - After the subtitle has been rendered, I drag the playhead to the beginning of the sub-clip and hit play to check if things are OK.
    - If I have to make changes - for example, the length of the subtitle is longer than the sub-clip I created - I make the necessary changes using the Editing pane and click on UPDATE (remember to have the subclip selected).
    - I wait for the changes to be rendered and then drag the playhead to the beginning of the subclip again and hit play to check if things are OK.

    I repeat this cycle as many times as necessary until I'm happy with the results. I then create another subclip and repeat the cycle described above for this new subclip.

    For more information go to Apple Discussions or to


  3. ratanaso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2006
    Thank you!

    Dan, thank you so much for replying. I kind of figured the same today but it made my day that you responded to my plea for help! Thanks again!!!!
  4. belizefan macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2009
    an added wrinkle

    I find that the audio underlying the movie clip I am trying to add subtitles to is eliminated when I finally add the subtitle using the very useful directions above. So, after splitting the video (see above), I "extract audio" from the clip, then proceed with adding subtitles. This action maintains the original audio.

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