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YouTube Thursdays - Adding Text to Videos

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Have you been following along in this rebooted YouTube Thursdays series? You can use that link if you want to catch up on the five previous posts.

I'll be demonstrating editing techniques using the CapCut video editing app. This is a free app that works on both PC and Mac. Even if you aren't using this app (for instance you may be using iMovie if you are on a Mac), the principles of editing are still applicable.

In this week's post, we are going to look at adding text to your video. In the previous post, the homework assignment was to shoot 4 or 5 video clips on your mobile phone camera and stitch them together in the editor. You learned also how to trim the clips down in length so that they were about 7-10 seconds each. That composition video project will be the basis for what we do today (and in upcoming weeks also).

You can see in my sample project video how text can be added to your video project. I shot several clips on my morning commute to my Manhattan office. Starting from the Staten Island Ferry, I take the subway uptown and come out at Madison Square Park and walk along Madison Avenue. In this sample clip, I overlay the text with the matching clips. You'll see that this elevates the quality of the video from last week. Take a look:

Besides just captioning the different scenes, did you see what else I did? It is good to try and engage the watcher. I use text to pose a question that is answered on the clip that follows.

Now, let's take a look in the editor how we add text. In the top left panel, this is where we had the media assets that we imported and used in the last lesson. Now if you click the text tab over that same panel, you'll see a large selection of various preset text styles. We'll start with the default text and then we can adjust the properties of the text we put in afterward. Say for instance, you want to change the font or the color, these and all the other formatting properties that you can imagine can be edited. Additionally, in the preview window, you can drag the position of the text to be where you want it in the frame.

Take a look at the timeline below after you put your text in. Note that in video editing, you not only specify what to say, how to format how it looks, but you also have to place it in time, WHERE you want it to appear and for how long to be visible.

Once you place the text in the timeline, you can drag the left and right edges of the bar representing the text to control the starting and ending points.

In video editing, you have a stack of tracks that you can compose elements onto. The text goes into a track above the video track. As you will see, there will be many tracks in a composition. There can be several text tracks, multiple video tracks (e.g. A-roll and B-roll), several audio tracks (e.g. music and sound effects). This is where video editing really starts to get interesting! Don't worry, you won't have to edit anything nearly as complex as a video timeline in a motion picture! Take a look at the timeline shown below for the movie Top Gun: Maverick as shared in the YouTube Video by Eddie Hamilton how he and his team edited that movie.

top gun: maverick timeline video editor view

You'll have a new appreciation, after a few of these lessons, just how much goes into producing any sort of video production.

In this short video tutorial, I'll show you the basics that you will need to know to add some text into your own video project

If you are doing the homework assignments, I'd love it if you'd come back to this post after and add a comment with a link to your video. I show you in the tutorial above how to create an "unlisted" YouTube video so that you can share a video via a link.

I know that video editing will not be for many. There are challenges to this, but it is certainly not out of reach for anyone willing to put in the effort. And if you are looking for a differentiator between you and "everyone else", video is something that can definitely do that. 

Also, a couple of reminders to all you following this YouTube Thursdays series. If you are creating and using videos in your blog posts, be sure and include your post in the YouTube Thursdays group. Visit the group page from time to time and see who else has been posting videos so we can encourage one another. 

If you enjoyed this post, please click the like button so I know that content like this is giving value.

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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
Are you ready to learn?
Welcome to Craig’s Classroom!

PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (20)

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Craig,

what an EXCELLENT post! I'm book marking and am going to make time when things slow down a little. Your tutorial is excellent and I love you post a link in this post to the other posts your created in your series. Bookmarked!

Feb 15, 2024 06:14 AM
Craig Daniels

That's great Dorie. I hope that when you come back to these posts that it will help you learn some new things.

Feb 15, 2024 02:11 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Home is where the hearth is.

This is really cool, and way beyond my skill set.  I'm going to bookmark this post, and come back and view it carefully to see if it's something I might attempt in the future.  But I love the fact that you make it seem approachable.

Thank you!

Feb 15, 2024 06:40 AM
Craig Daniels

Thanks Alan! Editing videos is a little intimidating at first but it doesn't take long at all to start to get the hang of it.

Feb 15, 2024 02:12 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Craig and thank you for sharing this information with us about video.  I need help in this area.

Feb 15, 2024 08:06 AM
Craig Daniels

I'm glad you are checking into the possibilities Will! thanks

Feb 15, 2024 02:12 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Great tips! Using words, dialog boxes, etc, can definitely make watching a video more enjoyable.

Feb 15, 2024 08:31 AM
Craig Daniels

People get bored fast. Text is one element we can use to highlight main points and hold attention. Thanks Kat Palmiotti 

Feb 15, 2024 02:13 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Craig:

Thank you for another excellent educational post in your YouTube Thursdays video series. Your tutorials are always so thorough and easy to follow. I need to spend some more time with this one!



BananaTUDE Group logo    Featured in BananaTUDE

Feb 15, 2024 09:28 AM
Craig Daniels

There are lots of little things in editing that when we tackle them step by step, you can go a long ways! thanks Jeff Dowler, CRS 

Feb 15, 2024 02:15 PM
Wayne L. Brown
Franklin Advantage Inc. - Alpine, CA

Love your posts.

Especially about video since it is becoming a key element of our marketing.

Please keep it up, and thank you for your posts.

Feb 15, 2024 01:12 PM
Craig Daniels

I'm very glad to hear that you find value in these posts. Thank you Wayne L. Brown 

Feb 15, 2024 02:16 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Hey Craig Daniels .. is this the same video editing app ? Use a couple video editing suites and CapCut I am not familiar with but Googled some troubling press.

Maybe Capcut not be the best for cranking out real estate YouTube videos

Feb 15, 2024 01:34 PM
Craig Daniels

Hmm that's something to be cognizant of Andy. I had not heard those negative reports. However, I can't say for sure if they are within bounds our out of bounds of acceptable data collection. Perhaps the lawsuit will enforce some more clear bounds, these are at this point only alleged concerns but not proven and I can't say what is real. However I can say in general that "free" programs are not really "free" because they get paid not by us but by advertisers. If an advertiser wants to target ads that will suit me specifically, I'm ok with that trade off. That's my cost, my "payment". If others aren't okay with that, they should leave facebook, instagram, google and every other "free" site. This is the era we live in. Holding them accountable though if the allegations have some truth will be interesting to see. It's sad that we have to live in a world where trust is not an easy thing to be certain of.

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 

Feb 15, 2024 02:25 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573

The video producer is going to be cranking out lots of productions and whatever is used for editing is key to not wasting time and the best results for sure Craig Daniels !

Feb 15, 2024 03:11 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Craig you are creating an excellent YouTube instructions manual with this series of blogs.

Feb 15, 2024 01:53 PM
Craig Daniels

Thanks George Souto - Hopefully people will see that it is only little intimidating until all of a sudden it isn't all that bad after all!

Feb 15, 2024 02:33 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Learning videos only took a minute or two, and has paid dividends through the many years I’ve been here

Feb 15, 2024 03:57 PM
Craig Daniels

it is certainly a good investment

Feb 16, 2024 05:52 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Craig- I too am bookmarking your post (but then again...I save all of your posts) and will come back to try what you've taught us. I have apps on my phone that help with video but haven't tried them lately. 

Feb 15, 2024 07:12 PM
Craig Daniels

considering how much time youtube gets from us, indicates how much we like to watch videos. being able to make our own videos (business and personal) is a skill that puts both in the video consumer and video creator roles! thanks for bookmarking! Kathy Streib 

Feb 16, 2024 05:56 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Craig, I have not done many videos so this is way above my pay grade, if I do venture on I might have to come back to this post of your, Endre

Feb 15, 2024 10:09 PM
Craig Daniels

definitely worth pondering, thanks Endre Barath, Jr. for checking in!

Feb 16, 2024 05:57 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

As you know, I am a big fan of your tutorials!  Adding text to videos certainly enhances them!

Feb 16, 2024 04:43 AM
Craig Daniels

there are several puzzle pieces to helping make better videos. We'll take the puzzle apart and put it back together again to understand it. Thanks! Brian England 

Feb 16, 2024 05:59 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Great info - I was just asking Eileen Burns 954.483.3912 if she was going to blog about this and she kindly referred me here. I use Win Movie Maker but I like this too, they are similar. I'll check it out and compare, thanks Craig Daniels 

Feb 16, 2024 08:47 AM
Craig Daniels

Windows movie maker is officially discontinued and stopped working for me. You'll need something moving forward Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets - this one is good on your short list.

Feb 17, 2024 11:04 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Feb 17, 2024 06:31 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

We are so lucky to have you here, Craig Daniels. With another bookmark and another missed class, I hang my head in shame. Thursday was my last continuing Ed  

Feb 18, 2024 03:54 PM
Craig Daniels

No worries! I've got you thinking about it anyway and when the time is right you'll come back and check out the potential. Hannah Williams 

Feb 19, 2024 08:05 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Ohhh, I completed this assignment, Craig Daniels, as you saw (I think) :) I took the aerial footage we got for a lot listing and added info via text. I couldn't bring myself to narrate it, but that would have been another option. 

Feb 19, 2024 06:41 AM
Craig Daniels

I'm so very happy to see somebody to more than think about video potential. You did it! Excellent job Andrea Bedard. The more you do the easier it becomes and the more "additional features" you discover that you can do. More tutorials coming ;) 

Feb 19, 2024 08:08 AM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Craig Daniels, for the encouragement! I hope to do more. One dilemma I am encountering is the recording of footage, vertical is needed for reels, but horizontal for YouTube. Looking forward to more tutorials. Thank you for all you do! 

Feb 19, 2024 10:26 AM
Craig Daniels

We can cut horizontal video segments down into a vertical stripe if we want to use them in a vertical video. However a vertical video will not go easily to horizontal. I'll be sure to talk about that when the time is right in an upcoming week. Andrea Bedard 

Feb 19, 2024 11:03 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Very well done and thanks for confirming the ai tool I've been looking at.  Congrats on being mentioned by Kathy Streib 

Feb 20, 2024 10:03 AM
Craig Daniels

Yes, getting a mention by Kathy Streib is a great way to get post visibility! Glad you came to visit this post John Henry, Florida Architect 

Feb 28, 2024 05:58 AM
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Craig, will make the effort to start again learning a new way to do videos since  I am at of practice & need to be challenged again!  Love this series & this tool looks great.  TY!

Feb 21, 2024 03:45 AM
Craig Daniels

I'm very happy to see Ginny Gorman again on my posts! Please keep in touch with your progress!

Feb 28, 2024 05:59 AM
Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 954-2489149
Align Right Realty K1 Group - Fort Lauderdale, FL
No Compromise When it Comes to Our Clients!

Craig Daniels do you have a blog on how to increase your subscribers on yt, key word search, seo optimization...I would love to read..

Feb 27, 2024 05:12 PM
Craig Daniels

The upcoming outline is a dynamic work in progress Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 954-2489149 - I appreciate the ideas. This is a good topic and I'll put it into the upcoming list.

Feb 28, 2024 06:00 AM
Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 954-2489149
Align Right Realty K1 Group - Fort Lauderdale, FL
No Compromise When it Comes to Our Clients!

Craig Daniels Thank you - Consistency is not one of my problems on posting when I commit.  My issues:

1.  Better content

2.  Trying to figure out who my audience is.  I love motivating and encouraging agents on how not to throw in the towel when the going gets rough and I like to talk to agents who are trying to make 6-figures within 12 months (Mainly new agents) so i don't know how to put that together or take one piece of that. 

3.  Better thumbnails

4.  Keywords and SEO.

So you can see I have a few issues going on but I am willing to learn and take one step at a time.  

Feb 28, 2024 09:32 AM
Craig Daniels

Thanks for sharing some of the thoughts that you are dealing with so I can consider ideas to help in future posts. I just emailed you about an SEO spreadsheet of topics that could be of use right now. Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 954-2489149 

Feb 28, 2024 02:59 PM