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iLife Tutorial: Create better titles in iMovie ’11

With a little exploration of the font panel and a touch of creativity, you can completely customise text in iMovie

Adding text is an important element of the movie-making process, whether it’s adding a credit to the end of the show, adding subtitles to speech or just giving your audience a little heads-up on what’s happening on screen.
On the face of things, the text-editing abilities of iMovie are a little limiting but, if you know your font panel well enough, you can easily make much more of the templated titles at your disposal. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to use colour and outline to make ordinarily tough-to-view text easy to see. Experimentation should always be part of your creative process, and there is no reason why text should be any different.

1: Show or hide
Once you have a clip in your project you’d like to add a title to, click this Title browser button to show available titles. Look through, and then pick one.

2: What a drag
Drag and drop the title onto the clip. The entire clip will then be highlighted, and the title and clip will be the same length. You can now edit the title.

3: Standard fonts
The standard fonts are great for making quick changes. To make more adjustments to the type face you want to use, click System Font Panel.

4: Familiar face
The Fonts panel is the same one that you use in a number of other apps, including the iWork suite. You should be able to negotiate the interface with ease.

5: Select text
Select the text that you want to apply changes to; you can clearly tell when the text is highlighted. You can then return to the font panel to make changes.

6: Outline
Using the Outline button is a good way to add immediate impact to text, no matter what the font. As you can see here, the difference is huge.

7: Colouring
Hit the Text Color button and the Colour palette will spring to life. You can then use the slider to get the perfect tone for the inside of your text.

8: Outline again
Use the Outline slider to reduce the weight of the outline on the text. You don’t need a really thick line to add plenty of impact.

9: Others
Use as many of the other elements on the Fonts panel as you like – we also used the Bold setting and changed the colour of the outline of the text.

Click Image to Enlarge