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How to Add Text to Videos With Final Cut Pro X

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Almost every video project will require a at least a little bit of on-screen text. Luckily, adding text in Final Cut Pro is fun and simple! This tutorial shows you how to get started with the basics.

Use Text to Create Context and Add Key Details

Whether you are working on a relatively straightforward talking-head interview or a feature film, text is used to give the viewer context about what they are watching that they otherwise would not get from what they see and hear.

Lower Thirds

These titles are, usually, placed at the bottom of the screen, and they're most commonly used to identify the subject on screen, including the location, name of the interviewee, and the date and time.

Example of a lower-thirds titleExample of a lower-thirds titleExample of a lower-thirds title
FCP Logo Lower Thirds, an example of a lower thirds template (made by vystina), from Envato Elements


Titles come in wide variety of styles and can be used for an array of purposes, from introducing your video to changing scenes. Final Cut has stock options that are suitable for most basic productions, from plainly styled text to more animated graphics. FCPX organizes these by theme for a quick and intuitive experience.

full-screen title examplefull-screen title examplefull-screen title example
Abstract Titles, a full-screen title template by honypix, from Envato Elements


Credits can be used anywhere you’d like, but are most commonly used at the end of your film of video to credit the team involved in the project.

End credits exampleEnd credits exampleEnd credits example
Film Credits Pack for Apple Motion and FCPX by CinemaEternal, from Envato Market

How to Add Basic Text With the Text Tool

Here's how to add text to your video in Final Cut Pro:

1. Cue the Video to the Desired Frame

First, bring the Playhead to the place in the Timeline where you’d like to add a title to your video.

2. Select a Text Template

If your interface layout doesn't have the Titles and Generators sidebar displayed, you can do one of the following:

  • The top left-hand side of the screen has a sidebar with three icons: The one to the far right of these is the Text and Generator tool (it's the one with a T symbol)
  • Choose Window > Go To > Titles and Generators
  • Use the shortcut Option-Command-1

From here it’s as simple as going through manually or using the search feature to find the title style that you’d like to use. FCPX makes it easy! You can preview the title before placing it in your timeline by running your cursor back and forth, a great intuitive feature that helps people just starting out and experienced editors alike.

3. Use a Template to Add Text to Your Timeline

When you are ready to bring the text into your timeline you have the option to place the text into the primary storyline or to attach it to the storyline. The former presents itself with white text on black, with none of your video being displayed. The later superimposes the text over your selected video.

4. Modify Using the Text Editor

Once your text template is brought in, you’ll be presented with a very easy to understand control panel allowing you to edit your texts font, colour, size, and placement. With more experience you’ll learn to keyframe and animate and give even more life to your work. You can click on the text in your timeline at any point to bring you back to the editor.

Find Templates for Your Video Style

There are many skills that a required to see an idea fully realized and it’s easy to get bogged down, especially if the task at hand isn't your strongest suit or interest. Templates are a great tool to achieve high quality work with speed and enjoyment.

Here's a short list of text and title templates for Final Cut Pro from Envato Elements. Note, some FCPX templates require Apple Motion for full customization.

FCPX Minimal Lower Thirds Pack

A great pack featuring elegant lower thirds options.

Minimal Titles - FCPX or Apple Motion

This is an Apple Motion titles template created with the Final Cut X user in mind. You can use it directly inside FCPX, all parameters are editable and can be edited in seconds.

30 Corporate Titles for FCPX

This pack contains 30 unique titles that are quickly customizable, no plug-ins needed.

Keep Learning

Thanks for checking out this tutorial. To keep learning about titles in Final Cut Pro, I recommend the following lesson:

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