Final Cut Pro 7 Tutorial for Creating Titles and Using Text

Tips for adding titles and text to your Final Cut Pro movie

Whether you're using Final Cut Pro 7 to put together a highlight reel from a family reunion or working on a feature-length documentary, titles and text are the keys to providing your viewer with enough information to understand the scenario.

Getting Started With Final Cut Pro 7 Text

Screenshot showing a text bar

The main gateway to using text in FCP 7 is located in the Viewer window. Look for an icon of a filmstrip labeled with an "A"— it's located in the bottom-right corner. When you go to the ​Text menu, you'll see a list that includes Lower-3rd, Scrolling Text, and Text.

Each of these options can have different applications depending on your movie.

  • Lower-third is a graphic overlay that is placed in the lower area of the screen. It is typically used to introduce a character or interview subject in a documentary and to introduce anchors for news and television shows.
  • Scrolling Text is most commonly used for credits at the end of a movie or to introduce the movie's scenario, as in the famous opening sequences of the "Star Wars" films.
  • The Text option provides a generic template for you to add supplementary facts and information to your project.

Adding a Lower-Third

Screenshot showing a lower third

To add a lower-third to your project, go to the Text menu in the Viewer window and select Lower-3rd. You should see a black box in the Viewer window labeled with Text 1 and Text 2. In FCP 7, this screen can be cut, lengthened and spliced the same way as a video clip you recorded with your camcorder or smartphone.

Using Lower-Thirds

Screenshot showing controls of lower third

To add text to a lower-third and make adjustments, go to the Controls tab of the Viewer window. Enter the desired text into the boxes that read "Text 1" and "Text 2". You can also choose a font, text size, and color. You can adjust the sizes of Text 1 and Text 2 independently and can add a solid background by choosing Solid from the drop-down menu next to Background. This adds a shaded bar behind the lower-third so that it stands out from the background image.

Lower-Third Results

Screenshot showing lower third results

You now have a lower-third that describes an aspect in your movie. You can lay the lower-third over the movie by dragging the video clip into the Timeline and dropping it into track two, above the existing video clip you want to describe.

Adding and Using Scrolling Text

Showing scrolling text screen shot

To add scrolling text to a movie, go to the Text menu in the Viewer screen and choose Text > Scrolling Text. Go to the Controls tab along the top of the Viewer window and add all the information that you want to be part of the credits. You can adjust the settings just as you did with the lower-third by choosing a font, alignment, size, and color. The second control from the bottom lets you choose whether your text scrolls up or down.

Drag the credits to the end of the movie sequence, render the video clip, and press play. You should see all the text you added scroll vertically across the screen.

Adding and Using Text

Screenshot showing added text

If you need to add text to your film to supply the viewer with necessary information that isn't included in the audio or video, use the general Text option. To access it, navigate to the Text menu of the Viewer and choose Text > Text. Type in the information you want to include, adjust the font and color, and drag the video clip onto the Timeline.

You can keep this information separate by making it your only video track, or you can overlay it on a background image by putting it on track two above your desired footage. To break up the text so that it's laid out on several different lines, press enter where you want the phrase to break. This action takes you to the following line of text.

Now that you know how to add text to your videos, you'll be able to communicate to your viewer all the things that aren't described by the sound and image alone.

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