Adobe Premiere: Creating Titles and Closed Captioning

You can use the Titler to create a title frame for your project or credits at the end, plus much more. When you add titles to your V1 track, they become full-screen titles with a black background. If you had titles added to other tracks will be transparent, except for the text or other content in the title. 

In this article, we are going to learn about:

  • Creating a new title

  • Creating a title from a template

  • Adding a title as a template

  • Making a title the default title

  • The text tools

  • Text and shape properties

  • Styles

  • Creating shapes

  • Arranging texts and shapes

  • Centering, aligning, and distributing shapes

  • Adding a logo

  • Rolls and Crawls

Since closed captioning is also another form of text that you can incorporate into your video projects, we will discuss this as well below.  

Creating a New Title

Let's learn how to create a new title. In addition, we are learn more about how to use the Titler as well.

To create a new title, go to File>New Title. 

If you want, you can change the parameters, as well as enter the name for the title. 

Click OK.

The Titler then opens.

The Titler is shown above.   This is where you will go to add text, shapes, logos, etc. to your project. 

We have labeled the tools and features in the Titler window below.

In the Titler window, the Titler Designer panel (labeled above) is where you will find tools for adding text, including font, font size, and alignment.

In addition:

  • To the right of the Titler Designer panel is the Show Background Video button.   This will show the video behind the title. If you click this button, it hides the video background.

  • The buttons that appear on the upper left hand side of the Titler window open different dialogue boxes.

  • New Title Based on Current Title creates a new title based on an existing one.

  • Roll/Crawl lets you configure titles for things like rolling credits, etc.

  • The Templates button opens a Templates dialogue box.

  • The Title Tools panel allows you to create text shapes, such as circles and lines.

  • The Title Actions panel allows you to distribute, align, and etc. the title components.

  • Title Styles allows you to apply styles to the titles you create.

Creating a Title from a Template

To create a title from a Premiere Pro pre-designed template or a template you have created, go to Title>New Title>Based on Template.

You will then see the Templates dialogue box where you will see the Templates.

However, if you downloaded your copy of Premiere Pro, you may not see templates. Instead, you may see the warning, as shown below.

Click the yellow hypertext to download the templates.

Follow the instructions for downloading and installing the templates

Once you are finished, you should see the templates in the Templates dialogue box, as pictured below.

Click on the name of a template to preview it.

Click OK to use a template.

Adding a Title to the Templates Panel

You can also add titles that you create to the Templates panel.

To do this, open the title in the Titler.

Click the Templates button in the Titler window.

Next, click the panel menu in the upper right corner, then select Import Current Title as Template.

You will then see the Save As dialogue box.

Name the template. 

Click OK when you are finished.

Making a Title the Default Title

You can make it so that a template title opens whenever you create a new title. 

To do this, select the title from the Templates panel.

Go to the panel menu, then select Set Template as Default Still.

The Text Tools

There are three sets of text tools in the Titler.   Each set of tools have horizontal and vertical tools.

These tools are:

The Horizontal Type and Vertical Type tools: 

The Area Type and Vertical Type tools: 

The Path Type and Vertical Path Type tools: 

Let's learn how to use these three types of tools.

Creating Text with the Horizontal and Vertical Type Tools

Open a title, then select either the Horizontal or Vertical Type tool.

We are selecting the Horizontal Type Tool.

Click in the drawing area in the location where you want to start to add text.

You will see a blinking bounding box appear, as shown below.

Type the text.

When you are finished, click on the Selection tool in the Tools panel. It looks like this: 

Click outside of the bounding box.

Creating Text with the Area Type or Vertical Area Type Tool

Open a title, then select an area type tool. We are choosing the Vertical Area Type tool.

Next, drag your mouse to create a text box in the drawing area. 

Now type the text. 

You can see where we typed "vertical" in the snapshot above. 

To change the size of the font, hover your mouse over Font Size in the Title Properties panel, then drag the pointer to change the size of the text.

We circled Font Size below.

When you are finished adding text, click the Selection tool in the Tools panel, then click outside of the text area.

Creating Text with the Horizontal or Vertical Path Tools

With these tools, you will create a path, then type the text along the path.

Let's show you how it works.

We are going to click the Path Type tool (for horizontal text).

Now, we are going to click to add a point at the location we want our path to start.

We circled our first point in the snapshot below.

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Now, click to add additional points and create a path.

When you are finished, type to add text.

Click the Selection tool when you are finished, then click outside the text.

Text and Shape Properties

Adding text is just the beginning. Once you have added it, you will want to format it as well. 

You can align your text to the left, center, or right by using the Alignment Controls, pictured below.

The text must be active in order for you to format it. You can click on the text to make it active. Active text appears with the bounding box around it, as shown above.

You can access more formatting options in the Title Properties panel, pictured below.

This is located on the right side of the Titler window.

You can:

Make adjustments to the font. This applies only to text (not to shapes).

Make adjustments to color, stroke (outline or border), and shadow. This applies to text and shapes.

To make changes, make the text active by clicking on it. Again, active text has a bounding box around it.

Making Changes to Text

Below are the ways that Premiere Pro allows you to make change to text in the Title Properties panel:

  • Font Family, Style, and Size .   These are basic to every program that allows you to enter text, such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word.

  • Aspect will narrow or widen text.

  • Leading adjusts spacing that occurs between lines of text.

  • Kerning adjusts the space between characters.

  • Tracking adjusts of blocks of text.

  • Baseline Shift adjusts distance between characters and the baseline. The baseline is the line that your text sits on.

  • Slant will slant the text by the degree you specify.

  • Small Caps puts your text in small caps.   There will be a big capital letter to start the word, then small letters.

  • Small Caps Size will adjust the size of the small caps.

  • Underline will underline text; however, you can underline text on a path.

  • Distort will allow you to adjust letter on the X and Y axis.

Changing the Color of Text

To change the color of text, select the bounding box that surrounds the text.

Go to the Title Properties panel.

Select a fill type from the Fill Type menu.

Next, click the color swatch.

You can then select a color from the Color Picker dialogue box.

Adding and Configuring Strokes

Inner and outer strokes add color that helps your text stand out against the background.

Let's show you what we mean by adding strokes.

To add an inner stroke, select the text or shape. Remember, you can apply strokes to texts or shapes.

Go to the Title Properties panel, then click the Add button that is next to Inner Strokes.

Choose the type of stroke you want by clicking the dropdown menu beside Type.

You can choose:

  • Depth to create a three-dimensional looking stroke.

  • Edge to create a stroke around the edge of shape.

  • Drop Face will copy that shape then place it behind the original shape.

Next, select the fill type and color for the stroke.

We are going to use a linear gradient and choose red as the color. 

Now, select the size of the stroke by dragging the value left or right: 

You can also adjust the opacity.

To add an outer stroke, select the text or shape. Then click the Add button next to Outer Strokes.

Follow the same steps you did with the inner stroke.

Adding Shadows

A shadow help the text or shape stand out from the background.

To add a drop shadow, select the text or shape. 

In the Title Properties panel, put a check in the Shadow box, as pictured below.

Next, you can choose a color for the shadow, the opacity (or transparency), the angle (which will determine the shadow's direction), as well as the distance between the shadow and shape, size, and spread.   The spread is the blur in the shadow.

About Styles

Styles are simply shapes and text that have already been formatted for you.   A style already has a color, font, stroke, shadow, or any other combination of formatting applied to it. 

You can use the styles provided to you by Premiere Pro in the Styles panel:

You can also create your own. This is helpful when you have spent a good bit of time formatting a text or shape and want to use that same formatting for other strings of text or shapes.

Saving Styles

To save a style you have created, choose the text or shape that has the formatting applied to it that you want to save as a style.

Next, go to the Title Styles panel menu.

Select New Style.

Type a name for the new style, then click OK.

Applying Styles

To apply a style, click the text or shape that you want to apply a style.

Go to the Title Styles panel.

Click on the Style you want to use.

Creating Shapes in Premiere Pro

To create shapes in Premiere Pro, you will use the Titler window along with the tools in the Tools panel (labeled below):

To create a shape, choose a style.

Next, select a shape from the Tools panel.

Drag in the drawing area to create the shape.

We drew an ellipse:

Arranging Text and Shapes

If you have ever used a program such as Photoshop before, then you are already familiar with stacking shapes. When you stack shapes or text, you specify which shapes appear in the background, which ones come next, and so on and so forth.   This allows you to control exactly what people see.

To arrange text and shapes, choose the shape or text that you want to arrange.

Right click.

Choose Arrange, then how you want to stack it.

You can:

  • Bring it to the front

  • Bring it forward (in front of the text or shape that is currently in front of it)

  • Send it to the back (behind all other text and shapes)

  • Send it backward

Centering, Aligning, and Distributing Objects

To center objects, select an object in the Titler window. 

Go to the Title Actions panel (pictured below) and choose either Vertical Center, Horizontal Center, or both.

To align objects, select multiple objects in the Titler window.

Remember, to select objects, use the Selection tool, then Shift+click.

Go to the Title Actions panel and choose the alignment you want.

To distribute objects, select multiple objects in the Titler window.

Go to the Title Actions panel and select a distribution pattern.

Adding a Logo to a Title

To add a logo to a title, go to the title area, then right click and select Graphic>Insert Graphic.

Select the logo you want to use by finding its location on your computer.

Drag the logo to where you want it on the title. You can also drag on its handles to resize it. If you hold down the Shift key while doing this, the size changes will be proportional.

Next, go to the Title Properties panel.

Go to Transform, as pictured below.

You can use these controls to further configure your logo on the title.

About Rolls and Crawls

Rolls and crawls relate to the credits that come at the end of a video. Rolling credits scroll downward. Crawls flow sideways and are usually at the bottom of a frame.

To create a roll or a crawl, go to Title in the Menu bar of Premiere Pro, then go to New Title>Default Crawl or Default Roll.

We are going to create a roll.

You will see the New Title dialogue box.

Select a title name, then click OK.

Next, select the Horizontal Text Box tool  in the Tools panel.

Since this is a rolling title, we are going to draw a large box over the frame by clicking and dragging our mouse. If we were creating a crawl, we would draw a narrow box since there would only be one line of text.

Add your text.

For credits, it may be quicker to copy and paste the text from a word processing program, such as MS Word.

If text is hidden when you have finished, click the Selection tool and drag to make the box larger.

When you are finished, you can format the text as you want using the Title Properties panel.

Next, go to the Title Designer panel.   Click the Roll/Crawl Options button: 

You will then see the Roll/Crawl Options dialogue box.

Set the timing options in the Timing section:

  • Start Off Screen means the title starts out of view.

  • End of Screen means the title ends out of view.

  • Preroll is the number of frames before the roll begins.

  • Ease-In is the number of frames before it gets to the full scrolling speed. In other words, it starts out slow and picks up.

  • Ease-Out means how many frames it takes for the roll to stop.

  • Postroll refers to the number of frames the static title displays before it fades away to black.

Click OK.

About Closed Captions

In previous versions of Premiere Pro, including Premiere Pro CS6, you could view closed captions in the Program Monitor. You could also export them by using third party hardware.   However, you were not able to create them or edit them.   In addition, you could not export them with streaming formats.   That has all changed with Premiere Pro CC. Premiere Pro CC allows you to edit, create, and export closed captions. 

With Premiere Pro CC, you can import MOV files with embedded captions. You can also import caption files in various formats, including .scc files (Scenarist).   After you import a caption file, you drag it to the Timeline. With MOV files, the captions track will appear above the video track. You can then click on the track to edit it in the Captions panel.

In order to view the captions in the Source Monitor for MOV files and the Program Monitor, captions must be enabled in the Program Monitor. 

You can also export captions using the Captions tab of the Export Settings dialogue box.

Importing Closed Caption Files

To import closed caption files, go to the Media Browser panel (Window>Media Browser).

Go to the folder that contains the captions that you want to import. 

Right click on that file, then select Import.

Your closed caption file is then in the Project panel.

Displaying Closed Caption Files

To display closed caption files, drag them to the Timeline. They will appear in a video track.

You can expand the track to view the captions.

Next, click the Settings button (the wrench) in the Program Monitor.

Select Closed Captioning Display>Settings.

Choose the standard that matches the source file and captions in the Standard field.

In the Stream field, choose the stream. If there is only one caption file, it is usually the first stream.

Now, go back to the Program Monitor Settings button.

Select Closed Captioning Display>Enable.

Editing Closed Captions

To edit a caption file, select the file in the Timeline.

Open the Captions panel (Window>Captions).

Choose a caption type in the Type menu on the left. 

To change the text in the closed captions, click on the caption text box so that it is active, then type the changes in. Text is entered into the grey boxes we have labeled below.

You can also align and apply other formatting to the text.

Creating Caption Files

In addition to importing caption files, you can also create them in Premiere Pro CC.

To create a caption file, click the New Item icon in the Project panel. Select Closed Captions.

Adjust the video settings if you need to do that. 

Click OK.

Choose a video standard and stream. 

For the video standard, chose CEA-608 for NTSC or Teletext for PAL.

Click OK.

The caption file is then created in the Project panel.

Next, open the Captions panel.

Edit the captions. If you need to add a caption, click the + button on the bottom left side of the panel. 

You can also drag the caption file in the Project panel over to the Timeline so you can preview the captions as you create them.