Adding Text Feedback

@SimonKJones, @DanielGWood and the Crew, just some constructive feedback regarding adding text in Hitfilm.

I've read many forums and stories of people giving up on HitFilm because they cannot add Text.

I myself was so close to quitting HitFilm when I first started using HitFilm because I could not figure out how to add Text, yet after some painful hours, I figured it out myself, but as mentioned, I nearly quit before I did figure it out.

The youtube video I created is filled with comments regarding adding text challenges, the latest one it got today is as follows for example:

"Yeremyah, you just saved me from being a 'quitter' also.. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get the text I created into my timeline... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!"

It makes me wonder, how many people have been a quitter due to adding text challenges and quitting HitFilm before being able to figure it out for themselves and not finding any help to do so?

You can see for yourself the comments the video has had since I posted it and even currently, regarding problems working out how to add Text.

Maybe there is something you can do to help everyone more easily figure out adding text in future releases of HitFilm?

Hoping you receive my feedback as constructive and helpful.



  • edited May 2016

    @AxelWilkinson any feedback, seeing @SimonKJones and @DanielGWood have not responded?

  • @Yeremyah Well done on the tutorial vid, might help out some beginners to Hitfilm, it's pretty long. I understand the learning any new interface or software can be tricky, but for me the text tool seemed pretty universal (i.e. like many other tools), and there are plenty of Hitfilm tutorials on getting started with Text, maybe you missed these. Seems like you got it sorted now. 

  • Thanks Andy.

    But not everyone has a "universal" awareness or understanding going into HitFilm, because they do not have past experience using other applications such as HitFilm.

  • I thought adding text was pretty easy to figure out when I first started, it's just a little convoluted.  My main complaint with text is that it's not anti-aliased and a bigger issue this that the stroke only fills the inside of the text when it really should be the outside if anything.

  • edited May 2016

    People having difficulties with text isn't something that has been common either on the forums here or in the support tickets we receive, but if you want to link us to the many forums where you have seen this discussed, we will definitely look into it.

     We always have our eyes open for areas that might need further clarification for new users.

  • I agree with Yeremyah on this. I’ve been using non-linear video editing applications for over 20 years and HitFilm is the first one I’ve come across where you can’t add text in an obvious way to the editor timeline. (You can create text in a Comp timeline, but not directly in the Editor timeline).

    Of course, once you know the secret, it’s easy, but when I was new to HitFilm it took me many hours of frustration to work it out.

    On the web, HitFilm is commonly referred to as a video editing application, so anyone looking for a free video editor will give HitFilm Express a try. I think what many new users don’t realise is that HitFilm is primarily compositing/VFX software that also happens to have a convenient editing timeline.

    Regarding the number of users reporting this issue via the forum or a support ticket, I would guess that most people who try out free software simply abandon it if they find that it fails to meet their expectations.

  • edited May 2016

    Thank you @efolve

    Your comments are wise, shows great insight and I resonate with your words and I am glad you commented.  As many comments on my video tutorial shows, you are spot on!  And I was very close to abandon HitFilm, as you said, many would probably quit before even searching out address to email or HitFilm forum to post comment. 

    So if Alex is going by the numbers commenting here or sending them emails, he may definitely be getting the wrong understanding and wrong numbers about the amount of people affected by this Text issue in HitFilm.

    Thanks again efolve :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited May 2016

    Just to approach this from a different viewpoint: I also came to Hitfilm after decades of experience with other NLE software, and, yes, Hitfilm does a few strange things (for my money, the Speed Effect from HF1, 2 and 3 is very unintuitive, even though I understand the logic of operation). 


    When opening Hitfilm the home screen show recent tutorials. There is a hotlink button for the YouTube channel. There is a hotlink button for the manual. Within Hitfilm itself is a Help button that links to the manual. 

    On this forum there is a sticky at the top which leads to a categorized list, with links, of tutorials. There is a support page that has FAQs, yet another link to the YouTube channel.

    The YouTube channel itself has categorized playlists.

    If one does a YouTube search for "Hitfilm text," or any variant thereof the top results are FxHome's Text tutorial and Yeremyah's text tutorial which covers the exact same information as FxHome's with the "slight advantage" of being the HF3E interface. Please note "slight advantage" is sarcasm as at least one poster in this thread has been sent to Hitfilm 2 Ultimate tutorials to respond with "yes, but that's not a Hitfilm 3 Express tutorial." Hopefully with the release of Hitfilm 4 Express this person will realize that every Hitfilm 3 technique works in Hitfilm 4, and that this person will realize that those old Hitfilm 2 tutorials are still valid--because this will greatly help him get better with the software. 

    Oh, yes, and a Google or Yahoo search for Hitfilm Text returns the Hitfilm manual page, then FxHome's video tutorial, then Yeremyah's. 

    So--my question is this. If FxHome has three different buttons within the software to access tutorials and documentation, as well as multiple links to tutorials and documentation on this site--including a sticky tutorial thread named, "Learning Hitfilm ," and any search engine query immediately returns either the relevant documentation or tutorial, what, exactly does FxHome need to do to make it easier for users who already are overlooking clearly marked buttons, clearly labelled threads, and seem to be unaware of web searches? 

    The only thing I can think of is replacing the Home Screen with quarter-screen flashing buttons labelled "MANUAL! TUTORIALS! FAQS! START A PROJECT!" 

    Perhaps I am just grumpy after a weekend of answering registration questions from people who didn't read the install instructions given when downloading, or in the e-mail sent with installation instructions, abd also managed to close the box for registration when running the program without reading it. Because merely having to enter the email I downloaded with is the single easiest registration process ever! 

    And with that, I need a bit of a break. Be back in a few days. 

  • edited May 2016

    I didn't have a big issue with learning to add text in HF but I do understand that sometimes when something is explained one way I might not get it until it's explained another way.....algebra- absolute horror until I got tutoring. I found the FXhome tutorials about adding text sufficient for my understanding and if @Yeremyah has another way of explaining it that people understand better, then more power to him. I just don't know what more FXhome can do if Yeremyah has already filled the need. There are things I still struggle with in HitFilm but that's more likely on me not getting it right away, I don't blame FXhome for my lack of understanding even if they have supplied a tutorial. I'll look at other tutorials to try and get a comprehensive view if I don't understand how to do something. Ultimately, I may take a multi-media class if I can find one that won't cost me an arm and a leg. ;^)

  • edited May 2016

    As you can add a Plane to the Editor - and I'm not sure what practical use that has, other than to put behind transparent fades - then creating a "Text Composite" Option that was actually just like any other Composite, with a full-screen-sized Text Layer already added inside it and opened up ready for you to add text wouldn't break anything and might cause a bit less hair pulling.

    But really, anyone who hasn't at least done a simple Google search and watched a few FXHome videos that explain it quite clearly, is probably still going to ask where the "Create Text Layer" button in the Editor is, or "What is the difference between that and a 'normal' composite?". So would anyone really be that much better off? :)

  • edited May 2016

    Ideally, new users should read the manual and watch tutorial videos. Unfortunately, a lot of folks expect software to work intuitively, at least for getting basic tasks accomplished.

    In general, I find the usability of HitFilm to be of a very high standard. Compared to something like After Effects it's as easy as falling off a log. So it would be a real shame if some new users of HitFilm give up on it because of one or two minor usability issues.

    An easy fix for the issue under discussion would be for the devs to add a 'T' (text tool) icon to the Editor viewer window under the pointer tool; when the user clicks on it, the Viewer shows a helpful message about how to add text in HitFilm.

    I can see that I'm very much in the minority in this tread, so this is where I drop the mic. Over and out.

  • "'T' (text tool) icon to the Editor"

    Yes please!

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator
    edited May 2016

    I think I'm generally in agreement with everyone here. I think we've already covered how to use the Text tool and that it's not hard to find out how it works, especially with 3rd party tutes like Yeremyah's. At the same time, I also agree with him that adding basic text to the editor timeline could be more intuitive and faster.

    This has been logged in the system since 2015 so it's definitely been noted.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @efolve I happen to agree that Hitfilm's text tool is odd, and I have made several suggestions aimed at improving text functions in Hitfilm. I think we agree there. :-) 

    My point of contention is my dismay that so many people fail to read documentation or do research. Often when answering user questions on this forum I resort to linking to web pages or forum pages or tutorials  just to not go over (again) something that others have already covered (very well) multiple times. And most of these resources are pretty much the first results of a basic websearch. 

  • edited May 2016

    +1 @Triem23 All comments.

    You can lead a Horse to water but you can't make him drink. An old cliche but like all cliche, based on truth.

    That said, @SimonKJones, one can help people a little more. At least the one who want to drink.

    In the video tutorials link from the app, Text TUTs are in the "motion graphics" category. Really do you think all the people downloading and using the free Express software know what "motion graphics" means. Since text is a very common thing and people know what "text" means then why not a "text" category. Maybe just a rename. Motion Graphics & text.

    Also the listings in these categories are very anemic. The new videos are not being added to these categories. At least consistently.

    Case point. Someone asked a question about a bad link on this tutorials page. Cloning people. I answered this question. A bad link is one thing but it would seem this TUT is applicable to the "compositing" category. It is in no category. A substantially incomplete categorization is actually a bad thing, IMO. It is easy to presume that if something is not there then it likely does not exist.

    Case point. Someone on this forum wanted to fade some text in while burring the background. I remembered seeing a Tutorial done by Axel that did something like this. An old one for HF2. It certainly is not in any category in the app TUTs page or on the Youtube channel "motion graphics" or "Working with text" playlists. The tutorial was about creating templates. In this case specifically text templates. I had a reasonable idea what I was looking for but had to scroll through lists on Youtube to find it. #38 in VFX techniques as it turns out.

    In summary, fill out the video lists in the app all tutorials categories and better categorization/playlist of the 260+ videos on the Youtube channel. All this just helps those who want to drink.

  • Hi there

    since I just deserted Premiere and tried out HF4 I might qualify to give some feedback here as well :)

    Doing my first steps in HF4 the text editing was somewhere top of my "try out" list. I did not find the functionality on my own but was of course able to find the manual and a YouTube video so I got it working within minutes.

    Anyway, the question is "why read the f.... manual" if it could just work? Without breaking the workflow idea you could easily add a "T" icon in the NLE workspace that would then automatically create a new composition with the video track size, switch to the composition workspace, insert a text layer and lets you start typing.

    No major changes required to integrate text into the NLE workspace.

    One dealbreaker might be that you cannot select a certain track so the place where to insert the new composition would be something to anwser in a dialog up front ... unless tracks become selectable in the Edit workspace :)


  • edited February 2017

    Thank you for all the feedback, I feel valued and validated, regarding my thought processing on adding Text in HitFilm.  And thank you @SimonKJones for noting this on your system.

    And @Triem23, your comments made me giggle, go now and have a break before you get too emotionally drained my friend, you have worked very hard here helping people ;)


  • My point of contention is my dismay that so many people fail to read documentation or do research. 

    Hi @Triem23, you must be new here.  Welcome to the Internet!  I hope you enjoy your stay.

  • edited February 2017

    SteveKarstensen when I first started HitFilm 5 months ago, there was no text tutorial from me back then, that would have been great if I could have seen my own tutorial back then which I had not yet created lol.

    For me personally, I was doing research, a lot of it, and reading documents and trying to find some way to add Text, but I could not find anything that I could understand.

    Steve, understand, not everyone has an excellent comprehension skill, many people struggle to understand when dealing with something new, even if reading what's available, for that information may be hard to understand for many, hence, they either have to work it out for themselves, or many just quit and run to some other program which may be easier to understand.


  • Yeremyah dude, I was joking.  It's been a well-known fact that nobody reads documentation since the dawn of the Internet.  "RTFM" is one of the oldest acronyms out there.  I'm just amused that an otherwise with-it, hoopy frood such as Triem would be exasperated by such a thing as if it weren't the oldest of old hat by now.

    Me, I'm a firm believer in as many ways to explain a concept as possible, and that there's no such thing as too many tutorials.  It's just funny how so many people across so many forums don't search or read stickies.  I'm a member of a music forum and despite there being a sticky at the top of the Recording board that says "Read this before you start", which covers how to pick an audio interface, there are still endless threads from n00bs asking how to pick an audio interface.  It'd be funny if it weren't so WTF.

  • edited May 2016


    I am an old school Melancholy, I am actually one of the very few humans left who actually does research, reading, watching before using something new :)

    But for me, that didn't help 5 months ago when I first started HitFilm, I was forced to learn adding Text for myself, which was frustrating and took hours lol.  I was so close to being a quitter of HitFilm, very close.

    Blessed are those who struggle like I do yet can watch my tutorial, would have been great if a text tutorial like mine existed before 5 months ago, that would have helped me a lot.

  • Well, the first result in Youtube for  a Search for "Hitfilm text" sends you to Axel's Video, which is pretty comprehensive in describing how it works and it has been around a while.

    And if they missed that, there were several others before yours started to come up in searches. People who miss all of those aren't going to  benefit from an added "T for Text" icon on the GUI.

    I see it as a sort of filter. If people can't work out how to use a search function, then maybe that's an indication that Hitfilm might not be for them, because it only gets harder after that, although I suspect the word "FREE" is as far as some people see.

  • edited February 2017

    The problem with many of you is that you use something called "projection", which means you project unto others the expectation that every human's thought processing, reasoning, understanding and psychology, operates exactly as your own.

    Hence, we have a history of many people struggling with adding Text in HitFilm and we still do today.  That is why my tutorial for example has many viewers because out of the box, many people cannot figure out how to add Text on their own.

    And many will quit and remove HitFilm if they can't figure it out on their own.

    However having said all that, I am glad I have been able to help so many people and I am glad that many people can now view my tutorial to get an idea how to add text, because as many has said on my tutorial, they could not find anything else that has helped them, even those links and sources posted above, was not helping them.

    As for me, I was 5 months ago a complete beginner when I created that tutorial, I still have no clue really what I am doing now compared to everything HitFilm can do, so it amazes me that it took someone like me needing to create a tutorial for so many people who have messaged me saying that only MY tutorial helped me, where nothing else they watched or read did.

    So my feedback to HitFilm stands firm, please consider this, and as @SimonKJones already said, my feedback has been NOTED!

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited May 2016

    A HitFilm Text project in 6 easy steps.

    WARNING: These steps assume you are at least as intelligent as a jar of mayonnaise and are familiar with such things as a computer, keyboard, mouse, touchpad or touch screen, GUI interface elements such as Icons, Windows, Panels, Buttons and Tabs, GUI widgets like text boxes and actions like "click and drag". If any of these things is not true for you then please do not attempt the following steps as they will cause you great mental anguish and harm.

    1. Start HitFilm
    2. Create a new project by clicking New
    3. Click the START COMPOSITING button
    4. Click the "A" Icon in the Viewer Panel
    5. In the Viewer Window click and drag to create a Text Box.
    6. Use the keyboard to type in the desired text.

    Upon completion of these steps you will have successfully created a HitFilm text project.

    Advanced option 1

    Adding text to an existing HitFilm project in 7 easy steps.

    1. Start HitFilm
    2. Open an existing project.
    3. Once the project has opened click the New button in the Media Panel and select Composite Shot
    4. In the Window that opens set the properties for the composite shot and click the OK button
    5. Click the "A" Icon in the Viewer Panel
    6. In the Viewer Window click and drag to create a Text Box
    7. Use the keyboard to type in the desired text

    Upon completion of these steps you will have successfully added text to an existing HitFilm project.

    Advanced Option 2

    Modifying the Text 

    1. Click the Text Tab in Controls Panel
    2. Use any of the newly revealed universally recognizable text tools to adjust the size, color, spacing, font and justification of the text

    Advanced Option 3

    Using the newly created Text on the Editor Timeline in 2 easy steps

    WARNING: This option requires advanced knowledge of The Two Timelines in HitFilm, what a Composite Shot is and using Composite Shots in the Editor. Please do not proceed until you are aware of both timelines, know what a Composite Shot is and are capable of using one in the Editor

    1. Switch to the Editor Timeline
    2. Click and drag your Text Composite Shot from the Media Panel and place it on the Editor Timeline.

    Upon completion of these steps you will have successfully used a Text Composite Shot in the Editor.

  • edited May 2016

    Sticks and stones @Yeremyah

    As for "projection". I say +1 for the @Palacono  comment/link.

    Native Text creation ability in the NLE has been suggested by others, including me, since before you were around, your video tutorial or this thread.

    Sure you can help some with your video(s) but you are also likely to give false info. Like the tutorial you once did to show people how to do transitions longer than 1 second since Hitfilm transitions were limited to 1 second. I remember this since I specifically jumped on you about that being wrong and you told me I was wrong. Whatever. You eventually figured out you were wrong.


  • edited February 2017

    @NormanPCN You are entitled to your opinion and comments.

    I find it interesting, there are always people who get defensive when someone challenges their beliefs or programs they use, instead of humbly receiving it maturely and respectfully and appreciating honest and constructive feedback.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited May 2016

    @NormanPCN You are entitled to your opinion and comments, yet I also am entitled to my opinion and comments, and I for for one do not respect you, never have, and I do not respect your comments.

    I find it interesting, there are always people who get defensive when someone challenges their beliefs or programs they use, instead of humbly receiving it maturely and respectfully and appreciating honest and constructive feedback.

    @Yeremyah When NormanPCN tried to explain to you how were incorrect in the assumptions you had made about transitions in HitFilm he was nothing but respectful to you and tried his level best to help you. I too remember the conversation well. He challenged a belief you held about how things worked and because I feel the need I'm going to point out again that your belief was incorrect.

    By your own admission you have never respected NormanPCN or his comments and since you are acting childish yet again it appears you have utterly failed to humbly receive or appreciate his honest and constructive feedback in a mature manner. Thank you for displaying your ridiculous hypocrisy for all to see.

    Before you begin with your usual spiel I am not the Devil or Hades or associate with either one. I am not lacking in empathy awareness as I'm full of empathy for NormanPCN at the moment I just don't find you deserving of any.  

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