Adding Text Feedback



  • edited February 2017

    @Aladdin4d you too are entitled to your comments and opinion.

    I respect and value people who are thoughtful for others, and who have the desire to include them in any process and not toss them aside and not consider them at all.

    I respect and value people who are humble and have ability to receive constructive and honest relative feedback.  

    Respect is not earned by knowing something really well, having great knowledge about it and expecting everyone else to be at their level, no, respect is earned by someone who may have great knowledge about something, yet are willing to consider those who do not, and be nice about it and consider their feelings and where they are at.

    And your comments that my comments were incorrect, well my comments were not incorrect at all for a lot of users, in truth, many people would agree with my comments and believe they are true when applied to them as well.

    I have given my relative and subjective feedback to Simon and the HitFilm crew, Simon said it's been noted, that's good enough for now as he valued me enough to reply and note it.

    At the end of the day, I wanted to start this thread and give some feedback regarding Text, and I am hoping it is helpful for Simon etc into the future because I love HitFilm.



  • Can you just stopp Yeremyah? Look for a new hobby. This has ones been a constructive forum, then you came around....Go make some more tutorials and keep them editing until it looks like you know what you are doing there. 

    @support , is there a way to stopp seeing comments from people? Like inside facebook? I would highly recommend to implement it into the forum. Thanks. 

    @all others, let´s again get back to some HF stuff. Who needs text anyway? 

  • Guys... keep it friendly please :)

    As Simon said, we've got a few ideas on how to improve text to make it easier to use and improve the general user experience. This should help people that are just starting with HitFilm and that use it more as an editor rather than a compositor. Even the advanced users can benefit from it if the feature is generally more pleasant / requires less mouse clicks / etc.

    However we do have a very long list of things to add / improve so I can't say when it will happen but as always, we take in all suggestions and depending on how many people are interested, we shift priorities.

  • edited May 2016

    No need for anyone to go anywhere; this is an inclusive forum - I've posted some pretty misguided nonsense myself through failure to RTFM and people have been very patient in explaining the errors I've made and I hope that'll continue for me and anyone else who needs help.

    Everyone is guilty of this to some extent:

    I'm just stupid enough to think I'm fairly clever, but clever enough to know I'm actually pretty stupid; so I'll make really silly mistakes while thinking I've discovered something amazing. I just need to keep working on my self awareness. It's not easy though: I've been damned by the faint praise of being an "acquired taste" (Yikes!) :D

    I'm going to keep on making errors as I learn, as @Yeremyah will, and we'll all go on helping each other, because we like to think that our opinion is correct and therefore helpful and appreciated by someone else; and it usually is. :)

    Thinking you're probably wrong about everything is a good way to ensure you might occasionally be correct, but I forget that every. single. time (damn prehistoric brain design). 

  • Well said, @Palacono and @CedricBonnier

    Forums in general can be awkward spaces to feel comfortable in, at least for me. For example, I dropped out of this thread a few days ago simply because I was in the minority regarding the opinions expressed. And sometimes, you have to be able to accept a slight feeling of rejection when you start a discussion and not a single person replies.

    Also, it's far too easy to get too engaged in trying to win a debating point. There's been at least one occasion on here when I was about to post an edgy comment... fortunately, I went away for a few hours to let calmer thoughts prevail.

    Overall, participating in this forum is a very positive experience. Let's do our best to keep it that way.

  • Thank you @CedricBonnier, your comments are very much appreciated :)

  • edited February 2017

    My last comment on this is as follows... thank you for all the constructive feedback to my original post and concerns regarding Text. 

    As I personally have an understanding of adding Text now, my only objective of bringing this thread up was for the benefit of the company and new users.

    When it comes to relative and subjective understanding, awareness and beliefs, there is no wrong, it's all true and right from the individuals perspective. 

    So if someone believes that adding text was easy to figure out from the start on their own, than that is true and correct from that persons perspective and viewpoint. However, if someone else has a differing opinion, awareness, understanding or belief, that is was extremely confusing and hard to work out how to add Text, than that is also true and correct from that persons perspective and viewpoint, even though the 2 people reveal a contradictory paradigm on the subject.

    My goal was to share my concerns regarding Text, for as I said, for not my benefit, for I gain nothing from it, it was only cause I am thoughtful for HitFilm and new users.

    I am happy and content with @SimonKJones and @CedricBonnier reply and comments, and I feel validated.

    Thank you everyone.




  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

     @Palacono Would you prefer being compared to Marmite next time?

    edited May 2016

    I got trolled by @Aladdin4d

    If there was a price for stupidity, it would already be hanging on my wall.

    Now when I successfully calmed everyone down, this would be perfect.

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

    It would make it a much more pleasant experience. I ran into this same problem, and there are more beginners like me than experienced like you.


  • @Aladdin4d, I think a truer comparison would be to this :D :

    Wikipedia Surströmming

    I already said that a quick auto-opening Comp with a pre-rolled Text Layer in it would be useful and shouldn't break anything. I think it would still get missed by many, but as Cedric says: it would benefit everyone to shave off a few extra mouse clicks etc. once you knew about it. ;)

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited May 2016

    @KevinTheFilmmaker My issue doesn't have anything to do with beginners or less experienced users. technical skill levels, intelligence or anything of the sort. It can't be generalized across to other people like that.

    And I didn't troll you - I never said my solution would be practical just that it would work. I didn't know there was an RFP with stipulations that had to be followed before submitting a proposal. :) 

    "'T' (text tool) icon to the Editor" - I'm sure you're still going to hate me but I have to disagree with this on the grounds that it will cause mass confusion. I predict that within 30 minutes of this being added to HitFilm you will see a forum post very much like this:

    Trying to add Text do I use "T" or "A"?

    Followed by many more posts that are variations of the same question. Anybody brand new to HitFilm is going to see that and think "Wow that's pretty sexist and insulting" and somebody is going to have to answer all of them trying to explain how they're different but yet the same or it doesn't really matter or it depends or you should do this when you're doing that or you should do that when you're doing this and on and on an on until somebody's head finally explodes. I don't want that on my conscience. I may or may not feel sorry for the person whose head exploded but somebody has to clean up the mess and I would feel sorry them. Just imagine trying to get that off a touchscreen and cleaning out between the keyboard keys.......nasty!

    I'm not saying something couldn't be done like maybe another "A" icon but mark my words you will rue the day you ever suggested "T" if that comes to pass.

    @Palacono - Be careful or you'll end up bombarded with questions wanting to know the difference between pre-rolled and unrolled. 

  • Aladdin4d - It was me who suggested a 'T' icon.  That was a mistake as I forgot that the Compositor viewer uses an  'A' icon. Whatever letter is on the icon, it should be consistent across both the Editor and the Compositor viewers. Sorry for the confusion.

    edited May 2016

    @Aladdin4d I can live with that.

    It's 100% their own fault for trying to introduce a new standard. Decisions like these annoy me.


  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @efolve You don't have anything to be sorry for. It was just convenient excuse for me to troll KevinTheFilmmaker again give KevinTheFilmmaker  a hard time for calling me a troll again

  • edited February 2017

    I agree with you @KevinTheFilmmaker.



  • edited February 2017

    Andy, thank you for your comments.

    Notice you said, "pretty universal", which means you already had an exisiting awareness about a function from past experience from using other products.

    Yet many people, including myself when I first started using HitFilm, have zero awareness or experience, so in their psychology, thought processing and mind-set, there is no "universal" awareness how to add Text.

    I would love to hear from @SimonKJones, @DanielGWood @AxelWilkinson 

  • edited February 2017


  • edited February 2017

    First of all let me start by thanking you alot for making this editing software. Its great!! This comment is to provide you a view from a single user that might help improving an allready good product.

    Adding text to my video did leave me extremely frustrated though and I will explain you why. 
    1) I look for it myself, and find a Text tab. I presume I can somehow add text here. After looking around that doesnt work, nothing responds nowhere can I find anything clickable or "add text" or whatever.

    2) I click on the official "Help" the (?) and expect to find how to add something simple like text there. The instructions I find are:

    Creating text & titles

    There are several ways to create a text layer.

    • Select Text from the New Layer menu on a composite shot timeline. This will display the text properties where you can set the resolution for your text layer.
    • Use the Viewer Text tool to click anywhere in the Viewer. Clicking once will display the text properties dialog where you can set a specific resolution for your text layer, or click and drag to draw a quick custom shape.

    And then finally I see another youtube video where they do explain it:

    You have to click Media > +New and then select Composite shot

    The solution? Add the A-button standard in the quickmenu. If the user clicks on it a composition is created.

  • Yeah, we've all made many suggestions as to how Text could be improved since...forever, but we get it: it's not going to happen.  Not even a simple button in the Editor to autocreate a composite with a Text layer in it (full screen sized for simplicity?) and putting your cursor (flashing) already in it and ready to go.

    Heck, even having the cursor actually appear (even though it is active, you'd never know) when you created the text box and have selected 'A' (or vice versa via the other method), rather than only after you click in the box and the first letter has been typed, would be a start, Five versions and many updates later, it's still: 'hunt the text feature' for new users.

    But, you have to consider the simple question: How many New users ever want to add text to a video they've made with perhaps a few simple colour correction effects added in the Editor?

    Obviously the correct answer of 99.9% of them is just not enough to make it worth implementing something to help them out, ease them gently into the program, rather than smack them in the face at the first hurdle and send them off looking for something easier to use.

    Instead, the 'Make Composite Shot' Button that was above the Editor timeline in HF4 became a small, grey, meaningless icon in HFP2017, making it harder to work out how to even make a composite shot to add your text to in the first place. The UI has got more 'minimalist' and user-hostile with every iteration. I fully expect the Alt-Text that pops up when you hover over the icons to disappear entirely in some future update, or have the delay  increased to 10 seconds. Maybe the idea is: If you have to ask about a feature, you probably shouldn't be using it? Incidentally, I'll bet you $10 you can't find the 'Video Size, Audio Size and Preview Mode' selection menu because there already isn't any Alt-Text 'popup' for it and it's tiny and very well hidden.

    Hitfilm is for making movies with VFX in, which simple text is usually not a massive part of. If you want fancy text for titles etc.: the Boris Add On is intended to cater for that. If you want basic text, you're expected to figure it out because you'll have had to get familiar with the program doing almost anything else beyond dropping clips on the timeline in the Editor.

    Ironically, for people whose experience is of other programs where Text is easy to add and doesn't require going through multiple, badly signposted, poorly documented steps they don't understand or think they need: they'll get frustrated, not explore further and stop using Hitfilm entirely.

    All for the want of a single 'Create Text' button.

  • @Palacono Well, this morning I feel sarcasm begets sarcasm.

    Kolaas complains:  that the instructions are confusing to follow in the manual. Specifically that this:

    Select Text from the New Layer menu on a composite shot timeline. This will display the text properties where you can set the resolution for your text layer.

    Made no sense until watching a video that said this:

    "You have to click Media > +New and then select Composite shot"

    Now I'm pretty sure this (with emphasis added)

    Select Text from the New Layer menu ON A COMPOSITE SHOT TIMELINE This will display the text properties where you can set the resolution for your text layer.

    kind of, sort of, maybe implies that, gosh, darnit, you need to be in a composite shot to create text. It's right there in the manual.

    Now, a constructive critique for the devs might be along the lines of "Hey, can we update the documentation here, and maybe add to the beginning of the Text Instructions, 'Text can only be created in Composite Shots.'" Except... The manual says (emphasis added)...

    "Creating text layers

    The built-in text features are excellent for creating custom text layers which can then be manipulated like any other layer. TEXT IS ALWAYS CREATED AS A LAYER IN A COMPOSITE SHOT TIMELINE, AND CANNOT BE CREATED IN THE EDITOR. "

    Exactly that.

    Kolaas complains "I have no 'A' tool." I see your $10 for people not finding the track size options and raise you $20 he was in an Editor Timeline.

    And, of course the manual for the Viewer Panel says (emphasis added)...

    "Text font@2x

    Creates a new text layer. Clicking once will display the text properties window where you can specify the size of the layer. You can also click and drag to draw a text box directly in the Viewer.


    See Text layers for more information."

    It's in the manual at least three times that Text can only be created in a Composite Shot.

    The manual also has a section on the "Two Timelines." The Hitfilm official tutorials list has a multiple videos on "The Two Timelines" and "Editor vs Composite Shot Timelines" and video Tutorials on creating text, not to mention all the many user tutorials covering the exact same thing.

    So at what point do we blame FxHome and at what point do we blame "user error?" We've already covered that the manual has the information that this user overlooked in at least three places. What, exactly, can FxHome do to make that information easier to follow for people incapable of using an index, a keyword search, and recognizing information presented in a simple declarative statement? Trust me, at this point last year I'd be using stronger terms, but now I feel I have to play nice.

    Now a proposed solution is to add a "create text" option in the Media Panel that creates a new composite shot with a text object in it--so, let's implement that. Now we're getting complaints from another user about "How come when I click that button it makes a new composite shot? I want to add text to the composite I'm already IN!" Now we have a whole new issue. And said hypothetical new button would be covered in the manual and in a video tutorial...

    Incidentally, the Official Hitfilm Tutorial for Adding Text says RIGHT OFF THE BAT that text must be created in a Composite Shot Timeline. Here's the exact place where Axel says so.


    Sure this is a Hitfilm 2 Ultimate Tutorial, but differences in the interface are, um, basically a different shade of gray. Admittedly, changing the text object icon from a "T" to an "A" might be mildly confusing, but the other two methods are unchanged, and I would expect a reasonable person to figure out that the icon in the same place in the viewer menu might fulfill the same function? Especially when the other icons in that row are unchanged?

    Oh, wait, here's a recent tutorial, where, once again, I'll link to the exact time Axel says Text must be created in a Composite Shot.

    I've not watched the Text tutorials from Yeremyah, Shiny Films, Hitfilm Quicktips, Hitfilm Sensei, Red Alert!, RCG29, or inScape Digital, but I'll bet most of them include that information.

    One more time--Since the information in in the manual multiple times, since the information is clearly stated and demonstrated by Axel in videos, at what point to we stop blaming FxHome and blame the individual user who is unable to recognize basic information?

    Staff, tell me if I'm out of line and I'll delete this post.

  • edited February 2017

    Creating text in Hitfilm is really one of the easiest things that a person can do. If you Google it, you will find several video tutorials on how to do it, and you will quickly be able to learn how even if you have never done it before. Here is my 46 second tutorial video along with several others for you to look at.

    My tutorial:

    Axel's Tutorial:

    Hitfilm Quicktips Video:

    TechHaxx Video:

    Shiny Films Tutorial:

  • edited February 2017

    @HitfilmSensei when I created this thread and my tutorial, there was no "If you Google it, you will find several video tutorials on how to do it" back then.

    Sure now, these days in 2017, there has appeared many text tutorials.  

    But back in the day for me starting out, November 2015, I found NO text tutorial that helped, hence, I created that tutorial which today is still going strong, 157,000+ views.

  • @Yeremyah Hmmm... interesting.

    My previous experience in video editing before Hitfilm was originally in Corel Lumiere and then Pinnacle Studio. I first found and then bought Hitfilm 2 Ultimate in January, 2014. One of the first things I learned was how to create text (Hitfilm's process was, and still is, very different than in Studio). I Googled it and found Axel's tutorial (which, after taking a peek at it just now, was published on November 15, 2011). I found this tutorial to be easy to follow and very straight forward.

    Even still, when I say "If you Google it, you will find several video tutorials on how to do it, and you will quickly be able to learn how even if you have never done it before." I am talking about today.

  • edited February 2017

    Why are posts suddenly full screen width? That's pretty hard to read. :(

    You're saying people should look in the manual? How did you find the sections you highlighted? The search function is a bit anemic. Click on Keyword Index, then 'T' for... text. What comes up?





    OK, Hmmm....'E' for ...Editing?

    - E -

    2D effects

    Adding clips to the timeline

    Converting clips to composite shots

    Editing tools


    Transforming clips


    Editor timeline


    Effects panel




    Err...sounds complicated....where is Text? It's under 'Layers'.

    - L -


    Creating new layers

    Grade layers







    Text     <<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Timeline properties




    So, in order to know how to use Text on a Layer in a Composite shot you need to already know that you need to use Text on a Layer in a Composite shot. Snake eating its own tail.

    Everything else you can pretty much muddle through in the Editor the first time you run the program.

    Drag in some footage, plop it on the timeline, cut it about a bit, add another bit, then look in the Effects and experiment with them. You'll get an ungodly mess to start with, but at least the instructions aren't hidden in a disused toilet with the light off (etc. etc.). Text requires that you go and watch several videos, pick up the terminology, in order to know what to search for in the manual.

    This bit in the manual is wishful thinking :)

    With the Text tool selected only text layers will be highlighted in the Viewer. Select the text layer you wish to edit, then begin typing.

     Already manipulated it with rotate, resize, polar warp or other effects (after you've learned how to do those, of course...)? Good luck with that then.... :(

    With more than one overlapping text layer, selecting the one you want to edit is pretty darn tricky. Hiding the ones you aren't interested in doesn't work; it insists on selecting them even when invisible. Changing the layer order seems to have some effect, but having to drag a layer to the top of the stack so it's more likely to get chosen is bonkers.

    Selecting the Layer View - because eventually the manual told you that Text is a layer like everything else - rewards you with a Black screen. So it's not a layer then?  No, it's some sort of 'Effect' that's neither fish nor fowl.

    In short, if in the first 30 minutes of using a program you can't drag in a single video clip, drop it on the timeline, add any of the 'Auto' Colour Correction Effects, add 'My Holiday' or 'My Gameplay Video' on it without having to go outside the manual to watch a tutorial that tells you where to look in the "manual", that then tells you what other sort of tutorial video you should be watching, just to add some text then...I think a lot of people will just quit, uninstall, and move on.

    No other Editor at this level or below (not thinking of Resolve, or Fusion, but stuff like Windows Movie Maker, Sony Movie Studio/ Vegas/Magix, all the other Magixs, Elements and dozens more) make it such an ordeal. Videos made by people who also don't understand how it works confuses things even further. 

    That 'Goodmorning Studios Tutorial' video above starts out by saying "There are two types of Text...".??? There are others, that are just as bad, as I'm sure you know.  In the absence of hard facts, the void gets filled with 'Alternative Facts'. :)

    FXHome should just add a "Create Text" button. Right in the space they made by creating that new grey 'Make Composite Shot' button in the Editor only. No "It's made a new composite in the composite Editor" complaints.  For people using the Editor almost exclusively separate composites for text are what they want.

    All it has to do it do what you'd do yourself. Create Composite, Create Text Layer, Make it Full Screen for simplicity, open up Text Tab, select Text Edit mode, put (properly working, flashing) cursor in the middle. Done.

    The bizarre way the "resize" leaves the Anchor point where it was, so your text scales or rotates oddly if you change it after creation, is just another example of the v1.0ness of the text 'Effect'. You probably can't fix that without breaking stuff, but Hitfilm could stop punching people (and ultimately: themselves) in the face by adding a simple shortcut and improving the documentation if that's where people are supposed to be looking.

    However, perhaps if you can't work out how to add Text, then it's an indicator that perhaps Hitfilm isn't the program for you, because actual VFX are going to be a lot more complicated and will require a lot more research and general experimentation. :)

  • The sections I highlighted I found by typing "Text" in the search bar.

    I'll admit that the manual still needs improvement. I'll also note that the manual improves with each iteration, but newer features are still getting more love. Unfortunately we're still hitting the "small company" problem that plagues FxHome--namely they don't have someone with a dedicated task to write the manual. That's currently Axel who has to fit that in around everything else he does. By necessity he's giving more focus to the newer features.

    But--concrete suggestions for how to fix the manual are better than sarcasm.

    BTW, since I literally have been jumping between HF2U, 4E, 4P and P2017 tonight, that "new" make composite shot button goes back to Hitfilm 2....

    I still argue that a "Create Text" button that also creates a Composite Shot would generate a ton of complaints from people who don't want to create a NEW composite shot, but create text, or more text in the composite shot they're in--so now we have to teach them about TWO "make text buttons?" Bad idea. bad, bad idea.

    The "if you can't figure out how to make text, perhaps Hitfilm isn't the program for you!" Yes, I'll absolutely agree with that one.

    As far as videos made by people who don't understand what they're doing? Oy, seriously, man, you have no idea how hard I'm laughing right now. Seriously. I'll acknowledge that there are a few videos out there that totally do more harm than good. And that's all I'm gonna say about that before I start pointing fingers.

  • Why are posts full screen width? Someone poked the forum software?

    You had to search for "Text" because the first part of your: "What, exactly, can FxHome do to make that information easier to follow for people incapable of using an index, a keyword search......" didn't work, right? Because no 'text' under 'T' in the Index. ;)

    I forgot to mention this quote:
    "Kolaas complains "I have no 'A' tool." I see your $10 for people not finding the track size options and raise you $20 he was in an Editor Timeline." 
    Regardless of where he was looking for 'A' (you might be right), I'm pretty sure my $10 is safe. He'll never find it (no hints now...). :)

    I misdescribed the grey icon; what I meant was it's now only a grey, meaningless icon instead of having some helpful text next to it before. I'm guessing someone thought, "Hang on, strictly speaking this should only have Alt-Text on hover, as nothing else has a description next to it", so.... Zap! gone.

    And the "Text Creation" button only being in the Editor? Why would that be a problem? It's a shortcut mini-script to the 'usual' method.

    If I could create Presets to do half the things I do over and over and over again, I'd make one to do just that. :D

    It's a gentle introduction to Composite shots. "Oh, this is easy. It makes Text in composite shots and all I have to do is type it. I'll just drag a plane as a background under the text. Oh, that's easy too. These composites aren't so scary" etc.  :)

    I've rarely seen an unofficial video where I've not thought: "I know in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, but... that's just going to confuse people..."

  • edited February 2017

    @Palacono You probably shouldn't watch any of my videos!

  • edited February 2017

     @HitfilmSensei Be careful what you wish for... ;)

    Wait, did you mean shouldn't watch? :D

  • (aside: I'm seeing the full-width posts problem on this thread too. Geoffrey is looking into it!)

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited February 2017


    "Why are posts full screen width? Someone poked the forum software?"

    It's a sign the thread containment field is failing due to comment manipulation and degradation ;)

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