How To Add Text To A YouTube Video After Upload?

Adding Text to YouTube Video - Post-Upload Tutorial

To add text to a YouTube video after uploading, follow these steps, which leverage YouTube’s built-in features to enhance your video with textual content:

  1. Access YouTube Studio: First, sign in to your YouTube account and go to YouTube Studio by clicking on your profile icon in the top right corner and selecting “YouTube Studio” from the dropdown menu.
  2. Select Your Video: In the left sidebar, click “Content” to find the video you wish to edit. Hover over the video and click on the pencil icon (Details) to enter the video’s details page.
  3. Open YouTube Editor: Scroll down to the bottom of the details page and select “Editor” from the left-hand menu. The YouTube Editor interface will now open.
  4. Add Text with Subtitles or Titles: You have two fundamental options to add text: through subtitles or title screens.
  5. For Subtitles: Click “Subtitles” in the left sidebar (you may need to exit the Editor to find this). Here, you can add or edit subtitles manually. Click “Add” at the spot you want the text to appear, and type your text. You can adjust the timing to sync your text with the video perfectly.
  6. For Titles/Descriptions Inside the Video: Look for the “Add a title” option within the Editor. You can drag and place this feature at the desired time. Although YouTube’s Editor limits direct in-video text additions, you can use this feature for simple text overlays.
  7. Review and Save: After adding your text, preview your video to ensure the text appears as intended. If satisfied, click “Save” to update your video with the added text.
  • Using these steps to add text after uploading can significantly improve the viewer’s understanding, engagement, and the overall value of your content on YouTube. Remember, while YouTube’s built-in tools offer convenience, for more complex text overlays and graphic integrations, you might consider using external video editing software before uploading your videos. 

However, for quick and straightforward text additions, YouTube’s built-in features are an excellent resource to enhance your video content.  Additionally, make sure to leave your videos with enough text, as it can distract viewers from the visuals and message of your video.

Adding text to a YouTube video after uploading can also be helpful for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as subtitles or captions can help them understand the video’s audio content. It is essential to remember accessibility when adding text to videos, and YouTube’s built-in tools make it easy. Additionally, you can use different font styles and colours to make your text stand out and add visual interest to your video. Experiment with various options to find the best way to enhance your video with text. 


YouTube Annotations: A Retrospective

YouTube Annotations was a groundbreaking feature introduced by YouTube in June 2008, allowing content creators to add interactive commentary, links, and calls to action directly to their videos. This tool empowered creators to guide viewers through video content, promoting engagement and interaction unmatched by static video elements. Annotations played a critical role in the evolution of YouTube’s user experience, enabling a level of engagement that helped solidify YouTube’s position as a dynamic and interactive platform for video content. 

They allowed for adding background information, corrections during post-production, and creating interactive adventures and tutorials, which enriched the viewer’s experience and provided creators with innovative ways to increase viewer interaction and channel visibility. However, due to the shift in user behaviour towards mobile viewing and the introduction of more integrated features like end screens and cards, 

YouTube discontinued annotations in January 2019, marking the end of an era and the beginning of more streamlined and mobile-friendly interaction tools. Despite their discontinuation, annotations remain a significant part of YouTube’s history and played an essential role in shaping the platform into what it is today.

Since removing annotations, YouTube has continuously introduced new features and updates to enhance engagement and interactivity on the platform. End screens, which replaced annotations, allow creators to promote other videos or channels, display a subscribe button, and add calls to action during their video’s last 5-20 seconds. These end screens are optimised for mobile viewing and have proven to be an effective tool for increasing viewer engagement and channel growth. 

Additionally, YouTube has introduced cards, which are small, interactive elements that appear throughout a video and allow creators to promote other videos, merchandise, or external websites. These features and the ability to add links and calls to action in video descriptions provide creators with various options for engaging with their audience and promoting their content.


Tips for Engaging Viewers with Text Content

Use Engaging Headlines and Subheadings

Creating captivating headlines and subheadings is crucial for drawing readers into your content. They act as an initial hook that piques curiosity and compels the reader to continue exploring your text. A well-crafted headline should encapsulate the essence of your content concisely and engagingly. At the same time, subheadings should guide readers through your text, breaking it into digestible chunks. This not only enhances readability but also helps in maintaining the viewer’s interest throughout the article. Remember, headlines and subheadings are not just markers; they’re an integral part of the storytelling process, setting the tone and pacing for your narrative. Furthermore, using keywords and power words in your headlines can make them more attention-grabbing and improve SEO.


Use a Conversational Tone

Text content that feels like talking directly to the reader is much more engaging than one that reads like a dry academic paper. A conversational tone can build a connection with the viewer and make them feel invested in your content. It also makes the text easier to read and understand, keeping viewers engaged and interested. Avoid using jargon or overly formal language unless appropriate for your target audience. Instead, try to write in a friendly and relatable way, as if you were conversing with a friend. This will improve engagement and help build trust with your readers.


Use Visual Aids

Incorporating visual aids such as images, videos, and infographics can significantly enhance the engagement level of your text content. Humans are naturally drawn to visuals, and including them in your content can break up blocks of text and make it more visually appealing. Additionally, using relevant and high-quality visuals can help reinforce key points in your text and make them more memorable for viewers. When using images, use descriptive alt tags to improve accessibility and SEO. Remember to leave your text with only a few visuals, as it may distract or overwhelm the reader.


Encourage Interaction

Engaging viewers doesn’t just mean keeping their attention; it involves actively involving them in the content. Encouraging interaction can range from asking open-ended questions and using polls or surveys to including calls to action. This allows viewers to feel like they are part of the conversation and have a stake in the content. It also opens up opportunities for feedback and discussion, making for a more dynamic and engaging experience. However, be mindful not to force interaction or make it excessive, as it may come off as spammy or pushy.


Keep It Concise and Relevant

In today’s fast-paced world, attention spans are shorter than ever. To keep viewers engaged with your text content, getting straight to the point and avoiding fluff is essential. Be mindful of the length of your sentences and paragraphs, use bullet points or numbered lists when appropriate, and only include information relevant to your main topic. This will make your content more engaging and improve its overall quality by keeping it focused and concise.



Creating engaging text content is a continuous process of trial and error, but implementing these tips can significantly increase the chances of keeping viewers engaged. Remember, headlines and subheadings are essential hooks; a conversational tone builds connections, visual aids enhance the appeal, interaction keeps viewers invested, and keep it concise and relevant ensures quality. Use these tips to create compelling text content that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impact.