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Windows Movie Maker

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I wrote a series of articles at BrightHub about WMM and the article about text is consistently the most viewed of the series. I share the enthusiasm for the text features WMM provides.

In addition to the usual title and credits clips, text captions can be used throughout a project to add to the content, or discretely take the viewers eyes away from a visual or part of it you want to downplay, such as covering a car's license plate number.

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WMM provides a great new positioning feature that lets you place overlying text anyplace in the frame. That, combined with the quick real-time previewing of text effects, make for much easier and better control of text.

Classic versions of Movie Maker have a title overlay track that lets you overlap text clips so you could use/overlap two of them together.... WMM doesn't let you overlap text clips.

With custom xml files you can also use the title clips in classic versions of Movie Maker to do all sorts of fancy tricks. WMM doesn't support such add-on uses.

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Adding Text Clips

In a new empty project you can add a title or credits clip, but not a caption.... captions are for use over a visual clip (picture or video clip). This picture shows a project with a caption clip applied after I added a picture.

By default a title clip goes at the beginning and a credits clip at the end... but you can add them anyplace, use multiple ones, and move the black backgrounds or overlying text clips.

Adding Text Clips

The default duration of a text clip or still picture is 7 seconds. In the above picture you can see the three 7 second clips add up to an overall project duration of 21 seconds.


after adding text clips

First some tips...


Changing Basic Font Settings - use the features in the menu

Font choices are typical for all Windows apps that use them... the fonts to choose from are those on your computer, not tied only to Movie Maker.

WMM lets you use font sizes as low as 1 and as high as 9999. If you don't see the size you want in the drop down list, type it into the entry setting field.

Text Settings

WMM doesn't remember your choices and opens with the same default settings when you restart it. What I do to set the style for all of the text clips in a project is to setup the first clip and then copy/paste it to other places.


Text Effects - the defaults for text clips are included when they are created, but you can change them.

Text Effects

The ribbon menu provides dynamic real-time previews. Move the mouse cursor over any of the text effect choices and watch the preview monitor to see what it would look like. When you find the one you want, touch it with the cursor and it'll be included in the text clip you currently have selected.


Graphical Fonts - not all fonts are for alphanumeric characters... some include graphics or symbols. Your choices will vary by the computer and the installed fonts, and you can find and download others.

Some of the fonts on my computers that include graphics are:

Some fonts come with the computer and others with installed software. Review those on your system. This picture shows the text overlay when I change the font to Webdings and type in a font size of 200.

Graphical Text

By selecting a graphic font, you can highlight something or someone, or stratigically position a single large sized character, with the transparancy setting of your choice, to mask a license plate number, a face, or whatever.

WMM is great about letting you position the text anyplace in the frame.