How to Add Flashing Text in a Video

How to Add Flashing Text in a Video

Exit signs, alarm clocks, warnings: blinking text is everywhere in real life, but how do you recreate the “flashing” effect in a video? Animated text keeps social media viewers stimulated and engaged, drawing attention to the flashing text repeatedly. To date, this effect has been reserved for video editing pros, people who have mastered Premiere or Final Cut Pro.

But not anymore! Now, any social media creator can add this effect to their videos quickly from the browser.

This GIF made using the below techniques

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to add blinking text to a video with a free online tool. It’s fast, simple, and accessible; you do not need any video editing expertise to use it. Here’s how to add flashing or blinking text using Kapwing:

  1. Upload your video
  2. Add your text
  3. Duplicate text object
  4. Time the layers for a “blinking” effect
  5. Create and Download

Step 1: Upload your video

Open Kapwing’s Add Text tool and click “Get Started”. You can start with a blank canvas or upload your video directly to add text on top of it. It’s also possible to import a video or GIF directly from YouTube, Vimeo, Google Images, Giphy, or any other hosting website.

In my example, I uploaded a short video of someone pouring coffee from the "Videos" tab in the sidebar. This search bar pulls in assets from stock media sites to help creators with footage. I’m making an Instagram Story, so I use the Output Size buttons in the side bar to change the canvas to 9:16.

Once your video uploads, it will play in the editor with play and pause controls at the bottom of the screen.

You can also get started with a flashing text layer even if you don't have a video. Feel free to add a text layer on top of the canvas with a colored or transparent background, then make it flicker using the "Animate" tab in the right-side menu. I used this functionality to make a Subscribe GIF with a transparent background with Kapwing's "Export GIF" dropdown in the dropdown menu.

Step 2: Add your text

Using the “Add Text” tool in the left side-bar, insert your text box with the "Add Text" button. Double-click to edit it and type the words that you want to flicker as an overlay.

Once you've added the text layer, you can then use the corner handles to make your text bigger and position it on top of your video.

Kapwing has custom font and color selectors, if you want to use brand styles. Click on the “Edit font” option in the toolbar to browse Kapwing’s font library. In my example, I inserted a call to action – “Swipe up” – for an instagram story with a pre-selected teal color and the “Bebas Neue” font.

In the editor, feel free to explore and add other tweaks to your video. You could add a colored background, a border, a watermark, a shape, or other visual elements to the screen and arrange them relative to each other.

There are multiple ways to add a flashing effect to the text layer. One option is to select the text layer and click "Animate" in the right-hand menu. Then, choose the "Flicker" animation from the pre-set animation library.

Play the video to preview the flicker effect. Creators can also slow down or speed up how quickly the layer flashes and add the same effect to the layer outro for a continuous animation.

Step 3: Duplicate text object (several times)

The second method is to manually make the layer appear and disappear in the timeline. This effect takes a bit more work, but also gives you more control over the timing and visual appearance of the overlay. Start by using the “Duplicate” icon (next to the Trash icon) to make a copy of your text box object. Position the new layer on top of your existing text layer. On a computer, you can use Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V to copy and paste the layer on top of itself.

You should repeat this step many times so that the layers can blink in and out continuously over the course of the video. I recommend one layer per two seconds of the video.

Step 4: Time the layers for a “blinking” effect

To make your words look like they’re blinking in and out, use the “Timeline” button to make the text layers appear and disappear dynamically. Drag the layers over the course of the video track to change the start and end time of each text box. Each word will only appear for a segment of the video. Once the layers are evenly divided among the duration of the video, add some padding between each end slider and the start of the next one.

This slight delay makes it look like the text is blinking in and out. Use the Kapwing preview to make sure the animation looks smooth and adjust the sliders if necessary.

Step 5: Export and Download

Once your blinking text looks right, click “Export” Video to process your video. The Kapwing Kittens will take a few moments to finalize your blinking text video, and once it’s done you can download the output MP4 to share with friends or publish on social media.

You can also remove the watermark for free by signing in.

Video edited on Kapwing

Above is my final blinking text video made on Kapwing. Kapwing’s add text editor can make other visual elements flash in and out, like a sticker, emoji, or image. It’s a perfect tool for Instagram Stories and other social media formats.