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.
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:
- Upload your video
- Add your text
- Duplicate text object
- Time the layers for a “blinking” effect
- 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 cinemagraph of someone pouring coffee from YouTube to add blinking text on top of. I’m making an Instagram Story, so I use the “Resize” tool in the bottom toolbar to change the canvas to 9:16.
Once your video uploads, it will play in the editor with play and pause controls at the top of the screen.
*Hint: If you want to add blinking text on an image or an empty background, upload a video, trim it to your desired duration, and cover it with a “Shape” so that it’s hidden in the final output. The Kapwing Timeline only works if you’ve uploaded a video to canvas. *
Step 2: Add your text
Using the “Add Text” tool, insert your textbox and double-click to edit it. 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 “Bungee Inline” font.
[Optional] 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.
Step 3: Duplicate text object (several times)
Use 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.
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. Use the sliders to change the start and end time of each layer to 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: Create and Download
Once your blinking text looks right, click “CREATE” 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.
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.