It used to be that text animation required expertise in professional video editing software. But, thanks to innovative new web tools, anyone can make a video or GIF with animated text easily for free.

Animations can be useful for calling attention to text, like a call to action or watermark. Smooth fades and flickers can add professional polish to a high-end video. Because they're fun to look at and engaging, videos with text animations get more engagement on social media. Try them on your Instagram Story, or make a quote video, lyric video, meme, or disappearing labels.

In this article, I'll describe how you can add 6 different types of text animations to your videos using a free online tool called Kapwing. Kapwing’s Studio helps creators animate text in with a fade, flicker, and original library of text transitions and effects.

Library of text animations on Kapwing

For creators looking to add flair, add text animations with these four steps:

  1. Create animation background
  2. Add text layer
  3. Choose animations and set timing
  4. Publish and share

Step 1: Create Animation Background

To animate text, you’ll need a digital canvas. Open up Kapwing's Studio, a free website for making images, GIFs, and videos. Click "Get started with a blank" canvas or upload a file if you want to add animated text as an overlay. Kapwing defaults to a blank white, square canvas. Use the tools in the "Edit background" panel to change the size, aspect ratio, and color of the background.

Now, design what the image will look like behind your animated text. Here are a few options for creating the animation background:

  • Upload an image, GIF, or video file that you want to overlay text on top of or next to. For example, you might want to add an animated watermark overlay to a video for Instagram.
  • Import a video from YouTube, a GIF from Giphy, or an asset from another website. Just click "Upload" and paste the website link into the white "paste a URL" box.
  • Design an original background using Kapwing's design tools. Give the background a color and add shapes, images, and other design elements to create a beautiful background for the animation.

Alternatively, you can choose to start with an animated text template. Browse through Kapwing's collection of animated text videos to use one as a starting point.

This video made from the event invitation template

Step 2: Add Text

After you’ve set the background or uploaded your photo/video, click the Text option in the toolbar to add a text box on the canvas. Use the drag-and-drop sliders to position the text layer and make it the right size on the canvas. In addition to placement and size, you can choose from a library with hundreds of fonts, set a custom color, add line height or a background, and change the outline color.

In this example, I added text with the "Comic Sans" font and changed the text color to red with a white outline. I also made the text bold and center aligned. Animated text is perfect for social media ads and graphics.

Step 3: Choose animations and set timing

Now that you've positioned your text layer, you can add text animations! Click the "Animate" button to reveal Kapwing's full menu of animation options.

Test out each of the different text animations to see which effect you like the best. There are five options:

  • Fade: Text appears gradually.
  • Flicker: Text appears with a delayed blinking, like a candle flickering.
  • Hue Rotate: The text's color changes over the full spectrum of colors. You can set the starter color to change the saturation that the hue rotates around.
  • Wipe: The text appears from left to right.
  • Vibrate: The text moves slightly in place, buzzing like a vibration.

Also, we're hoping to add more effects and transitions in the future! If you have ideas about new text animations you want us to add, let us know in the #feature-request channel of our community Discord.

If you have multiple animated text layers or want the text to appear after a delay, use the "Timeline" tool. Timeline gives you a view of all the layers in your video; you can change the start time of each layer in that scene. Use the sliders to adjust the start time and end time of each text layer so that they appear or disappear on cue.

Here’s an example of the popular “Crab rave” meme with one line of text that appears at about 9 seconds into the video.

This video was made by timing the text layers at an offset in the Kapwing Studio.

After you’ve made your layers appear at certain times in the video, the main preview will update to reflect your changes.

Step 4: Publish and Share

After animating your text, click the “Publish” button to process your video. Alternatively, you can choose to output as a GIF by changing the "Output Type" to GIF in Settings.

After you publish the project, Kapwing will add the animated text directly into the MP4! After several seconds of processing, you can share the URL to your video page or download the video to publish it on social media. Since Kapwing is in the cloud, you can always come back to your video and edit it.

Kapwing is free to use, and you can remove the watermark by signing in. Please consider upgrading to Kapwing Pro to make longer videos, store and edit your projects on Kapwing, and more.

Thanks for reading! We're looking forward to seeing all of the text animations you can dream of. Let us know if you have ideas for how we can expand the library and make sure to tag us with #Kapwing for an extra like and follow on social media.