It used to be that text animation required expertise in professional video editing software. But not anymore! With Kapwing – a free, online image and video editor designed for casual creators and creative professionals – anyone can add simple animated text to photos or colored backgrounds. This technique is perfect for quote videos, lyric videos, memes, Instagram Stories, and disappearing labels.

Kapwing’s Studio helps creators animate text in with a fade, flicker, and original library of text transitions. In this article, I’ll describe how to animate text in the Studio for creators looking to add flair.

Step 1: Add Text to Canvas

To animate text, you’ll need a digital canvas. Using Kapwing’s Studio, you can use a blank canvas for a text-only video or you can upload a photo or video clip to animate the text across.

To get started, open Kapwing’s Studio. Once you’ve uploaded your media or started with a blank canvas, you can adjust the size and color of the background. In my example, I used a 1:1 canvas for Instagram and set the background color to Indigo.

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. In addition to positioning and sizing your text, you can choose from a library with hundreds of fonts, set a custom color, and add an outline.

Step 2: Time out text appearance

After you’ve typed out your text and positioned it, use Timeline to make your text appear and disappear at the right moment in the video. Use the sliders to adjust the start time of each text layer. 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 3: Choose Text Animations

After you’ve set what your text looks like and when it will appear, use the Animate button to add a transition. You can choose fade or flicker. The Kapwing engineering team is working on new animations for our library — let us know if you have ideas for our next animation!

Step 4: Create and Share

After animating your text, click the “Done” button to process your video. The text will be added 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, but it costs a small fee to remove the discrete Kapwing watermark. You can also subscribe for $20/month for no-watermark access to all of Kapwing’s tools.