Verifying text over audio basics

Hello everyone! I’ve barely used Shotcut for a couple years now for incredibly simple videos and conversions but now have a real task - my own Kickstarter video for an Audiobook.

No promo here, just a question to clarify the protocol (?) of Shotcut. Does text, rich or simple, always need some image to sit on top of to be visible? I’d put my .mp3 Audio on a video track without video. I’d cut [S] here and there and Filter > Rich Text sentences and phrases as I said them. A small test render was blank.

I’ve joined the forum, hello. My basic goal is black with captions. I’ve created a slideshow in case I need the images under text but I hate how that detracts since the Audiobook and book have nothing really to do with these images. Maybe I’ll use a black image? But my question remains about how Shotcut ‘sticks’ text on a video. I hope that’s not too barbaric a question!

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You have two ways to implement it. You can add a picture to the timeline and apply a text filter directly to it, or create a separate track for the text and place it above the picture.

Hi @PeaceGalley - welcome to the forum. There are several tutorials on YouTube regarding adding text to Shotcut.

I also made one, which may be helpful:
Add text to shotcut

If you want to get a little more ambitious with text effects, this might help also:
Cool text effects in Shotcut

I see. But a picture is 100% required then? Text won’t act as its own video info I’m guessing.

I love the helpfulness everywhere here! I’ll check out both links.

It is possible without a picture. The text layer is applied by default to a transparent element on the timeline; if it is not colored in any way, there will simply be white text on a black background.

Pleasure to help. Believe me, you can do exciting things with text!
This short video may help you understand the principle. It’s a project I’m just working on.

I took a screen capture. Following the timeline may help you to get an idea of what I did, and how you can layer text clips on multiple video tracks. Best viewed in full screen, and make sure it’s viewed in 1080p.
Clips marked “transparent” are in fact text clips.

File > Open Other > Text
Open Other is also an icon on the main toolbar:


To add to what the others said, no a picture is not required.
But the text needs to be sitting on something opaque. If you don’t want to use a picture, you can use a Color clip instead. Either apply the Text filter to a Color clip , or add the Color clip on the Track below the Text clip.

Here’s a demo showing the difference between Text applied to a transparent clip versus Text applied to a Black clip:

And here’s a demo showing the difference between Text on a transparent clip without versus with a Color clip on the Track below:


Hi everyone,

I just came across this post while looking for tips on verifying text over audio in Shotcut. I’m new to the program and working on a similar project (possibly an audiobook?) Verifying everything lines up perfectly can be time-consuming!

Is there a recommended workflow or specific tools within Shotcut that can help with this process? Any advice would be appreciated!


That follow-up question sounds like it would make a great, new post (so it can be found later by still others searching) but my guess which is what I’m doing is to get it right once and copy/paste that correct clip and edit the words and length without disturbing placements.