There are many video editing programs, but they all seem complex and install a lot of capabilities that I don't need, as long as all I want is to place some text on different moments of my video file.

Isn't there a simple way to do this?

Both Windows and Linux solutions are accepted. No problem with a solution working from command line.

Additional Points:

In order to help writing the answers, I would like to add some example case (assuming ffmpeg could do this):

ffmpeg MyVideo.mp4 --add-text "FooFoo" --time 0:09:12

... that would add the text FooFoo at the photogram on minute 09, second 12.

  • 1
    Perhaps writing a subtitle file wouldn't do bad. Or, packaging this subtitle file with your video would be great. // Just an alternative.
    – Firelord
    May 25, 2015 at 15:12
  • Do you need to overlay some text on moments in the file OR insert a few frames of text, (the old dialogue card stile from before sound)? May 25, 2015 at 15:14
  • @Firelord, your suggestion is acceptable for many cases. You should write it as an answer. The only problem comes with people that doesn't know how to open a .srt file, or with video players that don't read it. May 25, 2015 at 15:22
  • @SteveBarnes, overlaying the text would be better, but the other option would to save my day. May 25, 2015 at 15:22
  • You can use Avidemux to hard-code srt subs to the video. Just write the srt file with correct timing.
    – user3169
    May 25, 2015 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


For a free and good windows 7 answer you could use movie maker. It is very minimalist in what it can do, but you can easily do what you are asking. I've done it for a few sign language videos my daughter did (to out English words to her signs).


You could use ffmpeg to add subtitles as in this SO questions answers or to split the video into chunks, (before and after each text bit), and use gimp to generate caption cards to insert between them.

There was also a question on superuser that suggested:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -i watermark.png -filter_complex \
"[0:v][1:v] overlay=10:10:enable='between(t,1,2)'" output.mp4

Would use watermark.pgn as an overlay on a section of a video.

  • I have added an example case to the original question, in order to help in writing the answers. Could you please edit yours according? May 25, 2015 at 15:47

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