Let’s Make a Book Trailer — Part 12

Wow! It’s been a while!

This is part 12 of my series on let’s make a book trailer.  My last post in the series was way back in January.  Ouch!  My apologies for those waiting breathlessly for the next installment (Hi mom!).

Previous parts are here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, and Part 11.

As with the previous posts, the following are merely my thoughts on the trailer construction process.  Feel free to use or snort with derision.

Last time we imported our PowerPoint trailer slides into Microsoft Movie Maker and covered some basic editing techniques. 

In today’s post we’ll look at adding Captions and Titles to our trailer.

We’ll have to modify our constraints slightly so they read as follows:

  • We’re creating a “Teaser” trailer
  • Using PowerPoint to create most of the content
  • No video, music, animation or voice overs
  • Working with stock images or some commissioned images

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a free, entry level video editing application available with Windows Essentials 2012. You can download a copy here.


Captions are text that can be added directly to each slide.  You have a lot of control over the caption properties with regard to:

  • Positioning
  • Font family
  • Size
  • Bolding and Italics
  • Alignment
  • Colour
  • Transparency

Moreover, you can also control the caption appearance, setting its start time relative to the beginning of the slide and its duration.  Finally, there are a number of pre-set animations you can use that will govern how the text appears on the slide.  Note that you can add only a single caption to a slide, though there is no limit on caption length (other than slide size).

To add a caption:

  1. Select the desired slide
  2. Click “Caption” in the Home ribbon bar
  3. Adjust the caption properties listed above
Let's Make a Book Trailer Part 11 Add Caption

Add a caption to a slide


Let's Make a Book Trailer Part 12 Caption Properties

Adjust caption properties

We’re trying to keep our trailer as simple as possible so we will forego any caption animations.  Captions will appear when the slide appears in the trailer and be visible for the duration of the slide.

Caption Tips

  • Shorter is better; the brain processes images much faster than text; so keep the caption short
  • Use colour, font family, and placement to enhance visibility; you’ll note than in the trailer we’re building we’re using white text on dark backgrounds as much as possible.


In Movie Maker, “title” refers to a new slide inserted in your video on which you can add text.  There’s actually little difference between a title and caption: you add captions to YOUR slides; you add titles to new “blank” slides inserted where you choose.  Because we’re working with slides here, titles will be inserted between slides (as opposed to somewhere within an imported video file).

The default colour for a new title slide is black.  Once the title slide is added you can alter the properties as desired:

  • Background colour
  • Start time
  • Text duration
  • Text font family, size, alignment, position, and transparency
  • Text bolding and italics

Adding a title is simple:

  • Click on the slide in front of which you want a title
  • Click “Title” on the Home ribbon bar (it’s right above “Caption”)
  • Adjust the title properties as desired
Let's Make a Book Trailer Part 12 Adjusting Title Properties

Adjust title properties

You do not have to have any text at all on a title slide.  You might want to merely have a black slide (if that is the colour you want) inserted at various places for dramatic effect.

In our trailer we’re going to start the video with a black slide which we’ll fade into the first slide.  So we’ll remove any text from the side after the title slide is inserted.  To do this we just select the text in the preview window and hit the Delete key.

You can always tell at a glance where you have title sides and which slides have captions by examining the work area:

Let's Make a Book Trailer Part 12 Work Area

Work area showing slides, blank title slide at beginning and caption indicators for slides

This is useful to keep track of where you are in the build process.

That’s it for this part.  In part 13 we’ll cover using slide transitions and credits.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you again soon.





















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