How to add text to Instagram Reels – correctly!

To add text to Instagram Reels has advantages:

  • First, it allows people watching on mute to be still able to consume the Reel content.
  • Second, text on-screen tells a different story that movement or music only isn’t telling.
  • Third, it gives context to what’s going on.

But there’s a bit of a strategy when it comes to adding text to Instagram Reels correctly. So let me unpack that here.

Text placement

Not all text placement is created equal and some text placements straight up can’t even be read. Let me show you what I mean.

add text to instagram reels examples

So that text is in a spot where it cannot be read. And there are plenty of areas where text can’t be read because of existing and standard content and icons. For example:

  • Usually, the top has the account name, so the text won’t be readable if you get too close to that.
  • Then we have the heart, comment, and share icons on the right. Stay away from that, too.
  • At the bottom, there’s the caption, music information, and filter information – if you used one. That information makes it easy for others to use the same filter or music on their Reels but also cuts down the visible area where you can put text.

Here are some examples of text in different locations looks:

Add text to instagram reels - good placement

add text to instagram reels examples

add text to instagram reels examples

So basically, the safe space to add text to Instagram Reels is somewhere in the middle of the screen. Not too close to the bottom, the sides on the bottom or the top.

Read next: How to use Instagram Reels templates

How to add specific text to Instagram Reels

Now that we know where to put the text, let’s briefly discuss how to even put text on a Reel. Once your video is created, click the “next” button in the bottom right. From there you get the option to add text by clicking on the letters on the top right.

add text on instagram reels

You can adjust how long specific text will be on-screen by clicking on the corresponding button in the bottom left. From there you can change when the text should appear. You can also add multiple strings of text that show up at different times. Here’s an example of how that can look.


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A post shared by Christoph Trappe (@christophtrappe)

Keep it short(ish)

Remember how long people have to read the text. If a particular video segment is 1.5 seconds, they won’t be able to read text that stretches from top to bottom on the screen. So some creators add: “Pause to read.” While that is practical advice, it’s still not that user-friendly.

My advice is to make sure the text can be read in the time allotted.


Adding text on Instagram Reels is a good strategy, best practice, and widely used. So, it makes sense to use text that helps tell the story, but to do that, it needs to be in a place where people can read it and have enough time to read.

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